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TAMPOPO is a ramen and tonkatsu specialty store founded by Takaaki Takagi in Singapore. Takagi is best known for starting Tonkichi, one of Singapore’s best Tonkatsu Restaurants. The name Tampopo, which literally means “dandelion”, is inspired by the 1985 Japanese “Ramen Western” film of the same name.  

The Philippine franchise, owned by George Huang, Chris Tiu, and TY Tang, is Tampopo’s first outside of Singapore. It is the first 2-in-1 Ramen & Tonkatsu specialty resto concept in the country. 

The search for the best ramen heats up in Manila with the opening of Tampopo! Check this out…

The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:

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Tampopo’s flagship branch is located at the new Promenade in Greenhills, utilizing an open resto concept inside the mall. 

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The resto’s interiors are bamboo-inspired and designed by co-owner TY Tang. 

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Calpis Drink (P85 +3% service charge)

To start, try the aperitif Calpis drink from Japan, an uncarbonated soft drink that is refreshing, somewhat milky, and a bit acidic.

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TAMPOPO MENU: About Takaaki TakagiKyushu Ramen | Hokkaido Ramen | Hokkaido Soba | Side Dishes | Rice | About Tampopo Black PigTonkatsu: Top Grade Black Pig | Premium U.S. Pork | Layer Pork Cutlets | Don | Seafood | Chicken | Drinks | Beer, Sake | Desserts by Red Mango 

I can appreciate how complicated the menu is, serving two signature-style ramen — Hokkaido and Kyushu, while also specializing in Tonkatsu. They have two separate, bigger-than-usual kitchens, each one dedicated to preparing these two popular dishes. 

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My wife and I were invited by Chris Tiu to dine with two Atenistas (him and George Huang) and a Lasallian (TY Tang). We ordered Tampopo’s specialities and here’s what we think…

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✮ Deluxe Tampopo Black Pig Shobu Ramen (P420 +3% service charge)

This is my favorite. The milky broth is made from 2 days’ worth of cooking pure pork bone soup, with thin and hard Kyushu noodles, and no less than very soft Kurobuta (Black Pig) pork!

This was voted as Singapore’s Best Ramen by HungryGoWhere.com.

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We ordered the deluxe variant, which comes with corn and egg toppings. The ramen is served in its own signature black bowl. I love their attention to detail.

It’s everything you could ask for in ramen…and yes, it’s big enough for sharing! 🙂

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✮ Koumi Fry Ramen (P460 +3% service charge)

Another great discovery is this version, with the Kurobuta pork fried and served on the side. It’s like chicharon with a lot of meat. Another favorite! 🙂

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This also happens to be one of Chris’ own favorites. 🙂

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Deluxe Hakodate Ramen (P420 +3% service charge)

Tampopo also serves another kind of ramen, the Hokkaido Ramen, with thick and chewy noodles and a broth from a combination of pork and chicken bone. The deluxe version comes with toppings of egg, corn, and creamy butter to complete the rich soup experience. 🙂

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Miso Deluxe Ramen (P420 +3% service charge) 

It also comes in a Miso version, which is another bestseller in Tampopo.  

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I still prefer the milky soup version. I don’t like my ramen tasting too much like togue.  

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Etanbetsu Soba (P280 +3% service charge)

Cold soba buckwheat noodles imported from Hokkaido. I like the chewiness of the noodles and how it absorbs the sauce well. 

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The way to eat it is to put the seaweed, green onion, and wasabi into the specially-prepared soy sauce for the soba. 

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Dip the noodles into the sauce and enjoy the combination of flavors. 

It’s really good and a nice alternative to ramen. Best to eat it as soon as it is served.

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Top Grade Black Pig Tonkatsu Set (P750 +3% service charge)

What really sets Tampopo apart from the other Japanese Tonkatsu stores is their use of really soft Black Pig pork. 

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Top Grade Black Pig Tonkatsu A La Carte (P640 +3% service charge)

It’s really tender with a good marbling of fat. You can’t taste the oil and the Hokkaido crumbs are crunchy despite the thin layer. The taste of the crumbs does not overpower the meat.

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Cheese Layer Cutlet Set (P460 +3% service charge).

You can also order the Premium U.S. Pork version (not Black Pig) with oozing cheese inside. 🙂 

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I also like the balanced taste of their signature Tonkatsu sauce.

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The set comes with cabbage, miso soup, rice, and fruits. They did away with the “unlimited everything” strategy and focused on the quality of their tonkatsu instead.

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Their Black Pig Tonkatsu is the best one I’ve tasted here in Manila. 🙂

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✮ Tampopo Black Pig Tonkatsu Ramen (P520 +3% service charge)

If you are undecided and want to order just one dish and still get the best of both their ramen and tonkatsu, order the Tampopo Black Pig Ramen with Black Pig Tonkatsu on the side. A great combination that no other ramen or tonkatsu shop can beat. 🙂

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Thank you to George Huang, Chris Tiu, and TY Tang for bringing the Tampopo franchise to Manila!

I must admit, I had a fun time talking about the UAAP with the King Eagle himself, especially since the Green Archers won the championship this season. Couldn’t help but inject some Animo pride in the discussion. 🙂

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Ramen and Tonkatsu…we love that TAMPOPO offers the best of both worlds. 

I like the open resto with sunken garden concept, but the temperature of the place is still dependent on the air conditioning of the mall. It’s great that they are able to have two kitchens, one specializing in ramen and the other in tonkatsu. This is their competitive advantage over the other Japanese ramen and tonkatsu concepts.

They are also able to offer Red Mango desserts since they own this franchise as well. Chris Tiu really knows how to pick winning brands.  

I recommend the Black Pig Shobu Ramen and the Tampopo Black Pig Tonkatsu. The Koumi Fry Ramen is also a must-try. 🙂

Overall value is very good considering you are getting really high quality noodles, soup, and pork in a 2-in-1 Ramen & Tonkatsu resto.  I also love the fact that they only charge 3% service charge 🙂 Make sure to put extra tip for awesome service. Budget is about P700/head.

TAMPOPO たんぽぽ Philippines
Tonkatsu Specialist and Singapore’s No.1 Ramen
Ground Floor, Promenade 3 Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
Mobile: (+63) 917 854-7440
Email: [email protected]
Operating Hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm Daily
Reservations accepted for Lunch 12nn-2pm, and for Dinner 7pm to 9pm.
FacebookTampopo たんぽぽ Philippines

The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:

Battle for the BEST Tonkatsu in Manila:

Live an Awesome Life, 

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

P.S. Watch out for the opening of their 2nd branch first quarter of 2014. Location is on the Upper Ground Floor of Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, where Sutra used to be.