Butamaru

[UPDATED] Eat a Variation of the Hakata-Style Ramen at Butamaru

If you regularly read our blog, you will know that one of our favorite cuisines is Japanese. So after seeing Butamaru, a modern Japanese restaurant, in the list of partner restaurants thanks to our recent partnership with Big Dish, we chose to eat there.

We are truly grateful to be blessed to have the opportunity to try various kinds of ramen both locally and internationally. However, we have yet to try the Hakata-style ramen of the Fukuoka region in Kyushu, Japan. Let alone a variation of it which is offered by Butamaru.

I have also been studying Japanese these days. And, in Japanese, I know that buta in Butamaru stands for pork. Meanwhile, maru stands for round. So I have an initial idea that their dishes are mostly pork based which I like.

When we went to Butamaru, we got to meet the owner, Mr. Jerome Lim. We learned from him that he and his cousin were planning to franchise a Japanese chain before. But then, the Japanese thought that there was no market here in the Philippines.

Driven by their passion for Japanese food, Mr. Lim flew to Japan to look for the best ramen. It was in Kyushu Island that he and his cousin fell in love with the Hakata-style ramen. He then proceeded on learning the art of ramen-making under Oita’s Master Artisan Sugimura-san, a ramen noodle supplier to shops all over Japan.

 

Interior & Ambiance

Butamaru

A welcoming sight to see, Butamaru has two dining areas. The first floor has a ramen bar which is perfect for those who plan to enjoy a ramen alone. With a little window for peeking inside the kitchen, we opted to eat there for the ramen joint experience. We also got to stare at the wallpaper filled with beautiful black & white photos taken by the owner while waiting for our food.

Those in groups are best to head to the second floor. Plus, there are comfortable booth tables great for nuclear families. Butamaru plays Japanese songs in the background to add to the mood. We appreciate it along with its location being on the quiet side of Alabang because we felt like we were transported outside of the Philippines.

 

Food

Side Dishes

Butamaru Gyoza

We started off our meal with some GYOZA, PHP 140 (or USD 2.8). It is a popular dish eaten alongside ramen as a side dish. The owner of Butamaru was delighted to tell us that they make their gyozas fresh every day. The combination of the pillowy softness from being steamed, the deliciously crisp underside, and the lovely filling make for a good tasting gyoza. Best to eat it in one bite so as not to lose the meat juices. In addition, you may dip it in a 1:1 ratio of mixed soy sauce and rice vinegar. What we usually do is quickly pour it together in the served dipping sauce bowl.

 

Butamaru Toriten

Moving on, we also got to try out their TORITEN, PHP 210  (or USD 4.23). This may look like a chicken karaage, at first glance, for some but it’s actually not. It’s actually a Tempura style chicken which is famous in the Oita prefecture, Japan. We honestly don’t know how an original Toriten is supposed to be. What we know for sure is that this has a light and crispy coating yet the meat remains tender.

 

Ramen

As mentioned, Butamaru offers a variation of ramen inspired by the Hakata-style ramen. We state variation since the owner adjusted the ramen to the Filipino’s palate. First, the noodles are bigger and softer which Me-An loved. I, on the other hand, prefer the ultra-thin, straight, firm noodles but it didn’t bother me too much.

Another difference is that their 16-hour tonkotsu (boiled bone pork) broth is light which lets one taste the flavor of a satisfying bowl of ramen. Their ramen also don’t come with SOFT-BOILED EGG so you’ll just have to note that you have to pay an additional PHP 50 (or USD 1) for it.

By the way, if you have ramen leftovers, you won’t be able to bring it home. The good news is, while other ramen restaurants don’t allow take outs, Butamaru offers such. So you can enjoy their ramen also in the comfort of your home. What they do is to put the broth and the noodles in separate containers for the noodles not to turn mushy. However, it is highly encouraged for their ramens to be eaten in the restaurant.

 

Shio Ramen

For their ramen, we were able to try out two of their ramens with Me-An trying out their SHOYU RAMEN, PHP 340 (or USD 6.84) with soft-boiled egg plus PHP 50 (or USD 1). With the tonkotsu broth, shoyu (or soy sauce) is supposedly used as the seasoning. We couldn’t detect it. What we tasted was a hint of smoky, garlicky flavor from the burnt garlic oil drizzled on top of it.

