I love Japanese food. Love is an understatement. Instead, I ADORE Japanese-food and I think about it almost every single day. I once day-dreamed during my math exam whether I should get Shoyu Ramen with karaage or shoyu ramen with gyoza. (No wonder I got a 4 on my exam.) That being said, I have been to a lot of local Japanese restaurants: Nonki, Yushoken, Watami, Sachi, etc. I have been to those restaurants so often that my palate was getting bored. But that all changed during the Christmas break of senior year.
It all started when I was walking around IT Park in the middle of the night. I randomly walked towards Ayala Malls Central Bloc and encountered a new Japanese restaurant called Menya Hachi. I was intrigued by the place, which is why I went there the next day for lunch and it was amaaaaaaazing! Every bite from the karaage and slurp from the shoyu tonkontsu Ramen was delicious. It is now officially one of my favorite Japanese restaurants! Knowing that the members of Dragon’s Print would love Menya Hachi as much as I do, we went there to eat mouthwatering Japanese food and, of course, to write our food ratings.
– Dong Ha
Right from the moment the waiter brought this dish out, I knew I would be in for a treat. Its presentation alone was able to make my mouth water– the exterior mosaic of pork, egg, and rice, as well as the generous toppings of carrots and green onions, definitely earned the chahan bonus points in my book. I was taken aback with this dish’s richness since its texture was so deceptively light and airy. It was very flavorful and so addictive to eat, especially when paired with the karaage we ordered. The price is also great, as you’re essentially paying for a generous cup of rice filled with pieces of pork and egg and an array of vegetables. I’m definitely coming back for this dish sometime soon!
– Andrea Cha(ha)n
While the karaage chicken may be small in size, it is packed with so much flavor! The dish comes with two sauces, mayonnaise and soy sauce. However, I found it to be perfectly fine on its own. The chicken maintains the perfect balance between its crispy skin and juicy meat. I would give it a stellar rating of 5 but I found the portions to be too small.
The gyoza at Menya Hachi is the best among all of the Japanese restaurants I have ever been to in my whole life! This is not an understatement. The succulent meat inside the gyoza and the chewiness of the skin perfectly complement each other. When I eat gyoza, I swallow it within 5 seconds. But this gyoza made me chew for about 20 seconds. It was that good :).
And the price! 5 pieces for 150 pesos! To me, that is such a good price for five delicious gyozas. I ‘Dragon Recommend’ anyone to order this dish if you go to Menya Hachi!
– Dong Ha
Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen
When it comes to ramen, I’m very particular about what I like. Unfortunately, the ramen at Menya Hachi failed to live up to my expectations, mainly because I believed my co-writer “hyped it up” too much for me.
To start off, the broth of Tonkotsu ramen has to be rich with the hearty flavor of pork. With Menya Hachi’s ramen, however, this was strongly overpowered by the salty flavor of the kelp. Furthermore, I found that the broth’s flavor just had no depth to it. The noodle’s consistency was also a bit more on the soggy side. Perhaps the only good thing about the ramen was its meat toppings, which is why it was the only thing I finished from the bowl.
In conclusion: I’ve had better ramen.
Our little trip to Menya Hachi served to be fun and enlightening at the same time. We found some gems that we’d return for, like the amazing karaage and delectable chahan, but also some busts that we recommend steering clear from, such as their staple ramen. Overall, though, Menya Hachi is a great place to go for cheap, quick-fixes for those spontaneous Japanese food cravings.
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
- Free and fast wifi within the vicinity.
- The servers are very nice
- They have promotions at certain times. For instance, if you order one Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen, they will give you one Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen for free.
- Prices for other dishes are reasonable
- There are small portions on certain dishes (Ex. The Karaage and the Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen)
- Ramen was not very good.
Review by Dong Ha C., Andrea C., & Regina L. (Grade 12); Feature image by Karen Y. (Grade 9)
Reviews are uncommissioned, unpaid, and represent the personal views of the author. They should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.