restaurants in Metro Manila

Batchoy meets ramen: Margarita Forés collabs with Ramen Ron’s Hiroyuki Tamura

Steph Arnaldo

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Batchoy meets ramen: Margarita Forés collabs with Ramen Ron’s Hiroyuki Tamura
Chef Gaita's favorite Ilonggo dish is turned into ramen with the works – pork liver, torched bone marrow, and crushed chicharon in a soup-er tasty batchoy-based broth!

MANILA, Philippines – Ever had batchoy ramen? Neither have I, until just a few days ago when Chef Margarita Forés of Cibo fame launched the Batchoy Ramen at Ramen Ron, in collaboration with the Japanese restaurant’s executive chef Hiroyuki Tamura.

The first of its kind, the favorite batchoy now takes on the form of Japan’s famous noodle soup dish. It’s a collaboration like no other, the Filipino chef told Rappler, as batchoy is her “most favorite dish” from her hometown and seeing Chef Hiroyuki merge it into his own ramen made for “a super heartwarming collaboration.”

FIRST OF ITS KIND. Chef Margarita Forés and Chef Hiroyuki Tamura celebrate not just a collaboration, but a longtime friendship. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Hiroyuki is very protective of the precision and standards of his recipe, as most Japanese chefs are, so Chef Margarita and her son Amado Forés, owner of Ramen Ron, were grateful for the trust. “He trusts us that we won’t touch the things he wants to keep sacred,” Amado said.

“The batchoy ramen is not too fusion-y. It’s about being respectful – using the best ramen techniques in treating batchoy,” he said. It’s novel to hear of a Filipino version of the Japanese dish, but with Chef Margarita’s powers and Amado’s realization that both dishes had similarities, it has been done!

BATCHOY RAMEN. More batchoy than ramen, this unique take highlights the best of the Ilonggo classic and Chef Margarita’s favorite ingredients. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

A personal ode to Fores’ favorite Negrense delicacy, the Ilonggo classic sticks true to its roots, but using the proper noodles-to-broth ratio of Chef Hiroyuki. Upon first sip, it tastes just like the comforting batchoy, using thin and chewy ramen noodles, and a Ukokkei Batchoy-based broth loaded with the indulgent works (and all of Chef’s favorite ingredients) – pork liver, torched bone marrow, crushed chicharon, a jammy shio tamago, and super tender house-made chashu.

Mix it all together and you have a powerhouse of authentic and nostalgic flavors, made with three key batchoy ingredients flown in from Iloilo, including the native guinamos (shrimp paste) from Negros.

“We had to temper the guinamos because it’s so strong, more than what Chef Hiroyuki is used to. But I think we got the perfect balance,” Chef Margarita said. Amado even flew in one of Iloilo’s best chefs – Chef Tibong Jardeleza – to work with Hiroyuki. Interestingly enough, both chefs are purists, so this respectful collaboration is one everyone is proud of.

SOLO DINING. Ramen Ron imbibes the Japanese solo style of dining in its BGC branch, but the branch also comes with lots of group seating. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

“The product itself is a result of taking what the essence of batchoy is and using ramen’s sensibility and philosophy,” Amado said.

Amado also came up with a Soft Shell Crab Bun crispy fried soft shell crab with talangka fat mayo in a bao bun. Taba ng talangka (crab fat) is one of Chef Margarita’s favorite ingredients. Mimicking Japanese pickles, the bao comes with a crunchy and tangy atchara made of carrots, green papaya, daikon radish, and onions.

SOFT SHELL CRAB BUN. In between a soft fluffy bao bun is a heavily breaded and super crispy soft shell crab in a tangy-savoy talangka mayo. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

There are more Filipino-inspired dishes in the pipeline, said Amado, who is excited to collaborate with other notable chefs.

Ramen Ron’s limited edition Set Menu of Batchoy Ramen and the Soft Shell Crab Bun costs P890. Only 20 sets are available per day for dine-in at Ramen Ron’s Rockwell and Central Square, BGC branches, to ensure the quality of the “lengthy labor of love.” It will be available from May 9 to June 9, but it may extend further depending on customers’ feedback.

For more information on Ramen Ron, you can visit the Instagram here. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.