Tampopo is a fairly new franchise that combines both ramen and tonkatsu in their menu. This is a rather interesting twist as we are used to having restaurants that specialize in just tonkatsu or just ramen only.

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They have quite an extensive menu because they actually offer two types of ramen – Hokkaido and Kyushu. Hokkaido has thick and chewy noodles while Kyushu has noodles that are thin and hard. They also have a selection of additional toppings if you are keen.

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They offer a choice of getting “normal” Premium US Pork or the Top Grade Black Pig for your katsu. The Black Pig has higher fat content, so I assume it is tastier and more tender than the leaner variety.

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Each table has condiments available – togarashi, chili oil, cabbage salad dressing and tonkatsu sauce. As with Yabu, they let you grind the sesame for your dipping sauce when you order a katsu. I noticed though that Yabu’s sesame sauce is more fragrant than Tampopo’s.

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Before I proceed to the food though, let me show you a photo of the usual Friday lunch-out gang. We all work under one team but Nerisse already left the company so it’s just the three of us now (Allan, Alen and me).

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Alen was meeting her boyfriend for lunch that day so she just got the Potato Salad (Php120) as an appetizer. I had a little taste and I must say that it was quite tasty. The potato was creamy and not at all grainy, and I love the apparent taste of onion.

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Both Allan and Nerisse got the Tampopo Deluxe Black Pig Shabu Ramen (Php420). They asked the chili to be served on-the-side as they don’t take spice that well. I read somewhere that the broth has been simmered for two days, wow! Allan finished up all the noodles but still had lots of broth left in his bowl. Hmmmmm…

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I had the Tampopo Premium Tonkatsu Ramen (Phph380) and I was quite impressed with the serving size. This is the perfect dish when you just can’t decide whether to indulge on ramen or katsu, best of both worlds! The milky broth had the perfect heat in it, spiced just right.

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The pork is very lean but it was not dry. The breading was fine and crisp, I heard they use a special Hokkaido bread crumb to coat their meats.

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I didn’t get to finish my bowl of ramen as the serving was really generous. I was quite impressed with Tampopo’s food that I requested a repeat visit a few weeks later. The food is delicious and it’s relatively cheap compared to other ramen and katsu places. Definitely a bang for your buck! 🙂

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