As a guy who grew up in Taiwan, I’m a big fan of noodles (牛肉面!). When I arrived in the Philippines, I discovered there was a Ramen-hype. Ramen shops were opening left and right: Ippudo, Ramen Nagi, Hanamaruken, Wrong Ramen to name a few. And though pricey, I’ve grown to appreciate and crave for a steaming hot bowl of ramen. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
To my delight, my wife suggested a place called Butamaru located inside Westgate Center, Alabang. The restaurant has two floors, the first with a bar facing the kitchen where you can eat by yourself or with six other people. The second floor has several small tables and booths for families and friends.
During our visit, Butamaru had three types of lunch sets that was available from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. Each set is P380.
- Set A came with a medium sized bowl of Ramen, three-pcs Gyoza, Chahan fried rice, and dessert
- Set B had Chashudon, soup, five-pcs Gyoza, and dessert
- Set C had Toriten, soup, Goma Dare Chashu Reimen, and dessert
My wife and I both ordered Set A for the Ramen. While she got the salt-based Shio Tonkotsu, I had the spicy peanut and sesame Tantanmen. The Tantanmen is very rich and you can choose to order a version that’s not very spicy. The Shio Ramen is very mild compared to the Tantanmen, but it’s a good alternative if you don’t want your taste buds overwhelmed. The Gyoza was a nice addition, but the Chahan rice was an afterthought to my wife and myself. I would have been happy getting the Ramen by itself. They topped it off with fruit salad that they served when we were done with the main course.
So how does it compare to other ramen shops? I thought it was quite good. It didn’t blow me away like Hanamaruken or Ippudo, but if you’re in the south and you’re craving for ramen, it’s not a bad alternative.