Hamakaze Japanese Restaurant Cebu
The King of Sinulog is off to Hamakaze Japanese Restaurant in A.S. Fortuna Cebu to try out some ramen. Now when I hear the word ramen, I usually associate it with Naruto, the lead ninja anime character who worships this Japanese noodle dish. Regular noodles from Nissin or Lucky Me has always been enough for me though I’ve always been curious to try the best ramen in town to know what the fuss was about. The first time I was able to taste my first ramen was at Waterfront’s Mizu just last month and it was not enough for me to gain a good grasp of it since four of us shared a bowl. Thankfully, Taka-san knew what was on my mind and that was to figuratively drown us with all types of ramen available on their menu.
Taka-san is a young restaurateur hailing from Japan. He has a couple of restaurants scattered in Southeast Asia and has been always travelling from time to time to check the status of his businesses meeting new friends along the way. This was how he met Marina, the one currently managing Hamakaze.
Hamakaze roughly translates to ‘beach wind’ and is also an icon of the Japanese Navy. Located across Jollibee in A.S.Fortuna, Hamakaze is quite inconspicuous. Entering the 25 seater restaurant, the design is quite minimalistic, with one area allocated for a demonstration of how the dish are prepared. The second floor is where the restroom is located and is still under development for a shabu-shabu place and bar. Hamakaze is open until the wee hours of dawn usually catering to guests looking to revitalize their wasted state.
Taka-san sits with us to commence the meal. We start off with Gyoza, a kind of pork dumpling and Tori Karaage, a crispy and tender chicken fillet. Our drinks are served consisting of Japanese fruity cocktails and imported beers such as Asahi and Kirin Ichiban. As we are tasting everything on the table, Taka-san shares to us his story and on how the restaurant came to be. The dishes were promising and there was quite a gap before the next dish was served questioning if that was all we came here to eat but what we don’t realize is that we are up to try five types of ramen in the next few minutes and that was just foreplay.
This dining experience taught me that authentic ramen differs on the soup base, the ingredients such as vegetables and meat and the type of noodle used. Some are eaten dry and some are eaten cold. But the thing that left an impression on me was the secret ingredient known as collagen.
After a quick Google search, I learned that chicken wings contain high levels of collagen, and is said to have anti-aging and anti-balding effects, as well as serving to strengthen bones and joints. This broth is achieved after an overnight sous vide along with secret ingredients to achieve that distinct and full flavor that is quite a stand-out in Hamakaze’s ramen choices.
Of all the five ramen, my ultimate favorite is Tsukemen, cold noodle with toppings, side chicken collagen soup and dip. This dish is literally out of this world and I highly recommend it when you decide to visit Hamakaze. Another must-try is their Abura Soba which is similar to the regular pancit canton and the Hiyashi Chuka, their own version of dry noodles.
For inquiries and reservations, you may call (032) 505 4220 or check out their Facebook page. Hamakaze Ramen Restaurant is located in AYS Building, A.S. Fortuna Street, Banilad, Mandaue City, Philippines.