I had another wonderful gastronomic experience just recently, and this time around, I went on a Japanese food trip at Butamaru in Westgate, Alabang. This is my second time here, and it just got even better.
Butamaru is actually helmed by Brent Co and Chef Jerome Lim, who was trained by Sugimura-san of Menko Noodle Company in Oita, Japan.
“Buta” actually means pork in Japanese, while “Maru” is a Japanese word for “round.” During Chef Jerome’s training, he figured out a great method of serving their melt in your mouth pork chasu in round slices, thus the idea behind Butamaru.
Their restaurant is a small, cozy place that has two floors. On the first floor, you can find a counter that looks exactly like the ramen shops in the streets of Japan. It is facing a large, black and white photo collage, and behind it is their kitchen. The second floor, on the other hand, has a larger dining area with more chairs, that’s perfect for groups.
I was able to try a couple of Butamaru’s specialties and latest offerings. I had their Katsu Gyozayaki (Php 160) which is deep fried breaded gyoza. It’s actually perfect to be eaten with any of their Ramens. Have some, you’ll be glad to have it.
Speaking of ramens, Butamaru is quite known for their variety of ramens and they actually have five – miso, shoyu, shio, tantanmen, and curry tantanmen. Their ramen uses up a 16-hour tonkotsu broth. I had their Shoyu Ramen which is their soy-sauce based tonkotsu noodle soup (Php 349). It was prepared Fukuoka style, which is a unique way of serving tender meat slices. The noodles are cooked well, and the light broth was made even better with its spices.
I also got treat my palate with their fantastic and rich Curry Tantanmen. It had unbelievable spicy peanut and sesame to it (Php 370). It had this bold and strong aroma to it and its taste quite addiciting. You may also have some add-ons for it such as tamago egg.
Then, there was their Toriten or tempura chicken (Php 210). It had this nice, crunchy bite on the outside, and tender meat on the inside. I appreciate the nice combination of garlic and ginger on it as well.
I must say though that I didn’t really get to enjoy their regular gyoza (Php 140) that much since it was prepped just like any other typical gyoza.
Last one was their unique and new creation, Abura Soba (Php 280) which literally means “oil noodles.” This bowl of dry noodles has chasu pork, green onion, garlic, black pepper, sesame, and bamboo shoots in it. Inspite of it not having any broth, it was tasty, smooth and bursting with flavor.
So if you’re down for some Japanese food adventure, and probably the best ramen in the south, here is Butamaru, presenting itself.