Butamaru, Ugong

The time has come when the people of the general north get to enjoy yet another treasured gem of the south. At last, the famed Butamaru of Westgate, Alabang has expanded to the center of the Metro (arguably), Ortigas.

It is due time to rejoice, as this means I do not have to drive down south to get me a Hakata-style ramen bowl worthy to be held with both hands, draining it into my mouth down to the last drop. Butamaru is located on the ground floor of Techno Point Building in Home Depot along Julia Vargas Ave.

Their claim to fame really is their ramen that’s composed of 16-hour broth and only the finest perfect ingredients that validate their cult-following. My new favorite is their Curry Tantanmen, which is spicy curry and peanut and sesame tonkatsu. Appropriate spiciness with the flavor of curry that’s toned down by the earthiness of the peanut sauce. Worth trying out for the adventurous ones.

For the chaps who are not yet convinced to check this place out, take a look at the ramen selection they have a take your pick. Choose among the Tantanmen, Shio, Shoyu, and Ramen Salad. They also now have Aburi Soba.

Another tip: it pays to engage the servers and inquire about how you like your bowl of ramen.

With this new branch, openings come new offerings. Apart from their roster of power ramen dishes, Butamaru has graced their menu with Izakaya offerings perfect as starters or as a hefty snack.

There was a plate of their Gyoza (Php 140), which never fails to be as good as it is. It’s nice and crispy on the outside yet full of flavor, especially when dunked in its dipping sauce. They also have the seasonal cheese gyoza, ask about this from the wait staff again.

And we had a new addition to their creative and innovative menu, which is the Katsu Gyozayaki (Php 160). It is a merge of not one, but three (!!!) Japanese cuisine classics, which are katsu, gyoza, and takoyaki. You have to taste it to believe it.

New additions come in the form of Kimchi Chashu Tacos and Spicy Tuna Tacos. Fun and creative, these can get addicting as you continuously pop them into your mouth.

They have a selection of Kushiyaki and Yakitori as well! All to add more variety and reasons to love and frequent Butamaru as a modern take on the rich Japanese cuisine. Wagyu Beef cubes were unbelievably soft and would melt in your mouth. Chicken Skin that’s grilled to a crisp is a good one as well, along with the pork and the small Japanese sausages.

Their second floor has a bar in the works, so watch out for their new house cocktails and spirits on the rocks to go along with the food. This is a potential go-to spot after a long day at work.

Butamaru is more modern Japanese rather than authentic. Their innovative and creative ways have really earned them the dedicated following they have. Butamaru is definitely a haven for honest to goodness modern Japanese cuisine and Japanese comfort food.

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