We gave a toast as we started drinking and eating in Hamakaze, a tiny restaurant nestled in A.S. Fortuna, right beside Oftana Suites and across the new Jollibee.
Admittedly, I am not so well-versed with the Japanese pop culture and like. I never got into the whole manga thing as a child; and despite having been to Japan before, my knowledge on Japan culture is dismal.
Well, this is embarrassing.
Thus, the invite to Hamakaze with the rest of the Cebu Bloggers Society was like a Japanese food crash course. Ramen shops have been popping up like mushrooms in Cebu lately, so getting some pointers on how to order in a ramen shop truly helps!
We were greeted by the owner Taka-san, a Japanese based in Singapore. Hamakaze is his 11th restaurant venture across Southeast Asia.
According to Taka-san, ramen is the national drunk food in Japan (as ‘pochero’ is in Cebu), hence they are open after hours–from 6PM until 5AM. Good news for the party goers (although this might change after Duterte’s curfew implementation…)
Price range per dish is around P230-P300. Click on the menu to see the hi-res version.
To work up our appetite, we were served Gyoza, Japanese fried dumplings, Tori Kaage, Japanese-style fried chicken with Kimuchi Chahan, Japanese-style fried rice on the side. The Fried Chicken was a big hit. We paired the food with different types of iced tea, which were refreshing and not as sweet as what most of the restaurants in Cebu serve (if you like it sweeter, you can always ask for some sugar syrup).
Types of Ramen
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish
Call me ignorant, but I didn’t know there were that many types of ramen! I don’t want to go too technical, so here are just some of the basic types we got to try in the restaurant.
Reimen (Cold Ramen)
Zaru Ramen is basically ramen without the broth–a kind of salad on a plate with different toppings. Taka-san shares that Zaru Ramen is seasonally offered in China, especially during summer season when it is too warm to have the typical hot ramen.
2. Yakisoba (Oily Ramen)
Also ramen without the hot broth, but instead the noodles are stir-fried, tossed with different toppings on top.
3. Shoyu Ramen (Ramen with Clear Broth)
The most commonly known type,
4. Tonkotsu Ramen (Collagen Soup)
Tori Ramen or Collagen soup usually has a rich, cloudy broth, achieved by boiling pork bone, fat and collagen over high heat for at least eight hours.
Collagen is esteemed to have anti-aging effects reputed to be better than botox, with active ingredients that strengthen the joints, bones, skin and hair. Now–that makes this ramen my favorite!
5. Tsukemen (Japanese Dipping Noodles)
This is the most unique one I tried and a recommended must-have if you dine in Hamakaze! Japanese Dipping noodles consist of separate bowls, one containing noodles and another of the soup. Simply take a few strands of noodles and dip into the collagen soup!
Hamakaze is open daily from 12PM-3:30PM for lunch and 6:30PM-5AM for dinner and after hours. Hamakaze is located at AYS Bldg., A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue City. Contact number: (032) 505-4220. Check their FB Page here.