Tampopo

In 1985, Japanese director Juzo Itami created a comedy film in which a woman who owns a dilapidated ramen shop struggles – and eventually succeeds – to create the ultimate bowl of ramen noodles. The film was called Tampopo, and is now widely regarded as a cult classic.

And thanks to Tampopo’s impact, a lot of restaurants across the world have named their ramen restaurants after this film, hoping to replicate the same success as the ramen shop owned by the film’s lead heroine, who also happens to be named Tampopo. One of these restaurants just happens to be located here in the Philippines, in Greenhills to be exact.

Tampopo’s franchise here in the PH is owned by basketball player and heartthrob Chris Tiu, and his business partners, TY Tang and George Huang. Tampopo manages to combine two of my most favorite Japanese dishes – Katsu, and ramen.

Interior. Loving the open space!

Menu: Hokkaido ramen (hakodate original ramen, deluxe hakodate ramen), Kyushu ramen (deluxe tampopo black pig shabu ramen, tampopo black pig tonkatsu ramen, tampopo chicken tonkatsu ramen, tampopo black pig shabu ramen), Hokkaido soba, Side dishes, Rice, Seafood specials, Layer pork cutlets, Premium US pork, Seafood, Don (special katsudon), Chicken, Foie gras & truffle.

Dad had the Spicy Seafood Ramen.

Sui Gyoza. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the actual plate of gyoza served to our table, so you guys will just have to settle for this LQ picture. *facepalms -_-* The gyoza was a bit small, but the taste was just okay. The skins that they used for the gyoza were much thinner, compared to gyoza from other Japanese restaurants. As you can see from the pic, their gyoza comes in two types – Steamed, or fried.

Original Kyushu Ramen for mom. The broth was super creamy, almost tasting like salty milk.

And here’ their specialty – The Tampopo Premium Tonkatsu Ramen! This is a thing of beauty. The broth is pretty much a combination of the two other ramen dishes that we tried – It’s slightly spicy, but still retains the creaminess of the tonkotsu broth. Meanwhile, the katsu is decent, even though it’s a little bit on the thin side, and kinda lacks that good layer of fat, even though the menu claims that it’s made from Kurobuta pigs, which has more fat content than other pig species. The breadcrumbs used for this katsu were imported straight from Hokkaido.

Okay, so in my honest opinion, I feel like Tampopo needs to step up their game when they want to compete with the PH’s current top ramen chains such as Ramen Nagi and Ippudo. Their specialty of bringing together two delicious types of Japanese food already makes them stand out amongst its ramen shop rivals. But the taste of their ramen is already enough to make Juzo Itami proud.

Ambiance/Interior: 4/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste), 4.5/5 (presentation)

Tampopo is located at G/F Greenhills Shopping Center, Promenade 3, Annapolis St Greenhills, San Juan. Tel no: (0917) 854-7440. Links: Official website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram: @tampopo_ph

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