Taste Buds: Not your mama's ramen at Nomama

Posted at 10/06/2011 7:42 PM | Updated as of 10/10/2011 10:44 AM
Ramen figures prominently in Nomama's menu.

MANILA, Philippines - The simple interiors of Nomama Artisanal Ramen allow the food to shine.

The newly opened restaurant at the corners of Scouts Tuason and Castor in Quezon City serves up Japanese-inspired culinary creations made from locally sourced ingredients.

"It's a ramen joint. Artisanal because we've taken a lot of care in the ingredients we put into our ramen. It's not mass-produced. There are no shortcuts. It's something we take great pride in and we put all our energy into one bowl, that's why [it's] artisanal ramen," said proprietor and chef Him Uy de Baron.

As the restaurant's name suggests, ramen figures prominently in Nomama's menu.

"When we designed the menu, everything revolved around the ramen. Not only is it boiled for eight hours -- the stock, the other ingredients are not normally found in a ramen bowl. Everything else is designed toward making the ramen more enjoyable," de Baron said.

"It's a play on 'not your mama's ramen,' not your typical home cooking. Not to say that your mama's ramen is bad or home cooking is bad. It's different. We're fresh. There's something new about Nomama."

Nomama is scheduled to make its official launch sometime this month.

"I envision this as having a lot of stores everywhere. That's how we design everything. Everything's replicable, the design elements are something you can take and open somewhere else. My belief is we can create Filipino brands that can compete locally. This is a restaurant, this might be a franchise," de Baron said.

The food

Nomama's signature ramen is served with stock cooked for eight hours, several slices of pork, soft-boiled egg, sauteed cabbage, sesame oil, garlic oil and nori. The ramen is very flavorful, with distinct flavors from the tahini, the sesame oil and the pork stock all in this one dish.

Unlike other Japanese restaurants, Nomama's foundations are Japanese but the food is given a twist, de Baron said.

"I had this idea when I went to Japan last year, and the Japanese people were doing so many crazy things with Japanese food. The cuisine in Japan has evolved and I wanted to bring a piece of that when I got here. I didn't want to open another Japanese restaurant where you can have the same variety. We wanted to have something new with the best of local ingredients," he said.

"We took a lot of time procuring them. We worked with small farms, organic. We source everything [from] local [producers]. The meat, the pork, the chicken, even the beef is local. Wagyu Kitayama, the wagyu is bred in Bukidnon, it's interbred with local cattle."

One interesting meat dish served with a touch of art in Nomama is the twice-cooked pork with teriyaki sauce.

De Baron said it is made with free-range organic native pig that has been roasted for two hours and then seared. It is served with apple-teriyaki sauce cooked with mirin and a bit of sake and dashi.

The green apples gives a nice contrast to the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce.
Also part of Nomama's' menu is raw compositions which, according to de Baron, are all designed toward freshness.

"I didn't want to open a restaurant where you slice a piece of fish and call it a sashimi," he said.

"Even the condiments. We're using condiments that don't have monosodium glutamate, no preservatives. We're trying to keep it as unprocessed as possible," he added.

TUNA AND AVOCADO SALAD

  • 1/2 cup diced avocado
  • 100 grams raw tuna, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons edamame, cooked and removed from pods
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoon togerashi
  • 3 tablespoons sesame miso dressing
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  1. In a bowl, mix avocado, tuna, edamame, ponzu, togerashi and chives.
  2. Spoon sesame dressing on the plate, and place the tuna.
  3. Top with arugula leaves.

RAMEN

  • 140 grams ramen noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups pork stock
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon tare
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil
  • 4 slices roast pork
  • 1 soft-boiled egg, halved
  • nori for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cabbage, blanched
  1. Place the noodles in a bowl.
  2. Heat soup and mix in miso, tare and salt.
  3. Pour soup into bowl of noodles.
  4. Drizzle with garlic oil. Top with pork, cabbage, egg and nori.

TWICE-COOKED PORK BELLY WITH APPLE-TERIYAKI SAUCE

  • 1/2 kilo pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup green apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup french beans, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Season pork with salt and sugar. Roast in an oven for one hour, uncovered.
  2. Drain pork and sear in a hot pan until skin is crispy.
  3. Saute apples and beans in butter for two minutes. Add teriyaki sauce.
  4. Spoon sauce on the plate. Place the pork slices on top and add more sauce.
  5. Optional: Cover with cling wrap and smoke with apple wood chips using a hand smoker. Serve.

Nomama Artisanal Ramen is located at the ground level of FSS Building, Scout Tuason corner Scout Castor Streets, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. For reservations, call (632) 542-2558.

"Taste Buds," a weekly food segment of "Mornings@ANC," airs on Tuesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. It features chefs and talented foodies as well as their food ventures, house specialties and new items.