Tomochan brings authentic yet affordable ramen to Filipinos

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

Tomochan branch in Fairview Terraces

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.”

Tomo is the shortened form of “Tomodachi,” a Japanese term which 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.

Company Logo

Last weekend, 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.

The restaurant’s menu, I found out, is composed of shoyu (soy-based broth) ramen and miso ramen varieties as well as rice meals. Its 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. Price starts at Php99 so that’s definitely a steal.

Miso Vegee Ramen

As for Japanese rice meals, Tomochan currently has three choices available in its menu. These are Chicken Karaage, Katsu, and Gyoza, all competitively-priced at Php79.

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

Shoyu Basic

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

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 (Php139) 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 flavor; the noodles are firm and good to the bite; the pork slices are tender; and the vegetables were crisp. I would consider it as a perfect bowl.

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.

Katsu Rice
Gyoza Rice

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.

Akiko Okamoto introducing the company during the briefing

Currently, the franchise fee is set at Php160,000 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 trainings’ 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, Okamato 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 in realizing their goal because you can feel their passion as they discuss their plans and outlook.

With the owners after the event

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.

For the complete locations of Tomochan branches, you may refer here:

  • Food Choices, Level 2, Marquee Mall, Angeles City, Pampanga
  • Picnic, Lower Ground, New Point Mall, Angeles City, Pampanga
  • Fiesta Market, Solenad 3, Nuvali Park, Santa Rosa, Laguna
  • Food Choices, Level 2, Fariview Terraces, Quezon City
  • Food Odyssey, 11/F, LKG Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City

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

For similar stories, please click here.

Tomochan Ramen Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Author: Ivan Jose

Narrating stories from the perspective of two souls who are both devoid of pretensions or appetite for anything ostentatious. This blog is about living life, pursuing passions, realizing dreams, appreciating culture and history, and just being happy.

42 Replies to “Tomochan brings authentic yet affordable ramen to Filipinos

  1. As someone who recently tried ramen for the first time, I love hearing about it from people who know more about it than I do! In your opinion, what goes into the perfect bowl of ramen?

    1. Thank you. Great noodles of course plus a broth that is packed with flavor. That, I think, is the base for any perfect ramen. The rest of the ingredients are just for enhancing flavor.

  2. Good to know that Ms. Akiko Okamoto, expanding this chain of Ramen Express and she is taking care of every-ones pocket. This is must for Ramen lovers. I would love to try this. Coming this may…:)

  3. Oh my gosh, yum. This looks like a great place to eat. I just love ramen. I’ve always wanted to go to a place like this.

  4. Ramen is life for most Asian like me– I miss my homeland . Aside from the beautiful beaches there and breathtaking scenery the food is always the best. I feel like I want to make a trip any time soon. I would love to visit this Ramen Express once I get there.

    1. Yes, for most people who are in foreign land, it’s food that they miss the most. I’m sure you miss a lot of food and would definitely indulge on these when you get home. I hope you get to visit your home soon.

  5. The food looks great. Less is more. Also, the price of the franchise fee for 3 years appears to be incredible. So glad you got a chance to enjoy authentic ramen

  6. I love Ramen, I think it’s one of my favourite dishes! This place looks really great, I’d love to visit that venue with my friends. I bet that all of these dishes are really yummy! 🙂

  7. I will have to tell my brother about this place! I LOVE ramen and we have a nice restaurant by where we live and its so delicious! The dishes you pictured look so tasty! I would love to visit this place someday!

  8. Ramen is one of our favorites to try different things with and these look so delicious. I would love to give these a go!

  9. Yumm this ramen looks good. I am also so glad to see that there are more options than just broth based soup since I’m vegan I need these miso and soy options. IDK if I’ll visit the Philipines any time soon but it’s always nice to know I have these food options.

    XO Andie Sparkles

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