Restaurants / Bars

Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar Does Justice to Japanese Comfort Favorites

June 25, 2018

Ohayo began as a small kiosk of the same name that churned out maki and sushi from their small space  stationed at Tomas Morato (before moving to Timog Avenue). But owners Mikko Cayetano, Richard Legarda, and Chef Jorge Mendez sought to expand the venture, from the venue size to the variety of items on offer—and the result is Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar, a full-fledged extension of the former kiosk along Granada, Quezon City.

At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Jorge Mendez, who has extensive culinary experience under his belt (he’s worked with the likes of Angelo Comsti and Margarita Fores) and who cites Japanese cuisine as one he constantly comes to crave.

More than maki and sushi, you’ll find other Japanese-inspired bites that include appetizers, salads, fried items, buns, and notably, ramen. Ohayo does not make claims to authenticity, instead going for “creative Japanese comfort food” and offering them at prices accessible to the Quezon City crowd. But by no means does this translate to any sort of compromise as you’ll find the same degree of care put into food, using high quality ingredients, employing long, slow cooking where applicable, and making whatever components they can (including their ramen noodles) from scratch. Here are our top picks:

Gyoza

Ohayo’s gyoza comes surrounded by a “net” of hane that makes for an even crisper bite.

Not your ordinary pan-fried dumpling, Ohayo’s gyoza arrives with a striking pinwheel-like arrangement, thanks to the hane—literally “wings”, or a thin, crisp top “crust” that holds the six gyoza pieces together. All parts from the filling to the wrappers are made in-house, and the result is a dumpling with a balanced, meaty interior and a good amount of bite from its exterior.

Tsukemen

Take your pick between the thinner machine-cut or the thicker hand-cut versions of their house-made noodles; we recommend the latter for how well it stands up to the flavorful broth.

Tsukemen refers to a style of ramen that has the soup and the noodles served separately for dipping and slurping as you go. Ohayo’s version highlights their house-made noodles (take your pick between the thinner machine-cut or the thicker hand-cut version), made with a mix of bread flour, cake flour, and Alkaline water for the proper earthy taste and springy consistency. On the side is a concentrated pork and fish broth cooked for four hours, resulting in a rich, thick soup redolent with umami that unites the tender chashu, nori, spring onions, and soft-boiled egg mixed in.

Salmon Poke Bowl

Be sure to ask about Ohayo’s off-menu specials; you don’t want to miss out on this flavorful bowl!

Among Ohayo’s off-menu (but must-order) specials is their bibimbapinspired take on a poke bowl, combining ebiko (shrimp roe), red cabbage, gochujang-marinated salmon, squid ink tanoke, and a house-made Korean sauce on sticky sushi rice. When you’re done admiring its colorful arrangement (your Instagram feed will be happy), mix everything up and dig in to best enjoy the party of flavors and textures as they erupt in the mouth.


Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar

Japanese comfort favorites done especially well.

Contact: 0927-552-1212
Address: 30 Granada Avenue, Villa Ortigas II, Valencia, Quezon City
Visit: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10AM-1AM
Spend: Php100-200 for appetizers, sides and buns; Php300-400 for ramen; Php200-300 for sushi, maki, and rice bowls
Follow: Facebook / Instagram

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes

Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.

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