Life in the Fast Lane


Asian Invasion (Part 1): Kichitora of Tokyo

By 5:53 PM , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend, I had the privilege of enjoying my two favorite Asian cuisines in two restaurants I had yet to try.

First, it was Japanese. I was told by a friend, Reg Dominguez, that there was a new ramen joint in town. And since I'm a big fan of ramen, I just had to try it out.

Since my friends and I needed to meet up to fine-tune the details of our upcoming Christmas party, we randomly decided to check out this new restaurant.

I had high hopes for Kichitora of Tokyo since, according to their Facebook page, "Kichitora of Tokyo brings together the winning recipes of Kohmen, Kookai and Daijin: 3 famous ramen and soba chains in Tokyo!" Also, of all countries/places in the world, their first international franchise just happened to be in the Philippines' very own SM Megamall.

I've tried many kinds of ramen in the different "must-visit" ramen houses in Manila: to name a few, Ukkokei Ramen Ron along Arnaiz Ave. in Makati; Shinjuku Ramen House in Little Tokyo, Makati; and Ramen Bar in Eastwood and McKinley Hill. I can't recall the other places but these three come to mind.

And always, when it comes to trying new ramen houses, I have to order shoyu ramen. For me at least, it's the most basic (ingredients- and flavor-wise), and it's the best way to compare one ramen house versus another.

So when it came to Kichitora, I made sure to do the same thing.

First, meet Rom (leftmost) and Mitch. Now, let's dig in.

As I mentioned earlier, I ordered shoyu. Rom did the same.

Mitch, on the other hand, ordered the charcoal-grilled chicken chashu rice bowl.

Mitch wasn't too happy with her meal. For one thing, the portions were tiny. Her rice bowl was a lot smaller than Rom's and my ramen bowls (I should have taken a side-by-side shot, come to think of it).

Also, she felt that the over-all flavor of the dish was too salty. She had to use some of the condiments on the table to temper the taste.

However, I had to say that I enjoyed my shoyu ramen. Thankfully, so did Rom.

What first hit me when I tucked into my dish were the noodles. I loved the texture and flavor. For whatever reason, out of all the shoyu ramens I've tried (and everyone says that Ukkokei's is the best), I have to give the "Best Noodles" award to Kichitora.

The broth was flavorful, but not overpoweringly so, and light. Neither was it too oily. It was similar to Shinjuku's, but Shinjuku's just has a tad more flavor. The texture and flavor of the noodles, though, complement the broth just fine.

However, I wasn't impressed with the chicken chunks on my ramen. They were cut too thickly, so that instead of you cutting it up into smaller pieces to savor alongside the broth and noodles, you'd end up having to eat one entire chunk as is. I prefer pork belly, which is what accompany the shoyu ramens of Ukkokei, Shinjuku, and Ramen Bar. I'd guess that, even if the broth is chicken-based, by placing pork strips, these would add to the over-all flavor of the dish, especially the broth.

(On that note, my favorite in terms of the thinness and flavor of the accompanying pork belly would be Ramen Bar's. Succulent, thin strips that you'd want to cut up and "distribute" throughout your whole meal experience.)

Over-all, though, I was pretty pleased with the entire dish. And I'm still thinking about how good those noodles were.

Now I'd like to take my family, who are ramen lovers just like me, to see what they think.

Since the restaurant is still in its soft opening stage, I'm sure (and I do hope) that they'll continue to improve in time for its actual launch date.

Kitchitora of Tokyo
2nd Floor, Mega Atrium, 
SM Megamall (across Yabu: House of Katsu)

P.S. Please stay tuned for my next entry on Basil Thai Restaurant.

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  1. I suggest you guys try the Pai Tan White Chicken Soup. That's their specialty. I had it awhile ago at lunch and the soup was to die for.

  2. Hi, anonymous!

    Thanks for the tip. :) I'll definitely try that next time!


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