- 2/F SM Megamall, Mega Atrium, Julia Vargas Avenue, Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City
- 2/F Glorietta 5, Office Drive, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
- 3/F Bonifacio High Street Central, Central Square, 7th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
- (02) 775-1100 – SM Megamall branch
- (02) 555-1288 – Glorietta 5 branch
- (02) 583-9447 – Bonifacio High Street Central branch
Opening Hours (All Branches): 10:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M. (Sunday – Thursday), 10:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Friday – Saturday)
Filipinos have always been fond of noodle dishes, primarily because of their long history with the Chinese. From the perennial party staples pancit bihon and pancit guisado, to the instant meals stored in plastic cups for students and professionals alike, noodles aren't a trend that'll go away anytime soon. That's probably why establishments like Kichitora become instant (no pun intended) hits in the country.
With a name derived from the Japanese words kichi ("lucky") and tora ("tiger"), Kichitora is one of the latest additions to the repertoire of ramen restaurants popping up all over the Metro. While the restaurant's executive chefs — Koutaro Kanda and Hiroshi Morishima — are Japanese nationals, the owners are Filipino. So if you're looking for a place to practice your Japanese restaurant etiquette without leaving the country, this is a good place to start.
For example, chopsticks should always be placed together on the rest provided (shown below) if not in use.
As you'd expect from a place serving casual Japanese food, Kichitora has an overall laidback vibe to it. At the same time, the well-polished interiors lend it an air of dignity. Whether you're having a power meeting with your boss, or a quiet birthday party with your family, this place might fit your bill.
Since the place has a T-shaped layout, you can choose whether to dine in the secluded areas close to the entrance (from inside Glorietta 5), or the wide open spaces near the window. Also, they have an open kitchen, so you can see the cooks at work.
In the first picture of this review, we have the Chintan Ramen. Priced at Php320, it can either be a shio (salt-based) version, or a shoyu (soy sauce) one. You can also choose between chicken or pork chashu (braised meat). Other ingredients include the menma (bamboo shoots), spring onions, green vegetables and narutomaki (cured fish paste).
For this review, we had the shoyu, pork chashu version. The noodles were tender, but not soggy, and the pork complemented it perfectly. The broth was also a rich mixture on its own, which compensated for the fact that a dish primarily made of noodles and vegetables doesn't fill your stomach for long.
We also ordered one set of gyoza (dumplings), complete with a special sauce, for Php180.
Finally, we ordered one Kirin Ichiban for Php95.
Since we entered the restaurant at 10:30 A.M. on a Saturday, the place wasn't packed with people, so a waiter was able to attend to us the moment we stepped in. Within a few minutes after we were seated, the aforementioned Kirin Ichiban and water were served to us. The ramen and gyoza also came to us in the nick of time.
The post-meal service was a different story, however. As we mentioned earlier, the place wasn't exactly crowded, so it should not have taken a long time to process the bill. And yet that's what happened, which made us dock a few points from them service-wise. To their credit, they did apologize for taking so long.
There's also a 12 percent service charge on top of the bill, so take note of that when you calculate how much you'll shell out per meal in this restaurant.
The Chintan Ramen, which is considered a "basic" version, was tasty enough, so it's likely we will return to the restaurant again. Until that time, we suggest readers try out Kichitora as well, and see if it's to their taste or not. Cheers, and have a happy (Chinese) new year!