I always pass by The Grove Rockwell on my way to Eastwood. From the outside, it looks so quiet and cozy. Finally, one Sunday I managed to drive by and step inside. Who knew that this place has the most beautiful Starbucks layout in the city? You have to see it to admire it 🙂
But I did not stop by to have coffee or munch on chicken wings at Sunrise Buckets. Somehow I was craving for ramen and finding Hanamaruken was perfect. I was curious to try this ramen joint since it was listed by a Japanese expert as one of the Top 10 ramen restos in Manila (other brands like Ippudo have been added since).
As expected, this Hanamaruken branch had Japanese-inspired interiors, but I swear I don’t know what the inscriptions on the wall mean…
I ordered the Signature Happiness Ramen which is the house specialty and the most expensive bowl at P480. The big chunk of pork (the house calls it pork bone rib) was what caught my attention. It looked so massive and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish it 🙂
In fact, the portion of pork overpowered that of the noodles. In my opinion, it would have been better if it was the other way around. But the house really meant business when they say “rich tonkotsu broth.” The flavor and the appearance of the ramen was testament to the fact that they simmered it for hours on end using the old Osaka recipe.
For curiosity’s sake, we also ordered the Happiness Rice Bowl (P250) which was again filled with shoyu-flavored pork rib. I don’t know about the happiness word, but this wasn’t enough to keep me hooked.Let me just say that I’ve had tastier rice toppings.
The branch at The Grove Rockwell is Hanamaruken Philippines’ third branch after Trinoma and Alabang Center. Maybe next time I will try the other less expensive ramen varieties in the house (P280 for the salary man & chasyu ramen) when the craving hits again. For now, it’s nice to put this chain in the list of the ramen restaurants I’ve tried in the metro.