As much as I would relish the chance to whisper, “Winter is coming” the opportunity is close to nil. In this fair tropical hub, I have a better chance at “turning black” than experiencing that Winterfell chill.
Whilst the tempest named Glenda (typhoon) did manage to smash our windows and ceilings to leaky paperweights, this is the closest we could get to that so-called winter. More of Twister with a siding of damp clothing.
Enough with the #Glenda and #GoT talk though.
Having eaten leftovers for the longest time, I have warranted the right to eat out and dine on something prepared elsewhere. This called for a long awaited TGIF at Glorietta, though of course reality came more like rush hour folks trampling on my vibe, embraced in darkness and devoid of any air-conditioning breeze. Rotating brownout and hungry employees never made a good mix, and I have the non-evaporating sweat to prove it.
Of course Yabu was crossed out the minute I said “7pm reservation” to the manager.
Many others were crossed off the list and I feared that we would end up in Heaven and Eggs, which was not really a Friday destination unless you had a sudden craving for that Baguio Country Club Raisin Bread, which really would not necessitate dining in being the to-go loaf for uncreative passersby.
Hence we ended up in Glorietta 5’s remote sectors or “posh looking joints”, or in Kichitora’s case, hard to pronounce and remember, you’re better off saying ramen.
Kichitora is actually beside Mad Mark’s Creamery, which is 2 stores away from Yabu. I can see the nodding heads. Thank God for popular competitor landmarks!
Kichitora is predominantly a ramen place that also serves tonkatsu meals and other combo platters that would make our Japanese nakama sigh in delight. From soup to salad to that sweet karaage, it’s a Japanese haven for proper meals and dim lighting.
With several menu pages dedicated to ramen, first timers and slow readers will have to spend time lurking, gawking at the photos, reading out the names (there is a Jajamen, suited for the Jeje and a Paitan for Oy, paisan!) until finally narrowing down the choices to 2 or 3. There is also cold ramen to add in to the confusion so choose wisely.
Being the ever stranger to pork, my choices were narrowed down to ramen selections that had the phrase “pork or chicken”. Given a choice, I was safe, as other bowls purely suggested, imposed and necessitated pork as the topping—and I respect that. The waitress though secretly revealed that all their soup bases are “Chicken stock” so it’s just a matter of choosing which name (and price) you fancy.
Being a simpleton who wants chicken all the way, we settled for Paitan Ramen.
Paitan is rather simple and unappealing to the adventurous ramen seeker, but with menma (bamboo shoots), green onions and chicken slices topping the ensemble, it’s comfort food variety, enough for #Glenda post trauma.
The soup is gravely thick (not that hot though), even non soup lovers will spend considerable time sipping the soup. It’s a meal on its own! No need for embellishments and sauces, since the soup and noodle balance each other out. The noodles are chewy and thick, and upon the first bite, my instant worry was: Oh no, I might get so full and have no space left for dessert! (True, true.) Good thing, some people just have the habit of sharing, and so there was enough appetite spared for Mad Mark’s.
If you manage to finish a bowl single-handedly and have enough room for ice cream, I salute you. #thegodsmustbeproud
Out of curiosity, the Chicken Karaage was likewise ordered. Intended to be an appetizer, it came way later, so it was not enjoyed fully.I like the proper sequencing of food, especially in posh places that look like they can afford the service.
These 4 little crunchers were sweet, oily and had my mortal enemy, chicken skin! You can imagine that only half of the piece was made of the actual meat, which is a letdown for those who are not into chicken skin! Even that slice of lemon did no wonder and we are always better off with the likes of BonChon, I kid you not.
The other ramen bowls were not mine and I could not indulge in them, since they were pork based. They made picture perfect photos though, complete with the tamago. Oh that egg is just screaming at me!
What is consistent though amongst the orders is that no single person—no matter how hungry or horizontally challenged—could single-handedly finish a bowl. While we did manage a scoop of Mad Mark’s after dinner, maybe finishing one bowl was too cloying or overbearing and a second dish is needed to get rid of the heavy feeling.
Perhaps the next time around, share a bowl with a friend and order a neat little siding, chicken or katsu. No cloying feeling—just a perfect, full meal!
Still, with chicken on the menu and that warm cuddly feeling you get from slurping the noodles—it’s a satisfying thought to find a ramen joint, sans the queue, for that quick Friday fix.
My Mad Mark’s ice cream was a treat, so another successful #TGIF and #foodcoma.