Izumi Japanese Kitchen
Enjoy Ramen, Gyoza, Maki Donburi, Tonkatsu, Teriyaki in this Bacolod restaurant specializing in Japanese Food. All of these are so good at Izumi Japanese Kitchen.
Love for Japanese Food
Many Filipinos have adapted their palates to the Japanese cuisine and my husband and I have not been spared. Ever since we were still dating, we would often go on dates and the usual Bacolod restaurants of choice serve Japanese food. We especially sushi, sashimi, and a hot bowl of sukiyaki.
But while ramen is staple in Japan, especially in the coldest parts, it wasn’t given much attention until a few years back here in the Philippines, when ramen houses started sprouting in Manila and then in Cebu.
In Bacolod, however, it was only late last year when we got out own ramen houses and the best by far is Izumi Japanese Kitchen, located at Nolan Bldg., B.S. Aquino Drive (on the left side of Riverside Hospital), Bacolod City. It is a true blue home-grown Bacolod restaurant.
About Izumi Japanese Kitchen
Chatting with the owner, we learned that Izumi Japanese Kitchen only use ingredients imported from Japan (except for the meat and vegetables, of course) and they have been especially trained by a Japanese chef. With these, they can pretty much claim that what they are preparing is authentic Japanese cuisine.
And they really have mean ramen! Each bowl served is painstakingly prepared, which is the reason why additional soup also equate to additional charges. Ramen is not like our local batchoy where the broth is pre-cooked and just poured over the noodles. And if you need a refill the seller will just fetch a big ladle of soup from the gigantic cauldron in the kitchen.
The fresh noodles that Izumi Japanese Kitchen uses are also imported from Japan. These are special kinds of noodles that do not become soggy even after the soup has cooled down. Some people have also tried bringing ramen for take out, eating them hours later as is or after being reheated for a short while in the microwave and they say that they noodles remain firm.
What will also strike you is the presence of a flavored egg on the ramen. It’s like the version of the Chinese century egg. Izumi Japanese Kitchen makes their own through a tedious process, but which makes their ramen more special.
Different Kinds of Ramen
At present, Izumi Japanese Kitchen has six kinds of ramen with different soup bases and flavors. My personal favorite is the Tonkotsu Ramen, which is swimming in a creamy soup base made from pork bones that seemed like it had mashed yolk from boiled eggs. It’s soooo flavorful and rich but not cloying. And surprisingly, not oily, too. I love it so much that even if the soup was already cooled down, it is still well with me.
I also like the spicy Jigoku Ramen, which you can customize from spicy level 1 to 3. Their other spicy variant, the Janjamen Ramen, can be made hotter up to level 5–if you can take the heat. Otherwise, you can just adjust the levels using chili flakes or the aromatic spicy oil (which I forgot the name of).
I have to admit that I am not well-versed about ramen in general, but I appreciate their ramen because the noodles remain firm even after the soup has cooled and because their soups have distinct characters. You do not get generic soups from one cauldron. Each one is unique and you can really define the taste and savor the one that you like best. In my case, it was the Tonkotsu Ramen.
Other Japanese Dishes
But despite their restaurant’s name and their specialty, Izumi Japanese Restaurant is not all about ramen. They have many other Japanese dishes that are all so good. I am generally not a tempura eater because I find it rather bland but I especially appreciated their tempura primarily from its appearance. The crust was orangey-brown and crackled that it looked to enticing to eat. When I bit into it, the shrimp was firm and big, meaning the batter was thin so you get all the goodness of the shrimp. Lovet!
We also tried the shogayaki, which is pork with ginger sauce, and I like it because the pork cutlets are so tender and flavorful. And while you can identify the ginger flavor, it is not so strong that it becomes annoying. It’s mild but gives the pork, as well as the white onions, a lot of character.
Other must-try are their chicken karaage (fried chicken that’s served with Japanese mayo), tonkatsu (breaded pork), and my personal favorite–the gyoza or Japanese dumplings.
I am a gyoza eater and I also make own from time to time, but this one at Izumi Japanese Kitchen is just sooooo good! Just the right mix of meat, vegetables, and spices. The owner says that they make their gyozas fresh everyday, which is the reason why the wrap is firm while the juices are preserved inside. Oh, how I loved it dipped with the Japanese vinegar! I want some more!!!
Did I mention that they serve primarily Japanese rice, including those used in their makis? It’s only in their value meals that are priced at only P110 where they do not serve Japanese rice. A serving of Japanese rice is P70 but you will really appreciate the texture, aroma, and flavor, even of the plain rice.
So while I still linger on the memory of our lovely meal, I think what made the experience more surreal was the fact that their quaint little restaurant has all the feels of traditional Japanese restaurants in Tokyo, Japan found in quiet alleys.
If you’re going to have dinner here at Izumi Japanese Kitchen, you are going to walk along a quiet and safe alley on the street across the side of Riverside Medical Center (now known as Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital). Then inside, you are greeted by the warm glow of orange lights and long wooden tables. With the really cool weather last night, I really had the Tokyo vibes! How I wished I wore a turtle necked shirt and get the winter feels! haha
Anyway, I also appreciate the fact that while they have a very small Bacolod restaurant, they have nice separate comfort rooms for men and women complete with bathroom tissue, hand soap, and running water! Wish they will maintain it because that sets them apart from many others. I use the restroom a lot so this is comforting that they have a nice one. Hooray!
For ramen lovers of Bacolod, you don’t need to look further. You can easily satisfy your cravings at Izumi Japanese Kitchen at a price that is about half of what you would usually have in Manila. Plus, you can have other Japaneses favorites, too.
Izumi Ramen Restaurant
Located at Nolan Bldg.,
B.S. Aquino Drive, Bacolod City
Negros Occidental, Philippines
Open daily, 10am-10pm
Find Bacolod City on the map.