Tomochan Ramen Express brings authentic yet affordable ramen to Filipinos

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

If you want delicious yet extremely affordable ramen, try Tomochan Ramen Express.

Tomochan Ramen Express is a relatively new entrant in the local ramen scene yet it is already boldly carving a name for itself in the industry. Unlike most similar restaurants, it is positioning itself as an affordable alternative for those who want to enjoy authentic and delicious ramen without breaking their budget.

Tomochan Ramen Express food lineup

Tomochan Ramen Express brings authentic yet affordable ramen to Filipinos

    About Tomochan Ramen Express


    Tomochan Ramen Express served its first bowls of ramen in Angeles City, Pampanga in July last year. In a span of eight months, Tomochan has grown to five branches with locations in Ayala Fairview Terraces, Marquee Mall, Solenad, LKG Tower, and New Point Mall. 

    Tomochan Ramen Express outlet
    Tomochan's branch in Ayala Fairview Terraces

    These stores can be found inside food courts, a deliberate strategy to give more diners quick and easy access to their favorite Japanese dishes.

    According to its founder, Ms. Akiko Okamoto, Tomochan plans to expand in the next few years to more locations around Metro Manila and in Batangas so that more Filipinos can have a taste of real Japanese ramen at a reasonable price.

    Tomochan is your daily Japanese ramen


    Tomochan is a combination of the words “Tomo” and “Chan.”

    Tomochan Ramen Express logo
    Tomochan's logo

    Tomo is the shortened form of "Tomodachi," a Japanese term that means “friend” while “Chan” is a Japanese word that is used to refer to little children, female family members, and close friends. Tomochan is thus a name that connotes solid friendship; one that espouses love, loyalty, and dedication.

    My experience at Tomochan


    I had the privilege to be invited to try out some of Tomochan’s offerings together with other food bloggers from the metro. It was good that the event was held at Tomochan’s Ayala Fairview Terraces branch which was near our house.

    Tomochan Ramen Express blogger event
    Blogger event

    The restaurant’s menu, I found out during the briefing, is composed of shoyu (soy-based broth) ramen and miso ramen varieties as well as rice meals. 

    Miso Vegee Ramen from Tomochan Ramen Express
    Miso Vegee Ramen

    Tomochan's soy-based lineup is composed of Shoyu Basic, Shoyu Vegee, Spicy Shoyu Tantan, and Shoyu Special. Meanwhile, its miso-based selections are Miso Basic, Miso Vegee, Spicy Miso Tantan, and Miso Special. The price starts at Php99 so that’s definitely a steal.

    Shoyu Basic from Tomochan Ramen Express
    Shoyu Basic

    As for Japanese rice meals, Tomochan currently has three choices available on its menu. These are Chicken Karaage, Katsu, and Gyoza, all competitively-priced at P79.

    For diners who would want to sample all the dishes on offer, set meals composed of rice meals and ramen are available. Even better news is that Tomochan has a delivery service, unlike other similar ramen restaurants.

    The food


    My orders were served to steam hot and freshly-cooked. Most ramen restaurants recommend sipping the broth while it is hot in order to fully enjoy the flavors.

    Katsu rice from Tomochan Ramen Express
    Katsu Rice

    I had the Miso Vegee Ramen and the Katsu Rice and I would say that the quality and authenticity of the food is impressive considering its price.

    The Miso Vegee Ramen (P139) was served with half soft-boiled egg, 2 slices of pork, and fresh leeks and vegetables. I was not really expecting much at first but after my initial sip, I knew that it can compete well with most Japanese ramen restaurants around the metro.

    The broth had a lot of flavors; the noodles are firm and good to the bite; the pork slices are tender, and the vegetables were crisp. I would consider this a perfect bowl of ramen.

    Tomochan Ramen Express' gyoza rice
    Gyoza Rice

    Tomochan has a big potential in successfully bringing authentic Japanese ramen closer to more Filipinos. No need to wait for payday to treat yourself to a nice bowl of ramen – have it any time you crave it at Tomochan.

    As for the Katsu rice meal, the pork slices may look a little dry and overcooked at first but that is not so. The coating is of the right thickness and the meat inside is still tender and effortlessly succumbing to the bite.

    Tomochan indeed lives up to its tagline, “Your daily Japanese Ramen.”

    Building a ramen empire


    Tomochan plans to aggressively grow its branches in the next year or so to around 100 outlets. Okamoto said that they intend to build a ramen empire through organic growth as well as franchising opportunities.

    Tomochan Ramen Express founder Akiko Okamoto
    Akiko Okamoto explaining Tomochan's business expansion strategy

    Currently, the franchise fee is set at P160,000 for a term of three years. This includes rights to use Tomochan’s name, trademarks, and systems; site evaluation and approval; exclusive classroom and hands-on training, pre-opening and opening assistance; Tomochan’s operations manual; consistent business support through consulting and filed visits; marketing and promotions support; rights to use the company’s proprietary products and services; and access to accredited and exclusive suppliers.

    In terms of running their business, Okamoto said that while Tomochan’s unique selling proposition is its affordability, they uphold discipline when it comes to their day to day dealings as well as in safeguarding the quality of their products. 

    You can tell that Okamoto and her team are serious about realizing their goal because you can feel their passion as they discuss their plans and outlook.

    Epilogue


    On the whole, it was an event that I enjoyed. It was nice talking to the owners who are eager to make a success story happen and who are generous in sharing their insights with regard to their business.

    What’s even good to know is that Tomochan is offering a novel, sort of a guerilla concept that is not often encountered in the local ramen dining scene.

    Tomochan Ramen Express Branches


    Tomochan has branches in the following locations. You can call the indicated telephone numbers if you want to make inquiries:

    Ayala Fairview Terraces

    Food Choices, Second Floor, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Maligaya Road Corner Quirino Highway, Novaliches, Quezon City

    LKG Tower

    Food Odyssey, 11th Floor, LKG Tower, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City

    SM Cherry Shaw

    Foodarama, Upper Ground Floor, SM Cherry Shaw, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City

    Ali Mall

    Food Gallery, Third Floor, Ali Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

    SM Mall of Asia (MOA)

    Food Court, Fourth Floor, W Mall, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
    Telephone number: +639957557275

    Eden Food Hall - BGC

    Eden Food Hall, Second Floor, 32nd and Fifth Building, 32nd Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
    Telephone number: +639567680321

    SM City Valenzuela

    Food Court, Third Floor, SM City Valenzuela, MacArthur Highway, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City

    Filinvest city

    OYO Amore Hotel Manila, Alabang Interchange, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City

    Ortigas Center

    Sixth Floor, One Corporate Centre, Julia Vargas corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City

    Trinoma Mall

    The Landmark, Trinoma Mall, Ground Floor, Food Court, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City

    Starmall Alabang

    Commune Hall, Lower Ground Floor, Starmall Alabang, South Superhighway, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

    SM City Sucat

    Food Court, Second Floor, Mall A, SM City Sucat, San Dionisio, Parañaque City

    Sampaloc

    2nd Floor, The ONE Torre De Santo Tomas, España Boulevard 1015 Sampaloc, Manila

    Franchising inquiries


    For franchising opportunities, you may inquire through the following:
    Contact numbers: (045) 304-4353, 09770635706, 0915-4826019
    Email: [email protected]
    Social media: Facebook and Instagram via @tomochanph

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