The combination of those with the quality ingredients: the noodles, fall apart tender Chashu pork, wood ear mushrooms, green onion, and roasted sesame seeds created a ramen bowl that Me-An could finish. She normally has leftovers particularly the pork but Butamaru’s ramen is an exception.

Butamaru Curry Tantanmen

I, on the other hand, tasted their bestseller, the CURRY TANTANMEN, PHP 370 (or USD 7.45) with soft-boiled egg plus PHP 50 (or USD 1). Using the same tonkotsu broth, this variation has the signature spicy and nutty flavor of the Chinese dandanmian or dan dan noodles. However, Butamaru did was to put a unique twist to it by adding Japanese curry that has a milder flavor than the Indian counterpart. It is served with minced pork, wood ear mushrooms, green onion, roasted sesame seeds, and Chinese cabbage.

One sip of the spicy and thick curry broth and I know that I am in for a ramen that’s bound for an extra loud slurp. That is how good it is!  I would have to say that this is the best Curry Tan Tan Mien that I’ve had in the Philippines! I’m craving for it just thinking again of BUTAMARU!

 

Dessert

Black Sesame Ice cream

I asked the owner if I could try their BLACK SESAME ICE CREAM, PHP 100 (or USD 2 ). According to the owner, there is a supplier who supplies him the ice cream, but the flavor is actually custom made just for him. Trying it out, the flavor of the black sesame was mild, but what actually got me sold is how creamy it is. I was eating it very fast that I even forgot to share it with Me-An.

 

 

BONUS: Lunch Set

Lunch Set

On top of ala carté meals, they also offer reasonable lunch meals on weekdays. There are three lunch sets to choose from which costs PHP 360 (or 7.24 USD) the one we were served with comes with  was their SET A which has the following:

 

  • Ramen of choice

SET A Butamaru

The owner offered us their Shio ramen since it is his personal favorite. I could see why. It’s a pretty straightforward ramen and where one can just focus on the flavors. I actually didn’t eat this at the restaurant since we were already full. We had it wrapped and I only got to eat it two days after. Despite it, it still tasted delicious. Something I don’t get to say every day.

 

  • 3 pieces of gyoza
3 pieces of gyoza

Their gyoza was deep fried to perfection. Plus, we love that they included shredded cabbage topped with Japanese mayonnaise on the side.

 

  • Chahan
Chahan

Me-An took it home and enjoyed it as it was neither greasy nor salty. She mentioned that, with the ingredients of it, it can be a meal in itself.

 

  • Dessert of the day
Dessert of the Day Butamaru

The desserts included changes every day. For the set served to us, it came with fresh watermelon slices.

Butamaru’s other sets are SET B which has the following:

  • Chashudon
  • Soup
  • 5 pieces of gyoza
  • Dessert of the day

 

And SET C which has the following:

  • Toriten
  • Soup
  • 1 pc. pork bun
  • Chahan
  • Dessert of the day

 

Spending Less on Dining

Butamaru Yogo and Cream

Overall, we found Butamaru’s prices to be reasonable for the quality of its food. Utilizing the Big Dish mobile application to dine there makes it even MORE reasonable. One can get from 10% to 50% discount that’s perfect for those who want to save money but doesn’t want to avoid dining out.

 

 

 

Also, my other thoughts on Butamaru is that although the Japanese restaurant scene is pretty much saturated by now, the owner still found a way to keep its selection unique by offering some changes to the dishes to make it even better. We’ll definitely be back for their ramen plus their very filling lunch sets.

UPDATE: We forgot to mention in this blog post. Butamaru is set to have a branch in Ortigas so north peeps won’t have to travel further to be able to try their food offerings.

 

[UPDATE] as of August 17

Katsu Gyozayaki
KATSU GYOZAYAKI

Butamaru now offers Izakaya dishes which small inexpensive snacks served to accompany alcoholic drinks in an Izakaya type of Japanese bar. So we weren’t able to try this as it didn’t reach out table but this is pretty interesting. It is ball shaped gyoza covered in breaded and deep fried like a Katsu. Afterwards, it is served in a Takoyaki style as it is topped with takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise dried bonito shavings, and green laver.

