Instant noodles, among a lineup of instant everything, form a great part of the Filipino diet. Nissin was my introduction to ramen and it took some time for several tsunamis to wash some real Japanese ramen chefs ashore. The origins of ramen are a point of great debate as it can be argued that it is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese lo’mien. This argument would support a simplification of the Book of Genesis where, in The Beginning, God created China then China took care of making everything else. The Nine-Dash Lined dish made its way South to the Philippines and even further down to the Queen City where it was highlighted of recent at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casinos’ Japanese culinary diadem, Mizu. Mizu’s Flavors of Ramen series come in definite characteristics as in Kurosawa’s Seven.
The classic, rich Pork Bone Broth,Tonkotsu, serves as the base for Pork Spareribs, Egg and Ramen Noodles in the Tonkotsu Ramen. The broth, milky from the hours-long boiling of pork bones is not a far cry from the Pinoy Pochero only that it boasts of pork’s sweet meat flavor versus the heavier beef and has Japanese elements of Chasyu and Narutomaki.
Hokkaido takes the stage in Mizu’s Miso Ma-Botofu where the salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory flavors of the soy ferment bathe Ground Beef, Tofu, Egg, Sweetcorn, Beansprouts and Ramen Noodles in its Miso Soup. Chasyu and Naruto, again, tie into the theme.
The subtlety of Torigara, a chicken-bone soup stock, allows the creaminess of Coconut Milk to marry the briny flavor of Prawn to the relatively clean taste of Squid in the Seafood Milk Ramen.
The Japanese invasion of Korea gave birth to the Ramyeon, the name arguably the Korean pronunciation of Ramen; tying up that Oriental loop. Perhaps in reference to that time of war and eventual peace, Mizu’s Spicy Kimuchi Ramen engages the fiery spice of Korean Kimchi –or, in yet another ligual twist, Kimuchi — in a treatise with Chasyu, Egg and Ramen Noodles in Tonkotsu Soup.
Green jokes were traded at the table at the mention of Stamina Ramen. It, thankfully, favored protein-packed but tamer cuts of beef versus the expected aphrodisiacal with the Ramen Noodles, Tonkotsu Soup and the unifying Chasyu and Egg.
The all-too familiar breaded pork cutlet, Pork Katsu, sits on top of Chasyu, Egg, Ramen Noodles and Tonkotsu Soup with Curry Powder for a touch of earthy, spicy depth in what was the heaviest of the series.
Grilled Beef Patties with a good, smoky char; like the Katsu above; figure into a bowl with Chasyu, Egg, Ramen Nooodles and Torigara Soup in Mizu’s Hambago Ramen. Torigara was the perfect pair to allow the beef patty flavor through. Naturally appealing to the burger addict in me, I guess this makes the Hamburgero a Hambagolo.
Mizu, meaning water, represents fluid, flowing things adapting and changing. As the restaurant, Mizu, relaunches with resident Japanese Chef Ken Imamura’s renditions of ramen, it reaches into unique adaptations while keeping true to core traditions. Presenting, The Ramen Seven.
Mizu is located at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casinos. For inquiries and reservations, please call 232-6888 local 8603.