Move aside sushi burritos, poke bowls, and ramen burgers–it’s time to hand the limelight back over to the good ol’ classics.
Just a turn away from the ever so popular Maginhawa street and you’ll find a whole new stretch of secrets just waiting to be discovered. Our current favorite? The Gyoza and Ramen House. A step inside and you’ll find yourself sent into one of provincial Japan’s hole in the walls—full of dishes with authentic flavors concocted by Agnes Dayao after fulfilling her culinary training in Japan. With fresh ingredients imported straight from the Land of the Rising Sun, you can be sure to get more than your wallet’s worth of true Japanese flavors.
After braving the dreadful peak hour traffic just to make it to Malingap on time, I was pleasantly surprised with the refreshing and light taste, the style of cooking, and the seasoning of it all which made each dish shine on its own. That said, here are some of our most loved favorites that you need to try for yourself:
Start off with two large pieces of tofu (P100) that easily melt in your mouth. Slightly crunchy on the outside while incredibly soft on the inside, this duo served with freshly grated radish and dashi sauce makes for a great light appetizer. It might even let you reconsider your thoughts on becoming vegan. Maybe.
If tofu’s not your thing, you could also try their cold ramen hiyashi chuka (P280) with their very own sweet tangy sauce.
This is great if you want to test out the different flavors of gyoza they have available (P150). Wanting to experiment with the Filipino palate, this dish is made with their own little spin, making it one of Gyoza and Ramen House’s specialties.
Each order has a piece per flavor including curry, spinach, original, chili, and long onion, though you could always order more of a particular flavor you end up liking. Just a suggestion.
Their shrimp gyoza (P185/3 pcs, P280/ 5 pcs) full of large, fresh prawns, ground pork, garlic, and chives are also just as delicious.
Ah, the kare-kare of ramens (P330). Though despite the similar nutty taste to the Filipino dish, Sesame Ramen remains thoroughly Japanese. This sesame gravy base with chashu, fish cake, and menma is a crowd favorite, the chef’s favorite, and a personal main contender (against the next dish on this list). While the broth errs on the heavier side of the ramen spectrum, drinking in that soup gives your insides that feeling of being wrapped in a nice, cozy blanket.
A recent addition to the Gyoza and Ramen House family is this tonkatsu-based ramen (P300) which has a lighter broth plus a more generous serving of meat and boiled eggs. It’s just as good as the sesame ramen, though I am a bit biased because kare-kare is a favorite of mine. Their sliced pork belly meat alone gives the dish extra points for being so tender and scrumptious. You can even ask for extra meat, if you’d like.
Original Chahan Fried Rice
Eat this bowl (P85) alongside their Beef Teppanyaki (P210) or Tonkatsu (P200)! They also have a Kimchi alternative (P95) which I’m looking forward to trying out the next time I visit. If you’re wondering about their rice toppings, Katsudon (P180) is their best seller.
Chocolate and Green Tea Mochi
A customer fondly calls the chocolate here “the one that tastes like champorado.” How’s that for the next get-together with your F.R.I.E.N.D.S?
If you’re a fan of this beloved sweet porridge (P140) and green tea (P140), you’re in for a treat. It’s a deconstructed desert that’s best eaten all together–your choice in ice cream, mochi balls, and red bean paste. They also have Banana Tempura with Chocolate ice cream and sprinkles (P150) that’s another tasty twist.
Are you a fan of classic Japanese food? Tag a gyoza and ramen lover in the comments below!
Gyoza and Ramen House
Malingap cor. Matahimik Street, Teachers Village Diliman, Quezon City
Written by: Claire Chingkoe (instagram: @clairechingkoe)
Photography by: Francesca Nicole Collantes (instagram: @nekzoned)
Videography by: Carl Sayat (instagram: @carlsayat)