I dig deep in my pockets with a semi-chilled hand struggling to grab some yen. It’s 2 degrees outside and my bones are shivering in the cold. My buddy and I have passed a few restaurants and have peered at many glass displays of plastic laminated dishes. My mind calculated conversions several times and finally, I was ready to enter the opened door covered in black clothe and finally order dinner.
I enter a recently opened restaurant along Jupiter Street and I thought I was right smack back in a street alley in Tokyo, Japan 6 years ago. There is a street cart, a barbershop, store fronts, cobblestones around that give an illusion of being in the country of the Rising Sun with ninjas waiting to slide down the roof shutters and pounce on you with karate chops.
The only stretching of the fingers happening here is my balancing act of holding chopsticks while picking food off my plate or soup bowl.
UCC Coffee franchised Mitsuyado Seimen from Japan and made it available locally. Let’s see what it has to offer.
On the table
Karashi Tsukemen P250 / regular
Mitsuyado Seimen Ramen with a sub line of House of Tsukumen makes me deduce its specialty is Tsukumen. I hit google and typed the word on the box. Tsukemen literally means dipping noodles. Noodles are served with dipping soup and toppings on the side, deviating from the usual way the Japanese eat ramen.
Cold noodles lay on a white plate with a bowl of soup or more appropriately, dipping sauce. The way I ate it was to pick up the noodles with my chopsticks and lower it on the red dipping sauce. I watch as the semi-thick noodles slither in the small bowl absorbing what it can from it swimming spree. I take a bite of the newly soaked noodles and a sip of the soup and enjoy the chewy texture and spicy flavor.
If you feel you want more toppings on your Tsukumen, order the Marutoku which is a small plate of all extra things you might need to accompany your ramen or Tsukumen, like yasai or chopped sautéed veggies, seaweed, char siu or pork slice, and the soft boiled Japanese egg.
Double Cheese Tsukemen P340 / regular
Double the fun for cheese maniacs… Same as the first dish, noodles are separated from its accompanying broth. Noodles are dusted with grated Parmesan cheese (and if that ain’t enough, because frankly, whoever gets satisfied with anything anyway?) and served with melted cheese on the side. The broth for dipping is the original yuzu flavored soup. It’s less spicy that the Karashi broth but it seemed creamier and perfect for the double cheese tsukumen. Heavy cheesy flavors going on in here!
Japanese pot stickers, nothing fancy except that the sauces are laid on the table for your own mixing and ratio. I liked how it had a good burnt color on one side of the Gyoza that gave it a good crunchy aspect.
Chicken Karaage P190
Sichuan Tan Tan Tsukumen P280
Another alternative for Tsukumen
Cheese Curry Tsukumen P340 / regular
Small bowl of cheese sauce was served with the Tsukumen. Layer some cheese on the noodles before dipping it on the curry dipping sauce. Let some of the cheese sauce drip into the soup that just makes it creamier. Although I liked the spiciness of the Karashi Tsukumen, I particularly relished the layers of flavor with this Tsukumen from the semi-sharp cheese flavor to the biting curry taste.
Take home pastries from the bakery next door.
Mitsuyado Seimen has an interesting interior design as well as Tsukumen dishes to offer. I don’t mind going back again and ordering the Cheesy Curry Tsukumen but I think I should pay Mangetsu another long overdue visit.
With all these ramen craze going around, is Manila ready for a Tsukumen explosion?
No. 22 Jupiter St
Brgy. Bel Air, Makati City
(632) 511 1390
11 AM – 12 MN Daily