With the rainy season just around the corner, cravings for steaming bowls of noodle soup topped with pieces of meat are not unusual. In Manila, our latest obsession is ramen, a noodle dish from Japan notable for its meat-based broth flavored with either soy sauce or miso. And weíre not talking about the instant variety. Metro Manila denizens have gone beyond that. Now, weíre looking for the authentic experience and there are plenty of ramen joints popping up all over the city to satisfy that need.
One of the newest ramen bars to open in the city is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, located on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La Plaza Mallís east wing. Ikkoryu is as authentic as it gets, being a true Japanese brand that has been around for 44 years in its home country. The Shang location, a franchise, is its first in the Philippines. But because itís located inside a high-end mall, expect prices to be on the steep side. A single serving will set you back P380.
Similarly priced, meaning upwards of P300, is the ramen at Ramen Yushoken at the Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang. Hailed as one of the best ramen places in the city, itís all the rage among foodies and ramen aficionados. Both The Peninsula Manilaís PenCities guide and Rogue magazine claim that it serves Manilaís best bowl of ramen.
For more affordable alternatives, head on to Makatiís Little Tokyo on Chino Roces Avenue. The crowd is mostly Japanese, which is always a good sign if youíre looking for something authentic. There, youíll find called Yamazaki Ramen House and Grocery, among other Japanese restaurants. Yamazaki is a hybrid establishment with a hole-in-the-wall feel. On the right side is the Japanese grocery and to your left is the restaurant. The best part is that a bowl of ramen goes for under P200.
These are only three of the many ramen nooks in and around the metropolis. There are lots moreóat least a dozen in the Makati area alone. Some of the other highly recommended ones include Shinjuku Ramen (Makati Avenue) and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Glorietta 4). So if you havenít had an authentic bowl of ramen yet, join the craze and go to any of these places on a rainy day to have your fill. You wonít regret it.