Dabawenyos have a penchant for Japanese cuisine. We have seen a number of Japanese restaurants popping up in different places in the city the past years. One of the latest additions is Saiko Ramen in Bangkal.
The restaurant originally started as Saiko DIY Ramen, an online food shop where you order ready to cook ramen, in August 2018. You can still order their ready to cook ramen through their Facebook page (click here).
Karla Rebigan, Saiko owner and founder, said she decided to put up a restaurant after seeing the potential of Japanese restaurants in Davao City. The restaurant opened on December 2018.
Being located in the Southern portion of Davao City, those living within the areas will not have to travel all the way to the central of the city’s downtown area just to enjoy a good bowl of ramen.
Located along Taal Rd. in Central Park, Bangkal, the quiant restaurant features a simple modern-Japanese interior. The restaurant also has an outdoor dining area where one can enjoy a meal. Personally, I like the simplicity of the restaurant.
Saiko’s primary product is their ramen, which comes in six flavors — Miso Ramen, Spicy Miso Ramen, Tantanmen Ramen, Curry Ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen, and Shoyu Ramen. Their ramen are on the creamier side.
For our visit here, we tried the Tantanmen Ramen and the Curry Ramen. The Tantanmen Ramen was creamy and nutty while the Curry Ramen has that wonderful spiciness to it. The Curry Ramen is a very hearty bowl that is great for a weather.
Karla said they are also developing other ramen flavors for their diners to enjoy soon. Aside from the ramen, she said they have come up with other dishes to add variety to their menu.
To go with your ramen, you can order their Gyoza.
he restaurant also serves kushiyaki (Japanese skewers) and sushi rolls. Their kushiyaki includes Cheese Gyu Kushi (Wagyu Cubes), Torniku, and Yakiton.
The Cheese Gyu Kushi (Wagyu Cubes) was also a personal favorite. It was cheesey and the Wagyu beef has this soft texture and it just melts in your mouth.
For the sushi rolls, they have the Volcano Roll, Spicy Maguro Roll, and the Crunchy Mango Roll.
A personal favorite of mine was the Volcano Roll, which was deliciously spicy. Karla warned me that it might be too hot. When I tasted it, it was definitely spicy but in a good way. Its spiciness will have you wanting more.
However, I did find the Spicy Maguro Roll to be spicier. Inside the roll is wasabi. When take a bite of it, that distinct flavor of wasabi just hits you.
I also enjoyed the Crunchy Mango Roll. It is refreshing. I love the sweetness from the mango. I also like how you get that hint of saltiness from the nori.
We capped of the meal here with Meecha Matcha, a matcha bomb that includes matcha waffles and ice cream drizzled with chocolate. Matcha lovers will love this.
Saiko is another wonderful addition to the food scene of Davao City offering good Japanese dishes to those living in the south.
How to get there:
This article will also be published on SunStar Davao under my column, Kape Diaries.