 

Aruba Soba
ABURA SOBA

Another new offering of Butamaru is this. It is a soupless ramen with bamboo shoots, egg yolk, pork, leeks, and their special oil.

 

Aruba Soba

Upon mixing it, one would be reminded of Chinese’s Zha Jiang Mian but the taste is completely different, of course. The ramen bathes in a heavy savory flavor that made us forget about wanting to slurp a broth. You must try this unique ramen noodles.

 

Butamaru

Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City
Operating Hours: 11:30AM to 10:00PM daily.

Butamaru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

16 Responses to “[UPDATED] Eat a Variation of the Hakata-Style Ramen at Butamaru”

  1. The food looks delicious! It makes me want to visit the place. But the place is so far away~ T_T Aww, I love Japanese food pa naman. Hope they’ll open a branch here in Makati in the future. Haha!

    Btw, I watched your video and the quality is really good! What camera do you use? 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi! I use Canon 760D for most of our videos and Me-An’s iPhone 7 whenever I forget to bring my camera or its battery is drained 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wow, galing, you can reserve, super hi-tech now a days, I also love Japanese foods, I think it’s reasonable enough because, their servings are actually good and a lot, yes I was about to ask as well what camera do you use on vlogging?

    Reply
  3. Oh this is a very new ramen place to me. Im curious about the Toriten. It looks scrumptious! Ramen has become my comfort food these past weeks. I couldn’t blame myself though, the weather is freaking cold especially here in our province. Im just glad there’s a ramen house i can visit in an hour.. i would love to try this place soon 🙂

    Reply
  4. I have always, always been a fan of Ramen and this post is making me drooooool! I really prefer the customisability of Ramen Nagi but I have given other houses a try. I find the thick noodles here are a little weird for me but since you have shown me lotssss of pictures, I will reconsider 😂 The price is not even bad at all! A big bowl of Ramen for less than P500. How I hope I can finish the bowl. I think it’s really big. Haha

    Reply
  5. Oh wow, this food looks amazing. I love pork, so this is up all. You video is pretty cool too. My favourite dish is the Ramen with the soft boiled egg boiled in pork broth. These flavours sounds absolutely tantalizing

    Reply
  6. I believe, Ramen is very similar to noodles? I haven’t ever tried Japanese food but looking at the texture and look of the curry I guess I’ll loving any of their vegetarian options for sure… Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Me-An!!! You guys were so cute in the video! Watched ’til the end! Hihihi. Food trips are always fun with your significant other! The craving is REAL, oh my gosh. The food looks delicious, and I love how the owners really took the time to learn the art of making that specific type of Ramen!

    Reply
  8. this place is making my mouth water. I love it and impressed that the owner actually went to Japan to learn how to make Japanese food before he opens the shop. The black sesame ice cream attracted my eyes as I was reading this post. I hope to be able to go there sometime to try it out.

    Reply
  9. Oh my gosh, your photos are making me hungry! I absolutely love ramen. I didn’t always love it until I tried authentic Japanese ramen. I’d love to try this. It’s really all about the broth, and I can tell that the broth in these ramen bowls are creamy and tasty.

    Reply
  10. OMG. This made me crave ramen right now! And we’re the same.. I love Japanese cuisine too. Actually everything Japanese.. their culture is just so interesting. And I’m also trying to learn Japanese these days because of my love of animes. Anyway.. me ang my boyfriend is also in the search for the best ramen in town. So far, the top on our list is Ippudo. Maybe one of these days we’ll try this one and see if it can be part of best ramen list. lol!

    Reply
  11. I can feel Japan on your photos already!! It made me crave for ramen at this ungodly hour. Huhuhu! Their ramen looks delicious and expensive ah but I was surprised that it’s only around 300pesos. I was actually expecting that it will cost P500. And the set meals too! I really wanna try it but I’m a north girl! I cant wait for the Ortigas branch. Please come soon.

    Reply
  12. Why is the egg quite expensive? hahahaha But well, I find the menu interesting particularly the types of ramen offered here. I love the idea that they offer different desserts every day plus the gyoza is freshly made each day. Something to give a try, indeed!

    Reply
    • The egg’s price is pretty average for a Japanese restaurant. The egg isn’t a simple one since it’s still marinated for several hours. Only after then will it be soft boiled. I know a ramen place where they charge PHO 80 for an egg.

      Reply

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