Hokkaido Ramen Santouka always has a steady stream of patrons and the reasons why are quite understandable. Just ask my baby brother, who when in the mood for ramen will always say, 'Let's go to Santouka!' 

When we wanted to eat here the first time, the line was ridiculously long. It was already later than our usual dinnertime so a decision was made to come back another time. Our second attempt was a bit more successful though we still had to wait about 30 minutes to get seated. Luckily we arrived early so we were right on time for dinner when the accommodating wait staffer finally took our orders. That was during the height of the ramen craze but now the crowd here is a bit more manageable if you come early enough!

The interior of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta 4, Makati is very sleek with shiny black tiles. It gave off a very modern metropolitan vibe while still keeping some traditional Japanese elements, like bamboo panels and bonsai.

The menu here has a little introduction to the cooking process of the ramen broths, about it being simmered from pork bones before other ingredients are added. For Hokkaido ramen, typically miso is added to the broth to give it a brownish hue. The soup is never allowed to boil, but is kept at the optimal temperature that will allow its flavours to really come out. It’s a very delicate sort of cooking- almost an art- like the proper way of brewing tea or coffee.

I already had my order in mind from this article I saw online. For every order, you have a choice between small, regular, and large servings. The small bowl is good for dieters and children, but the regular bowl I felt was just the right size. The large bowl of course is for the people with big appetites. 

We had our gyoza first. The bottoms of some of them are a bit too charred (not enough water when steam-fried maybe?), but they tasted okay.

And then we saved this additional order of Tokusen Toroniku (Pork Cheek) to eat with our ramen. This was actually very well-cooked with a balance of sweet, salty, and juicy. The meat was tender and perfect to the bite. The sesame seeds added an additional burst of flavour.

Finally, our ramen arrived and we were more than eager to dig in. My brother really loved his Char Shiu Shio Ramen. He raved about how deliciously milky it was, its flavours melting together to tickle the tastebuds. He kept saying he would come back just for this. (And thus the Santouka obsession was born!)

My baby brother ordered the Chashu Ramen, which had generous slices of char shiu (pork belly) in regular salty broth. The base is shio, if I’m not mistaken.

My order was the Kara Miso Ramen, made with a spicy broth that I really enjoyed. I do love me some spicy soup, but I hate it when the flavour is foregone in favor of the heat. What I liked about this is that the flavour of the ramen broth base still peeks out from the spicy soup. It’s not so spicy that you would need to gulp water after every bite. I almost always order this again and again!

The noodles they used looked like the yellow noodles in instant noodle packages, though apparently the noodles are imported from Japan. Since I thought it complemented my soup really well, I don’t have much complaints. I slurped my way to the bottom of my bowl. Yes, I did.
(The above review is the personal opinion of a user which does not represent OpenRice's point of view.)
Dining Method
Dine In
Recommended Dishes
Kara Miso Ramen, Char Shiu Shio Ramen
5
Taste
4
Decor
4
Service
5
Hygiene
5
Value
0
0
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