TAMPOPO たんぽぽ Philippines: Deluxe Black Pig Shabu Ramen and Top Grade Black Pig Tonkatsu! @tampopo_ph

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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: customerservice@tampopo.ph
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.

23 thoughts on “TAMPOPO たんぽぽ Philippines: Deluxe Black Pig Shabu Ramen and Top Grade Black Pig Tonkatsu! @tampopo_ph

  1. I’ve tried the new restaurant twice since they opened as I live in Greenhills.
    Ramen is alright but doesn’t stand out as there are so many good ramen shops nowadays.
    But the Black Pig Tonkatsu at 750 pesos is definitely not worth the price. Pork tastes ordinary and cabbage didn’t feel very fresh. For sure, Ginza Bairin, Yabu, and even Saboten serve better Tonkatsu.
    Oh, a word of caution if you plan on ordering their Calpis Water. The menu shows a photo of Calpis in pet bottle for 85 pesos. But the actual serving is Calpis concentrate mixed with water in a tiny 200ml glass.

  2. Just tried it, was expecting a lot. It wasn’t that good. A lot of ramen restaurants fare much better. Ordered the loin set and the meat was too dry and hard to chew. think the pork was overcooked.

  3. I really don’t understand the prices nowadays. I really don’t get it. I am a frequent traveler around Asia and the prices i’m seeing here in Metro Manila are off the charts. And the even more ridiculous thing is, people are flocking to these establishments. Are Filipinos that rich? Japanese patrons were shocked at the prices. Those are hotel prices. Whats happening?

  4. Tried this restaurant last Saturday because I’ve always trusted the OAP reviews when it comes to ramen, but I was so disappointed. Went with my friend and we ordered the Black Pig Tonkatsu Ramen, karaage, gyoza, and the loin set. They were forgettable and overpriced. Sunday, we went to Yabu and for half the price of what we had in Tampopo, we got better-tasting food, (plus unlimited rice and cabbage) and we were more satisfied. I’d still go to Yabu, Kichitora, or Saboten.
    The service in Tampopo is great, though!

  5. I remember a Tampopo Japanese restaurant that opened in Virra Mall during the 1980s; is it the same franchise, or is the name just being recycled?

  6. Tried it a few weeks ago with my husband. The tonkatsu was impossible to chew!!! Price is on the high side as well . A lot of ramen places sprouting in Manila nowadays, i heard Ippudo ramen would be next

  7. Really soft pork in the black pig top grade. For those that consider it kind of pricey they also serve layered and cheese tonkatsu, heard those are pretty good!
    The likes of Saboten and Yabu only serve ‘average quality’ while Tampopo actually gives you the option of choosing the top of the line to a standard quality that matches the likes of saboten.
    The ‘sets’ for the tonkatsu seems worth it especially when your hungry! you get alot of stuff like soup, rice, cabbage, and watermelon.
    The ramen is basically nice chewy noodles and ‘clean’ tasting broth that you won’t feel like throwing up after drinking all the soup (while still having some body) compared to the likes of ikkoryu which some can find too rich. The noodles are way better than Ippudo’s and I actually tried it recently in HK it is not up to standard anymore after trying tampopo noodles.

  8. I’m very picky when it comes to ramen (since I’ve practically tried and compared almost all ramen places in Manila!) and I have to say, Tampopo’s food quality and taste is way up there. I’ve already been here thrice and I have to commend their consistency in both great food and service. Their black pig tonkatsu is also wonderfully-cooked tender and surprisingly compares better than Yabu’s. Price looked high at first glance but when I saw my order, I knew it was worth every buck. Definitely coming back for a 4th round!

  9. Two things I love about Japanese cuisine are now combined in one place, Tonkatsu and Ramen! I recently tried Tampopo’s Black Pig Tonkatsu Ramen and I was amazed. The aroma alone is very appetizing. The ramen is very flavorful and is perfectly cooked, its combination with the tonkatsu made the dish even more scrumptious. I highly recommend this place to everyone who wishes to satisfy their craving over mouth watering dishes.

  10. Sugoi!!! Looking at the pictures alone is making me hungry! It sure does look like the ones I saw served in Japan! No need to fly out for 4 hours just to satisfy my ramen craving!
    I do trust the price is reasonable because you’re talking about bringing in high quality ingredients to our shores.

  11. Love that you can get both katsu and ramen in one place! 🙂 Loved their chicken katsu, pretty damn delicious. I also tried their soba,and it was a delicious refreshing complement to the katsu. Excited to try more!

  12. I tried their miso ramen and had a taste of my friend’s black pic tonkotsu ramen and loved it! The meat was super tender and yummy and I love that their noodles are so tasty. You know how some ramen dishes have bland tasting noodles which just ruin the broth? Tampopo’s noodles are tasty and chewy! I ordered their steamed gyoza as well and was happy to note that it was stuffed with filling, unlike some other gyoza dishes that are barely stuffed. Having tasted my friend’s tonkotsu ramen, I must say I prefer it to the miso ramen though – I like the creamy tonkotsu broth and was pleasantly surprised that it was light and mild, not too rich or oily as I thought it would be. Ramen-wise I still think Ukkokei is better but Tampopo’s a great alternative for when I crave for tonkotsu based ramen! Oh and i love their refillable iced teas, not too sweet!

  13. This is one place that i will keep coming back for. Very casual restaurant with lots of offerings that always satisfies my friends and I. Tampopo doesn’t have much MSG compared to other establishments as well, which I like very much! Try the Cheese Layered Tonkatsu!

  14. tried tampopo in singapore. I can say that…the ‘authenticity’ of the taste of food was present. Thumbs up for those who brought tampopo in Manila.

  15. Not that fan of Jap food but when I tried tampopo in Manila, it made me crave to try diff kinds of Jap foods. Tampopo has a clean place, excellent food, service was great!! 🙂

  16. My sister actually endorsed this brand to me coz she has tried it twice. As a food lover, Iam not looking on the prices and tampopo might not be that cheap but I should say has a high quality of taste and service so pricely-reasonable. A must try!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Tampopo in Manila has superb food quality interms of katsu and ramen, you really can feel the ‘special meat’ they served. Not minding the breading and less oil comparing to other Japanese resto who offers ‘fried’ foods. Ramen was also appetizing which you’ll surely love. Soup’s milky and noodle’s refinedly yummy. Cozy place, service is excellent. So Probably you’ll be back and try for other foods they have.
    Soooo worth the price 🙂

  18. The Ramen-Katsu tandem is the love team of all season. Fully satisfied costumer regarding food, place and staff. Delicious soup, tasty chewable katsu. I like!!

  19. My officemate introduced this resto to me, so was able to dine there once, but didnt notice that i have been there 4 times already! Hihihi. The place is not boring, nor too elegant but you’ll feel the ambiance just right for you. Happy tummy, since food’s palatable and had a hard time choosing as menu has a lot of variety. Ramen’s good and katsu was 100% far from other japanese resto. Good good good!

  20. Tried the Hokadate Deluxe Ramen, it was “meh”, i don’t see what the fuss was about, nice flavour but too light and watery

  21. I tried going and giving this place a second try, I figured i might appreciate it more the second time around, i ordered a miso ramen and 18 minutes later and still no Ramen I left, lousy service. i don’t think i’ll be going back for thirds.

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