Trailblazing Japanese ramen chain comes to Manila

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(From left) Junji Okabayashi, Chairman of Iki Concepts, Masahiko Teshima, President of Uma Uma Ramen Japan, and Russell Yu, Director of Iki Concepts Ltd. proudly open their first ever store in the Philippines

(From left) Junji Okabayashi, Chairman of Iki Concepts, Masahiko Teshima, President of Uma Uma Ramen Japan, and Russell Yu, Director of Iki Concepts Ltd. proudly open their first ever store in the Philippines

MANILA’S food scene is currently brimming with new flavors and quirky concepts. One staple is ramen and most likely everyone out there has a favorite.

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Capturing the discriminating taste of local gastronomics is Uma Uma Ramen from Japan, which opened its first ever store in the country at Level 2, S Maison Marina Way at Mall of Asia on June 15.

“Our broth is made from rich broth of pork bones, slow cooking over high heat to achieve the distinct and robust flavor infused through hours of cooking. It’s one hundred percent MSG-free,” says Russell Yu, Director of Iki Concepts Ltd.

Uma Uma Ramen’s first foray out of Japan was in Singapore, where they established themselves as a cult favorite among ramen lovers and chalked up numerous mentions on various top ramen lists.

Uma Uma Ramen

Uma Uma Ramen

Uma Uma was once known as “Wu Maru” when it was established in 1953 but was renamed in 1994, a play on the original name of the shop and pun for the word meaning “tasty.”

Not only limited to ramen, Uma Uma brings with it a bar extension; introducing local cocktail favorites spiced with Singaporean and Japanese flavors.

Affordable and Casual Japanese Dining
Though unconventional, the original Uma Uma in Japan had the Izakaya-Ramenya concept, which was a hit with the salarymen and OLs (Office Ladies). Egged on by Masahiko Teshima, President of Uma Uma Ramen Japan, Iki Concepts started their first Izakaya-Ramenya concept in Singapore, and brought this concept to Manila.

An Izakaya is not complete without Yakitori (grilled skewers over charcoal) and Kushikatsu (deep-fried breaded skewers). Uma Uma Manila features a special menu of over eleven types of Yakitori and Kushikatsu prepared a la minute, paired with homemade sauces lovingly created by head chef Shota Kaneko.

Japan and Singapore’s all-time favorite, the Tori Tama (Chicken Skin) is undoubtedly the highlight of the Yakitori menu—delicious and crispy mouthfuls of umami. The Butabara (pork belly) skewer is grilled to perfection with equal bits of char and delectable fat, which melts in the mouth. Take it from the Japanese on what goes best with beer—the Nankotsu (chicken soft bone) skewer. The chewy texture of the soft bone breaks the monotony of beer and is the ideal (and addictive) partner with drinks.

Garlic Ramen

Garlic Ramen

Another star on the menu is the Kushikatsu selection. With chef Shota’s special traditional recipe, the batter is seasoned lightly yet not overly greasy, to best bring out the taste of freshness and quality of the ingredients without being overwhelmed by the batter.

Not forgetting the old favorites from Uma Uma Ramen, the Manila outlet also serves signature dishes like the Mazesoba (a dry-style ramen created in Singapore just for Uma Uma, which was such a hit the Japanese brought it to Japan; and crowd favorite Chasiu Don. These delicious noodles are all made according to a secret family recipe, complemented with a robust and aromatic Tonkotsu stock, which is also MSG-free.

Extensive Selection of Unique Drinks
What is an Izakaya without drinks? Proven to be a hit with salarymen and OLs, the good guys from Horse’s Mouth Bar have crafted a special drinks menu for Uma Uma, featuring a mixture of classic cocktails as well as specially created drinks to celebrate their first foray into the Philippines. Sake, whiskey and beer are also available.

Currently, Uma Uma has a total of eight outlets—three in Fukuoka, two in Tokyo, two in Singapore and one in Bangkok, Thailand.

For more information visit www.umauma.com.ph

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