Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sigekiya Ramen:a unique taste of Japan in one bowl

Authentic Japanese ramen has been an elusive concept to my mind. With all the commercialized offers of this noodle dish in the market promising to be the best and the most unique, I truly don't know which is the most superior. On the other hand, Sigekiya Ramen promises a special brand of ramen that will surely remain unforgettable to the palate. 

The term Sigekiya indirectly means "something spicy". According to the owner, this name correlates to their ramen which has the option to be served according to the degree of spiciness the customer prefers, particularly ranging from level 0 to level 100+. 

Sigekiya is actually a noodle house that started in Japan. The owner, a Filipino expat in Japan, fell in love with the ramen after trying it out. It came to a point when he had the ramen for 2 times a week. Upon his return, he immediately started this place as a business franchise. The franchise came from Yokohama, Japan, a city 40 minutes away from Tokyo with dining traditions similar to that of the capital's. According to him, the alcohol, condiments, and sauces are all imported; while the meat, noodles, rice, and vegetables are composed of fresh local ingredients. The interiors, on the other hand, can seat about 30 people, and it mimics a typical Japanese ramen place complete with a bar. 

Sigekiya's ramen comes in two major variants. One is the Sigekiya ramen, which as said earlier, can be customized when it comes to the spiciness level. It has thick noodles akin to Chinese chami noodles used in lomi, a few thick slices of chasu or grilled pork, bamboo shoots, nori, and fresh leeks. Its main selling point though, is the special broth that deviates from the typical watery noodle soup made out of pork bone broth. This is instead, a thick dark soup with special secret ingredients especially made by the Japanese franchisors. As said earlier, its spiciness level can be customized from level 0 to level 100+.

Being adventurous, I had this signature dish at spiciness level 15. I must say that the broth is top notch. The thickness and consistency brimmed with that special flavor. Furthermore the thick slices of chasu, chopped to perfection, added to that stocky taste. As for the noodles, I had a bit of difficulty picking it with chopsticks due to its slippery and thick texture. But nonetheless, the taste was pretty satisfactory. I just hope that the noodles would be a bit thinner so as not to be too overwhelming. Bamboo shoots and nori were pretty excellent accompaniments to the already rich taste. The special Japanese chili spice powder took the cake. It was easy on the throat in large quantities, unlike the Sichuanese chili oil I have become fond of. Furthermore, the spice was pretty easy to take in large quantities. Some people have eaten the ramen at spice level 100+. At Php 360 per dish, it was pretty reasonable to the pocket as well as the palate.

On the other hand, the Tsukemen is a unique noodle dish that requires the customer to dip cold noodles into the hot fish broth topped with fish powder. While it takes longer to serve, the dish offers one a unique dining experience. The dish is 360 Php for a regular size as well. 

Their best selling side dishes usually include their tempura, gyoza, okonomiyaki, and Chicken karaage. While the gyoza reminded me of Xiao Long Bao, I found the former easier to pick up and eat. The dumpling was not overflowing with soup; and the dish was easy on the palate. It can be mixed together with vinegar and soy sauce plus a little chili for that tangy taste. A 5 piece variant goes for Php 130. Not bad for a signature snack. The oknomiyaki, otherwise known as a Japanese pancake, is a side dish that is topped with fish flakes and consists of a pan heated crust with cabbage and special filling. I'm not an expert on this dish but I'd say it's pretty decent and might go well with something sweet. A small pan goes for Php 150. 

The meal was ended with complimentary frozen jelly. While the place doesn't serve any dessert, I'd say that the jelly was enough to finish the melange of rich flavors and tastes that I've experienced at this session. I'd truly want to experience more of their flavors someday.

Sigekiya Ramen is located at 1/F Commercenter Mall, Commerce Drive, Filinvest, Alabang. You can visit their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/SigekiyaRamenPH/

The story in pictures:

The gyoza set

The complimentary frozen jelly

The Sigekiya emblem

Okonomiyaki at Php 150

The Signature Sigekiya Ramen at Php 360.

The clean, Japanese-inspired interiors

The Sigekiya ramen that reminds me of lomi, but with taste that is light-years more flavorful

The menu

The special chili pepper sourced from Japan

Chicken Karaage at Php 180 per serving

Me trying out the gyoza

The Tsukemen meal

Ebi Tempura at Php 290 for 5 pieces.

Tsukemen soup with fish bits on top

The kitchen area

The all-Japan sourced condiments

The signature Sigekiya ramen before being mixed.

Sigekiya Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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