Sunday, January 19, 2014

We love Ramen!

Authentic ramen in one shop at Sapporo (850 Yen)
 Ramen shops in Sapporo serve their own specialty
Sapporo Ramen. I love Ramen. In my visit at Sapporo, Japan last Sept 2013, I tried the Sapporo's popular and traditional miso ramen. "This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup (Wikepedia)." There are various ramen shops in Sapporo. There is even a ramen alley in one department store where different shops serve their own variations of ramen, We tried one shop called Shin.
Miso Ramen at Shin (Sapporo, Japan)
Shin's menu of ramen

Instant Ramen. I even brought ready to eat ramen from the Sapporo airport to share authentic ramen to my family. There are also instant ramen noodles from Japan which can be bought in supermarkets here that taste like those in Japan. You just have to add additional garnish, meat, veggies and egg and you have an almost authentic ramen which is better than those served in restos here in QC and Manila.
Instant Japanese ramen from supermarkets 
(left: Sapporo ramen and right: Hakata ramen)

Japanese instant ramen (from Sapporo) made authentic by adding meat and egg
Ramen Reviews. I am now in search of the best ramen in Metro Manila.  There is one ramen shop located at West Ave., Quezon City - Ramen Cool which we tried recently. Their ramen is good  and their servings were generous. A lot of slice meat and noodles. Not so expensive (P165 - P290). We tried shio and miso ramen. The resto is new, hence the service needs improvement.

RCool Ramen (Miso Based). Very nice. The soup is tasty and lots of mixed ingredients.
Rating (4 out of 5)

Pork Shio Ramen. A little bland but serving is generous. (Rating 3 out of 5)

Ramen Cool 

Various choices at Ramen Cool.
Another new ramen resto is Taisho Ramen at SM North. The shop takes pride of its Hakata ramen which originated from kyushu. Hakata ramen features a soup based on pork bones.. I tried their ramen and I was disappointed It tastes like local instant noodles. The instant noodles  we buy at the supermarkets tasted better. Poor quality of noodles. The sesame seeds didn't help improve the taste.

Taisho's Hakata Ramen. Rating (1 out of 5)

The search for the best ramen in Metro Manila continues.... Any recommendations?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Comics with Bitstrips

I love to create comics. But I have no talent in drawing comic characters. Comics drawing is really a talent that some people possess like my Nagoya U colleague, Jerry V. or even my son who can easily draw his favorite lego characters. I drew comics when I was a kid but they were not that good. I like comics which are simple and neat like Snoopy, Dilbert and Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD). I also like Baltic and Co. and Pugad Baboy. The key to comics making is not only how nice the drawings are but the intelligent humor presented.

So when Eric, a colleague at UP, introduced me to Bitstrips in Facebook, I got excited. Eric posted several Bistrips comics of himself and I got intrigued. So I tried Bitstrips. First, you decide on your avatar - choose the shape of the face, eyes, nose, ears and hair. And then you choose the body and the attire. With a few clicks, wholla! You have a character of yourself. You are now ready to create Bitsrips comics. Finally, I found a venue for creating comics even if I don't know how to draw. After several trials, the Eric & Andy (The Dynamic Duo) Bitstrips was born. Comics making is fun. It is a venue to share your ideas and humor. When you have fun, You feel happy. And when you feel happy, your friends will also feel happy. This is a lesson I learned from Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project." She also wrote " Do good, feel good. Feel good, do good." Enjoy the slide show of the Bitstrips introducing Eric & Andy. Smile!