Batchoy ramen, anyone? Ramen Ron teams up with Margarita Fores for limited edition dishes 2
The Batchoy Ramen (left) and RR Soft Shell Crab Bun will be available for a month at Ramen Ron starting May 9. Handout
Food & Drink

Batchoy ramen, anyone? Ramen Ron teams up with Margarita Fores for limited edition dishes

Iloilo meets Japan in a new collaboration between Ramen Ron and award-winning chef Margarita Fores.
Karen Flores Layno, ABS-CBN News | May 08 2024

Asia's Best Female Chef 2016 Margarita Fores is celebrating her Ilonggo roots in her newest food collaboration. The woman behind Cibo, Grace Park, and Lusso has teamed up with the rechristened Ramen Ron -- run by her son Amado and the dining joint's original chef Hiroyuki Tamura -- for two limited edition dishes. 

There's the Batchoy Ramen, which is the obvious star of the show, and its equally delicious sidekick, the RR Soft Shell Crab Bun. Both items will be sold as a set worth P890 for a month starting Thursday, May 9, with only 20 orders to be accommodated daily. 

"Batchoy is my most favorite thing, and that is why this for me is like a super heartwarming collaboration," Chef Margarita told ANCX.

"Amado wanted to showcase a lot of my favorite ingredients," she added, saying her love for crab and taba ng talangka (crab fat) led to the creation of the bun that accompanies the Batchoy Ramen.

(Left to right) Chef Margarita Fores, Chef Hiroyuki Tamura, and Amado Fores. Handout
(Left to right) Chef Margarita Fores, Chef Hiroyuki Tamura, and Amado Fores. Handout

While it is a hybrid of Ilonggo and Japanese elements, Amado does not want to label their new menu items as fusion. And after a sip of the soup, we understood what he was talking about -- instead of a mishmash of flavors, we got a bowl that is still unmistakably batchoy, but made with the care and restraint that is closely tied with Japan's famous noodle soup.

"It's a nice melding of things without it being too fusion-y, which is not something we're after. It's about being respectful," Amado explained. "It's almost like using the best ramen techniques on a batchoy -- the batchoy was treated as a ramen." 

"Close your eyes, and if you still think it's batchoy and it feels like batchoy, then we're good," he added. 

Batchoy Ramen. Handout
Batchoy Ramen. Handout

Pulling off something like this was quite a challenge, even for Chef Margarita, who cited Tamura-san's "rigidity" when it comes to ramen. They had to make sure that everything was balanced -- from the noodles and broth down to the toppings -- and they're just happy they were able to pass the Japanese chef's standards.

"Batchoy always has the ginamos, the shrimp paste from Negros. We had to temper that because it's not what Tamura-san is used to. But I think we struck the perfect balance," Chef Margarita recalled.

Amado, for his part, said: "The fact that it turned out the way it did, and he (Tamura-san) approves of it, is the best feeling."

Ramen Ron's limited edition Batchoy Ramen is topped with house-made chashu, pork liver, shio tamago, torched bone marrow, and Chef Margarita's chicharon. For added richness, scrape the bone marrow into the Ukkokei Batchoy-based broth and thin ramen noodles. 

The RR Soft Shell Crab Bun, on the other hand, is filled with crispy fried soft shell crab with talangka fat mayo, and atchara-inspired Japanese pickles made of carrots, papaya, daikon radish, and onions.

RR Soft Shell Crab Bun. Handout
RR Soft Shell Crab Bun. Handout

Chef Margarita considers the new set menu as a Mother's Day offering, given the timing of its launch as well as the bond it has created with Amado.

Looking at how her son has grown into a successful restaurateur, she said proudly: "I'm not worried anymore if I retire because I know he'll take care of everything."

Amado, for his part, said he will always remember to go back to his roots, just like his mother. "[The most important lesson I learned from her is] Never forget where you came from. That's what this Batchoy [ramen] is really about," he ended. 

Ramen Ron has branches at Central Square Mall in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and Rockwell Center in Makati.