The place has been recommended by a number of friends who raved about the ramen. One told me that Tamagoya! Noodle House is open for lunch and dinner but closes in between. You have to go early, he said, because the queue can be long and it can take more than an hour to get seated. With warnings like that, I had very high expectations when Speedy and I went off to have lunch at Tamagoya! Noodle House.
We drove down toward Marikina where we were told Tamagoya! Noodle House was located. It turns out that it is still within the boundary of Antipolo City. Parking was a headache but we got lucky that someone vacated a space in front of the restaurant. It was after 12 noon but we didn’t have to wait to be seated. Lucky times two.
So, that’s the menu in the photo above. Yes, everything on the menu was very reasonably priced. Speedy ordered a bowl of Stamina Ramen while I chose Chuka Soba.
Stamina Ramen’s soup base is chili miso soup. It has a medley of vegetables and slices of meat. I tasted the soup, I wasn’t really sure how chili miso paste was supposed to taste, it didn’t taste repugnant so I suppose I could honestly say that it was okay. I could have eaten more of it to deconstruct but I was more interested in eating what I ordered for myself so I left it to Speedy to figure it out. Speedy was very happy with it and that’s what really mattered. It was his meal, after all.
My chuka soba has a soy sauce soup base. The serving was large (so was Speedy’s), there was a generous slice of pork, there was narutomaki (sliced fish cake), seaweed, some vegetables and half of a hard-boiled egg that was perfectly cooked.
I started to eat, happily twirling the noodles and slurping the soup. But halfway through my bowl of chuka soba, my taste buds started to feel overwhelmed by a persistent monotonous flavor.
My chuka soba’s broth was fish based. Meaning, the broth was made by simmering the heads and bones of fish. It didn’t say so in the menu but I could taste it.
What’s wrong with a fish-based broth? Nothing although having ordered a noodle soup with pork, I expected that the broth would be chicken, pork or beef based. But a fish-based broth is fine too — except when the fish flavor is too strong. Japanese cooking is known for its subtle tones and delicate flavors. When you sip really good broth in a bowl of ramen, it’s almost a mystery what’s in it. The fish flavor of my chuka broth was so strong that I couldn’t taste the natural flavors of the pork anymore. It just killed the flavors of all the other ingredients in the bowl. And that didn’t make me too happy.
Does that mean we’re not going back to Tamagoya! Noodle House? If we do, I’ll have to ask what the soup base is before ordering. Or I can choose a soupless noodle dish instead.
Tamagoya! Noodle House is located at #2 Soliven Avenue, Barangay Mayamot, Antipolo, Rizal.