On day two of my yakisoba binge, I went to Asahikawa Ramen Bangaichi in Festival Mall. There’s really a dearth of good Japanese restaurants in Alabang, but we have our gems. Ramen Bangaichi, sadly, is not one of them.   This is actually the third time I’m blogging about Bangaichi, but I guess that just shows how few options I have that I keep eating here over and over.  First entry. Second entry.

Still, there’s precious few places to get some yakisoba around here. So here I am, ready to enjoy a steaming plate of yakisoba.

I've always liked the interiors of Ramen Bangaichi.
I’ve always liked the interiors of Ramen Bangaichi. Sadly, this is never packed. I’ve never even seen the mezzanine opened to customers. This probably is because the food… isn’t that great.

The food here is decent, but a little pricey for what you get most of the time, though some of the stuff is not bad.

So today we order two things: shio ramen and some yakisoba.

The Shio Ramen is the basic tonkotsu ramen. It's 200 here.
The Shio Ramen is the basic tonkotsu ramen. It’s 280 here.

I’ve never been a fan of shio, but at the same time shio let’s you see how good the restaurant’s broth really is, because it’s basically just the broth with some salt added. (Shio means salt) Then it’s garnished with some green onions, bamboo shoots, nori and the all important chaashu (char siu pork cutlet).

I didn’t really enjoy this shio, either. Bangaichi’s ramens mostly lack that sizzling oomph that I expect from a high-end ramen restaurant that charges upwards of 250 bucks for a bowl. It’s simply just not good enough. It tastes similar to tinola except porky instead of chickeny, with nori instead of malunggay. I went here for ramen, not tinola.

I would give this Shio Ramen a thumbs down.

But that’s fine, because the main event is the yakisoba!

Yakisoba in Alabang
This Yakisoba was 180 bucks. Good price for the serving, but how does it taste?

Now, the yakisoba here… is weird. This yakisoba tastes like ketchup mixed with soy sauce. Whatever sauce they used to stir-fry the noodles, it tasted of ketchup. I was not a fan. If I want ketchup in my noodles, I’ll order some bolognese spaghetti at an Italian restaurant.

It’s a more savory version, there’s some hint of soy sauce, but the predominant taste was sour ketchup. I can’t get over it. Don’t feed me ketchup in my yakisoba!

It’s a shame because it had some great components like the benishoga (that’s the red-colored strips of ginger — it’s basically atsara) and  it was sprinkled with crushed nori — you can see it on the plate. There were green peppers in this mix too, which is very unusual but I loved them. There’s also carrots, red peppers, and green onions in addition to normal onions and cabbage. The noodles were great, too!  I loved everything that was in this dish, except for the sauce they used to stir-fry the noodles with.

I really didn’t enjoy it so much, so it needed some extra pepper and sesame to hide the ketchup taste.

Ah, sesame, chili pepper and chili oil sauce. A great way to change the taste of the dish you didn't like!
Ah, sesame, chili pepper and chili oil sauce. A great way to change the taste of the dish you didn’t like!

All in all, I would give this yakisoba a huge thumbs down just because of the ketchup flavor. Seriously. 

 

It’s a shame really. That yakisoba could have been nice, but the sauce needs to be revisited, seriously.

 

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Posted by Erwin Anciano

Erwin has been eating food for the past 30 or so years. Yes, he actually thinks that makes him an expert on all things food-related.

Website: http://emuncher.com