Japanese feast at Baguio Country Club’s Hamada

Who does NOT love ramen? (If you’re one of them, then you have a very big problem.)

This classic Japanese dish consists of noodles swimming in a rich stock, topped with an assortment of meat and vegetable ingredients that create a medley of flavors, making ramen such a well-loved dish all over the world.

And here in Baguio, the best bowl of ramen we’ve tasted yet is found, unsurprisingly, at Baguio Country Club’s acclaimed Japanese restaurant, Hamada.

Hamada revamped its ramen offerings late 2014 and began serving this new lineup only over the holidays. We have not tried their old ramen recipes so we cannot compare, but those we had recently were amazing.

two2travel baguio country club ramen hamada japanese

The all-new Tonkotsu Ramen at Hamada Restaurant — named by the Philippine Tatler as one of Baguio’s (and the country’s) best restaurants

Tonkotsu Ramen (pork bone broth)

Rich, savory, and extremely satisfying, Hamada’s Tonkotsu Ramen is definitely something to beat in Baguio. The stock alone takes three days to prepare, and the thin pork belly slices were tender and flavorful. A bowl of this—especially in this chilly Baguio weather—is perfect.

Hamada’s other ramen recipes include Tonkotsu Miso Ramen, Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen, Tonkotsu Shio Ramen, and the Chef’s Special Ramen. Also worth noting for all the ramen lovers out there: Hamada also lets you put your own ramen together with its Make-Your-Own-Ramen option. We’re guessing a weekend visit is not enough to try all these (which is why we’re very thankful we live here!).

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Hamada’s warm and inviting interiors

Tonkotsu Ramen, Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Tonkotsu Ramen, Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Big bowl of flavor—and happiness—right there

Tonkotsu Ramen, Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Hamada is also quite known for its teppanyaki. Its teppanyaki chefs are extremely well trained and are very entertaining (although you may not want to get too close when it’s time for flambé). We saw all types of diners—from groups of adults to families with young kids—all looking impressed with their own teppanyaki show.

We tried their Yamamori Special, which consists of US Angus beef, prawns, chicken, salmon, grilled vegetables, and Japanese fried rice.

The course started with miso soup, a rather filling piece of cream dory, and salad before our teppanyaki chef, Caesar, started sending vegetables and eggs and butter flying around. The entire performance took around 40 minutes, and we ended the course with a refreshing fruit salad.

The entire course left us full to bursting with good, tasty food. We especially loved the salmon, beef, and salad. Another teppanyaki worth trying is the one with a US Angus beef ribeye. Alternatively, you can choose which ingredients go into your teppanyaki course.

two2travel baguio country club teppanyaki hamada japanese
Your chef doesn’t cook this way: Our teppanyaki chef Caesar serving us Japanese fried rice, which moments previously had been a beating heart. You have to see it to believe it.

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

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Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

Baguio Country Club / © Owen Ballesteros www.two2travel.com

We loved everything we had at Hamada and we can’t wait to go back! Do try any of their ramen or teppanyaki dishes—they offer value for money and are really delicious!

Hamada Restaurant
Baguio Country Club
Country Club Road, Baguio City
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 2 PM; 6 PM – 10 PM
http://bcc.com.ph

Check out our recommended Airbnb in Baguio HERE. :)

Baguio Resto Roundup: Canto

Baguio Resto Roundup: Canto

Welcome to our Resto Roundup features! We love good food and we’re always on the lookout for great places to have them. But we are not gourmands, so we’ll keep things here nice and simple. Enjoy!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but thank God for ketchup.
Continue reading “Baguio Resto Roundup: Canto”

Baguio Resto Roundup: Chaya

Welcome to our Resto Roundup features! We love good food and we’re always on the lookout for great places to have them. But we are not gourmands, so we’ll keep things here nice and simple. Enjoy!

Baguio Resto Roundup: Chaya

Chaya, Baguio

There are only a handful of restaurants serving Asian food in Baguio, and Chaya is one of them. It’s rather pricey by Baguio standards, so it’s not something we can go to on a whim, but the food has always been good each time we did. We didn’t get to try a lot of their dishes since we tend to order whatever’s good the last time (because it’s so pricey and we didn’t want to risk spending for something we wouldn’t like).

We’d say it’s perfect for special days. If you live in Manila and are in Baguio only once in a while, dining here each time is a good idea.

It is actually a house converted to a dining area, adding to the cozy Baguio ambience. It can get full fast on weekends, so making a reservation may be a good idea (the place is not exactly near other restaurants to save grumbling stomachs from too much trouble if it’s full-house). It’s not a big place, so it’s perfect for couples and small groups.

Some of our picks from the menu:

Cream Anmitsu (P130)
Sweetened red mongo and ice cream on top of cherry fruits
One of our favorite desserts ever. The homemade green tea ice cream is divine. Whoever said you cannot enjoy ice cream at such cold weather?

Chaya, Baguio City

By the way, the tiny scoop of green tea ice cream on the right (of both photos) come in complimentary at the end of each meal. But you have to try the anmitsu. Really.

Agedashi Tofu (P120)
Fried Japanese silk tofu served in Dashi Soup base
We’ve had better agedashi tofu elsewhere, but this one is not bad.

Chaya, Baguio City

Chaya, Baguio City

Chaya, Baguio City

Left: Beef Yakiniku (P250) – Thinly sliced sauteed beef served with salad and Ponzu sauce
Right: Gyoza (P160)

Chaya, Baguio City

Chaya, Baguio City

Chaya, Baguio

Chaya, Baguio

Mixed Tempura (P300)
tempura variety of shrimp, seafood and vegetables with green tea salt or Dashi sauce
The mixed tempura was definitely one of the best dishes we’ve tried at the restaurant. It looks a bit pathetic in photo but it is actually bigger and a lot more filling than it looks here.

Chaya, Baguio
Beef Sukiyaki (P300) – generous serving. We were able to share in this one, but if you’re hungry it wouldn’t stand.

CHAYA
72 Legarda Road, Baguio City
074 424 4726

Expect to spend: ~P1,000 for 2
Do not miss: Homemade Green Tea Ice Cream
Reservations: You can call if you absolutely have to dine on that day and it’s a weekend. Necessary if it’s a long weekend. Accompany with a prayer if it’s a weekend in December, because it’s almost always full.

You add P50 for rice and soup if you order from their a la carte menu;
Beers at P60;
San Miguel Draft Beer at P70;
Pot of hot tea at P100 (lemongrass, mint, lady gray, green);
Juices at P65, shakes at P90.

Sashimi starts at P250, variety good for 3-4 at P480;
Sushi good for 3-4 at P550;
Salads at ~P250, appetizers at ~P120, a la carte dishes at ~P250;

RESTO ROUNDUP SERIES


POSTCARDS: Ilocos’ Pinakbet Pizza

Pinakbet Pizza from Saramsam Restaurant, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

Ilocos is known for its pinakbet, a native vegetable dish with bitter gourd, okra, squash, string beans, eggplants, and pork bits cooked in fish sauce, but definitely not sitting on a base of cheese, tomato sauce, and pizza crust.

We sampled this fusion pizza at Saramsam Restaurant in downtown Laoag, Ilocos Norte’s capital. The veggies are pre-cooked and topped on the crust, which also comes with tomatoes. You then sprinkle the whole thing with bagoong to complete the pinakbet taste.
Continue reading “POSTCARDS: Ilocos’ Pinakbet Pizza”