Feeling the pressure to post, hahaha!
Anyhoo, I just want to say, first off, that I really like ramen. Since hubby (a noodle-lover) introduced me to it, I’ve come to enjoy it. Actually, we try to visit as much ramen places as we (and our budget) can.
That’s why when I got an invite to try out Sigekiya Ramen Tsukemen in Estancia at Capitol Commons, I really wanted to give it a go. I want to see if this is a place hubby would want to visit, too.
With bloggers from Saan Sa PH and We Love To Eat, I met with Mr. Miguel Illescas, who brought Sigekiya Ramen Tsukemen in the Philippines. Yes, it’s actually a franchise from Japan, specifically from Yokohama, owned by Ramen Master Sugizaki. The branch at Estancia is their third in the country.
Sir Miguel explained how Sigekiya’s ramen is different from other ramen places in the metro: it lies in the broth. The usual ramen places would use pork bone (tonkotsu) broth but Sigekiya’s base broth is made from chashu meat that’s boiled until tender. They put in special spices plus a main sauce formulated by the original Japanese owner to give their broth and ramen a unique flavor.
Their noodles, which are handmade in their Alabang branch daily, are also distinctly firm even if they have been submerged in the broth for quite a while. I don’t know, but it really is different from other ramen I’ve eaten.
And one thing that caught my attention: their ramen and tsukemen come in three sizes: small, regular, and large. Sir Miguel said that it was to cater to Pinoy appetites. But don’t be fooled: even if you get the small size, you’d still feel full because it contains 90 grams of noodles (noodles alone, without broth and chashu yet) and, believe me, it’s heavy on my belly. 🙂
Here are some of the food items we tried at Sigekiya Ramen Tsukemen:
Sigekiya Ramen: This is basically the, well, basic one. To quote one of the bloggers during the event, “if you want to start your ramen journey here,” this is what you should order. The broth tastes amazing. But what caught my taste buds was the chashu: that tender meat had a smoky taste to it.
Gojira: A personal favorite, with a mound of veggies and chopped garlic. When I saw it, I thought it had too much garlic. But when I tasted it, I absolutely loved it.
Shirunashi: Basically dry noodles. Looks like the Gojira, with the veggies and garlic, but with the addition of raw egg on top. When mixed, the noodles had that creamy texture. Also garlicky like the Gojira (although I like the Gojira more, hehe!).
Tantanmen, with Japanese curry. I’ve had tantanmen before but this is the first time I saw one with a lot of veggies. Their regular tantanmen comes without the curry, but Sir Miguel recommended this. And a number of us liked it that we hope it becomes included in their menu.
Tsukemen: I was able to try the one with curry and the gyokai (fish powder). I liked both, as well as the way that the noodles are dipped into the broth. Sir Miguel recommends that tsukemen is served hot (well, actually all their dishes) so it has to be eaten upon serving.
Karaage: Okay, so as I’ve told everyone in the meet-up, I’m not a fan of the karaage. I get turned off by how oily it can get. And the karaage I’ve eaten were like that. To my surprise, I enjoyed Sigekiya’s karaage. I tasted more of the chicken meat than the breading. I agree, though, that it’s better served with Japanese mayonnaise, rather than the sweet-and-sour dip, but they could make that an option.
Gyoza: The biggest gyoza I’ve eaten so far. I think. I like pairing gyoza with ramen as a side (that’s what hubby and I usually do) but Sigekiya’s gyoza is already an entree in itself. One order (5 pieces) is already good for sharing. We took two to three bites before we could finish one piece. Taste? Definitely at the top of my list. 🙂
Okonomiyaki: Served in a cute hot plate. Sir Miguel said that the size was made such to be a complement to the ramen, if you want it as a side. The bottom just got burnt, I guess because it wasn’t transferred to a regular plate.
You can try any of their ramen and tsukemen but I personally recommend Gojira and Gyoza.
Oh yeah, you can add some spices or have them added by the staff. They have different levels of spiciness and it can go up to 100! I wonder how spicy Level 100 is.
Speaking of staff, we were told that every member of Sigekiya’s restaurants were taught the Yokohama ramen style. One of the staff, Carlo, said that Ramen Master Sugizaki personally trained them before they went on board. That way, Sigekiya can assure customers of the high quality that they have, from food to service.
Truth be told, Sigekiya Ramen Tsukemen is a cut above the rest. When you think you’ve already tasted the perfect ramen or tsukemen, drop by Sigekiya. They’ll more than likely change your mind. 😉