When it Rains, You Slurp: Where to Get the Best Bowls of Ramen in Metro Manila
The Ramen War in Manila is in its full rage. In this on-going battle for the best bowl, whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments section where you head when hankering for a bowl of creamy ramen.
Madrigal Ave. corner Alabang-Zapote Rd.,
(+63 2) 808-7424
Monday to Sunday - 11:00am to 10:00pm
Ramen fans drive all the way to Alabang to to seek Ramen Yushoken-- a no-fuss resto that serves noodles that are very rich, intensely flavored, and have a creaminess that can be attributed to the 12-hour boiled pork-bone sauce. Kazuo Yamagishi’s (one of Japan's ramen masters) protégé Koji Tashiro reportedly trained Yushoken’s entire staff to reach the high standards of Japanese ramen shops.
Get the Tsukemen ramens: the pork-bone Tonkotsu (P390) and seafood Gyokai (P390). Note that the aforementioned Mr. Yamagishi invented Tsukumen ramen, so ordering this style of ramen in Ramen Yushoken is a must. (Note: on prime lunch hours, expect to wait almost 20 minutes for a seat.)
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
A franchise from Japan, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta offers Filipinos the exact same taste of full-bodied ramen enjoyed by its Japanese patrons since 1988.
The requisite rich and hearty Shio, Shoyu, and Miso ramens are present in the menu; all of which are thick to slurp. Get the Awase-Aji Ramen (P350, set meal) variant if you want all three of the above mentioned flavors in one bowl. Pair a bowl with a plate of steamed, then pan-fried Pork Gyoza (P200).
Kichitora of Tokyo
2nd Level, SM Megamall - Atrium
(+63 2) 451-2218
Monday - Thursday 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Paitan Chicken Ramen
Kichitora follows the ramen rules religiously. Not only do they make their own noodles, they also make their own flour. What sets Kichitora apart from most ramen restaurants is that their ramens are chicken broth-based. Paitan (White Soup) Chicken Ramen (P360) is their current best-seller.
Kenji Tei Ramen House
3rd Level, Greenbelt 5
Kenji Tei offers a delectable assortment of ramen, using noodles made fresh and matured daily. 'A good bowl of ramen,' says restaurateur Kenneth Kho, 'is when everything is fresh, especially the noodles.' Their Shōyu Ramen is good for first-timers. It will leave you satisfied with its muted flavors, delicately balancing the sweet, salty and tangy.
Spicy Negi Miso
The Spicy Negi Miso, also a best seller at Kenji Tei, is a miso based ramen that's not overwhelmingly hot and spicy. Its broth is cloudier than the more basic Shōyu Ramen; it has that distinct miso soup texture and the Japanese onions (negi) give it a little bite.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
5th Level, Shangri-la Plaza Mall
(+63 2) 477-8333
Monday to Thursday 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, Shangri-la Plaza’s representative in the on-going Ramen Wars, plans to win by employing modern and eye-catching décor to distinguish itself from its austere counterparts. But unlike other trendy restaurants, Ikkoryu doesn’t just offer a glorified so-so dining concept. Its fans-- Ortigas execs and Japanese expats—seek Ikkoryu for its tightly-curated ramen selection.
Black Garlic Tonkotsu
The limited menu at Ikkoryu favors milky tonkotsu, the specialty of Kyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture. Among the bowls, the Ajitama Tonkotsu (P380), Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu (P380), and Black Garlic Tonkotsu (P380) sell the fastest.
Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City
(+63 2) 823-8249
Since everyone was aiming to produce authentic Japanese ramen, the folks from Wrong Ramen thought it'd be best to do the opposite. They created a ridiculous, self-deprecating ramen brand that people either really hate or really love.
Wrong Ramen Tantanmien
M.C. Jose deems Wrong Ramen Tantanmien (P395) as the "best Tantanmien" she's had since she began hitting different ramen restaurants.
22 Jupiter St., Brgy. Bel-Air, Makati
(+63 2) 511-1390, (+63 2) 511-1759
Monday to Sunday - 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
The first international branch of the restaurant also known to be the House of Tsukemen, Mitsuyado Sei-men promotes a new style of eating ramen that started in Tokyo about 7 years ago.
Double Cheese Tsukemen
Nomama Artisanal Ramen
Ground Level, FSS Bldg.
Sct. Tuazon St. corner Sct. Castor St.
(+63 2) 542-2558
Hidden in the quieter side of Timog, Nomama Artisanal Ramen boasts a manly, minimalist, and Zen-like interior-- a far cry from the narrow, crowded, and Hiragana-riddled noodle shops Manila is used to.
Aside from exhibiting modern Japanese aesthetics, the restaurant is also keen on dispelling the notion that ramen has to be either 'shoyu' or 'miso'.