Japanese Spaghetti HouseYomenya Goemon launched its first Philippine branch on October 18, introducing local foodies to Italian pasta and pizza cooked the Japanese way – which is fresh, upon order – and infused with indigenous Japanese flavors.
Yomenya Goemon, which literally means Western Noodle Restaurant, first opened along Koen Street in Shibuya Prefecture, Japan in 1976. Its logo sports the face of a famous lawbreaker with a heart of gold. “Ishikawa Goemon is a legendary historical Japanese outlaw hero who stole from the rich to give to the poor: kind of like a Japanese version of Robin Hood,” explained Richmond Yang, Managing Director for Yomenya Goemon.
The brand famously hijacks the Japanese staple of noodles by marrying it with Western-style pasta, using premium ingredients from Italy (durum wheat semolina spaghetti noodles and extra virgin olive oil) and Japan (onsen egg, nori, mentaiko, Ao-Shiso, and Karashi Takana).
“The menu is special as Yomenya Goemon is able to seamlessly integrate Japanese and Western ingredients in a harmony of flavors that is recognizably Western but distinctly and undeniably Japanese,” said Richmond Yang.
“The result is a perfect fusion of East and West, with Japanese Spaghetti Noodles meant to be eaten and enjoyed the traditional Japanese way, which is slurping them with chopsticks,” Yang said.
The “Japanese spaghetti house” has become such a favorite among the ramen-loving Japanese that it is now the second largest food and beverage player in Japan.
Under the Nippon Restaurant Systems Group, Yomenya Goemon currently has over 300 restaurants and more than 2,500 stores covering 40 brands, in Japan alone. Other locations include Singapore, Shanghai and now the Philippines. Plans of expansion are also underway in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
Filipinos familiar with Yomenya Goemon abroad needn’t worry, however, as all ingredients are either imported directly from Japan, or sourced locally through distributors of imported items.
Local franchise owners Richmond S. Yang, Luigi Vera and Robert Epes adhere to the strictest standards in the kitchen, that even the equipment is exactly the same as those utilized by the Yomenya Goemon outlets in Japan and Singapore.
“Our Sauces are prepared in our central kitchen using recipes approved by our Japanese principals following the same recipes in Japan and Singapore,” said Luigi Vera.
The kitchen staff initially conducted training in Singapore, with follow-up training classes on food and service standards conducted under the auspices of Japanese and Singaporean Chef Trainers in Manila.
“Food preparation is meticulously Japanese in cooking style as all the Japanese Spaghetti and Japanese Pizza dishes are cooked fresh upon order, to deliver you the best product possible,” said Luigi.
Customers may choose from the Grand Menu, 90% of which is composed of items served in all countries, and the rest originals based on “popular local flavors” as concocted by the research and development team
This means that Filipinos may not only sample 30 unique Japanese Spaghetti variants and seven Japanese Pizza variants, but also original dishes particularly tailored to the Filipino taste.
“For most of Japanese Spaghetti & Pizza dishes, they are available in the Philippine market bearing the exact same taste profile as the same dishes in Japan and Singapore because we feel the Filipino’s palate is already at the level of sophistication to fully appreciate their unique and distinct flavors,” said Robert Epes.
“The Philippine Flavors line-up of Japanese Spaghetti & Pizza dishes, however, are uniquely Filipino as they were developed exclusively for the Philippine market using indigenous ingredients such as our ubiquitous aligue or crab fat paste and longganisa breakfast staple,” Luigi added.
The menu helpfully marks with a Philippine flag the dishes exclusive to the local market, such as the Pork Longganisa & Broccoli Spaghetti (P285); Crab, Shrimp, and Scallop with Crab Paste Spaghetti (P325); and Longganisa Pizza (P395).
All-time favorite dishes, which stand out because their taste profiles represent a Japanese take on a classic spaghetti favorite, are tagged by the Goemon head logo.
These include the Squid Ink Spaghetti (P240); Carbonara with Yolk and Bacon (P260); Hokkaido Cheese Cream Soup Spaghetti with Scallop, Corn, Bacon and Potato (P295); Carbonara Meat Sauce with Onsen Egg (P325, in beef or pork meat sauce variants); Smoked Chicken and Three Cheese (P350); Avocado, Bacon and Shrimp with Cheese Cream Sauce (P375); Mentaiko, Shrimp & Japanese Herb Ao Shiso (P395); and Porcini Pizza with Bacon and Three Mushrooms (P450)
Japanese Spaghetti dishes’ serving sizes are either regular (120 grams) or large (160 grams), both generously portioned but meant ideally for individual servings. Diners may upsize to large portion (P120), and order add-ons of soup (P20) and wafu salad (P100).
The Japanese pizzas, meanwhile, come in a single size: 10 inches with eight slices good for three to four persons.
In addition, Yomenya Goemon also provides Regular, Large and Dessert Set Menus, where one can enjoy considerable savings compared to ordering á la carte, as well as three different Half & Half Sets (P450-P550), each with two half-portion fixed Japanese Spaghetti variants with a soup and a single-serve drink.
A kid’s set menu is also inclusive of Neapolitan spaghetti (50 grams), chocolate cake, and orange juice.
The dessert menu provides options such as Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ice Cream (P160), Soufflé Cheese Cake (P160), and Mango Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream (P160).
There is also a range of hot and cold beverages, including Iced Royal Milk Tea (P80; with ice cream, P100), and a choice between bottomless Red Iced Tea (P85) and bottomless Lemon Iced Tea (P85).
Yomenya Goemon is located at the 2nd level, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City. It is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday till Thursday, and from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For reservations, call 729-0586.
For additional news, Yomenya Goemon Philippines provides updates on Facebook (www.facebook.com/YomenyaGoemonPhilippines) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/YomenyaGoemonph)