Ramen is never new in the Filipino palate anymore. Year by year, more and more variations of ramen are being introduced by several restaurants all over the country. And with the various ramen restaurants to choose from, it is a definite that deciding where to eat could be a dilemma. So why Go-En Ramen Shoppe?
First, let’s get into the details of the name “goen.” “Goen” in Japan is a five yen coin which is traditionally considered as a good luck piece. The other phonetic similar of “goen” also means good luck but with relationships and between friends from which the restaurant took its name. It is the restaurant’s goal to forge a strong relationship with their customers through commitment to good food and a friendly atmosphere. They offer a wide variety of ramen dishes among other Japanese specialties using local and imported ingredients. Let’s check them out so you can pick your bet the next time you are at Go-En Ramen Shoppe.
The first soup dish they served is Wonton Tomato. I highly recommend this dish. And if you are a tomato lover like me, this will be the Japanese version of pasta (noodles) in a soup with red sauce. The flavor is very light and if you are craving for that vegetarian dish, this will perfectly be it.
Next is Cheese Ramen. Who doesn’t love cheese? I bet everybody loves it. Or if not all, let’s say a high percentage of the world’s population can attest that not a month passes by without cheese in one of your meals. You may agree or may not agree with me, but with this Cheese Ramen, I am sure you would agree with me when I say that cheese in a soup is to die for. This dish is bursting with flavor especially once the cheese melts and it gets infused with the soup. Plus, you can never go wrong with cheese and corn, right?
Another ramen dish that we tried is Mabo Ramen. Now this is “the bomb” in their ramen dishes. Yes, explosively hot. But of course, it depends how high your tolerance with spicy foods is. Being a Bicolana, I grew up with dishes mostly having red hot chili peppers as an ingredient may it be from soup to dishes with sauces. So my verdict for the spiciness of this dish is moderate. The good thing is that you can actually request them to temper the spicy flavor of your Mabo Ramen according to your liking.
We also tried Kara-age which is the Japanese version of fried chicken. This is also a must-try and just perfect to pair with your ramen dishes.
And of course, dessert time. Here at Go-En Ramen Shoppe, a definite must-try for dessert is their Mochi Ice Cream (Sakura flavor) for 80 php. I couldn’t actually compare it with any other ice cream dish that I have tried and the closest I have in mind is crepe. But it really is not like crepe but a dessert that is one of a kind. Better yet, give it a try and experience tasting ice cream to a new and different level.
BUT WAIT. Don’t leave the restaurant just jet. For your Go-En Ramen Shoppe experience will not be complete without trying one of the rare things that a Japanese restaurant caters – playing a game, for the young and old alike. It is a Japanese game which uses “kendama,” a traditional Japanese toy. It is similar to playing a yo-yo except that it is more challenging and, yes, more fun.
Mr. John, one of the owners of Go-En Ramen Shoppe, and the entire staff are very much willing to teach you the basics in playing the game. I was apprehensive to try it for the very reason that I assumed it takes a lot of practice to master the skill. I was observing Mr. John on how he plays and I told myself there is no way I can ever do that. But after several tries and multiple failed attempts, we were able to accomplish quite a few techniques in playing the “kendama.” Whew! Not bad for first timers. *wink* Now this, I must say, you should really try.
It sure is fun to go back and try the ramen dishes and play with the “kendama” or read manga comics from the restaurant’s collections. Be serenaded too by a combination of modern and traditional Japanese music while lounging at the restaurant’s Japanese ambiance from ukiyo-e pictures, noren curtains, super-sized yatai to jinbe outfits of the waiters.
They also have the “open kitchen” concept wherein customers can actually see the food being prepared and get to chat with the chef as well as a high table behind so other customers get to have a view of the chef in action without having to go near the kitchen. It is also perfect for big groups i.e. business meetings, chill time with friends, etc. No need to hurry or worry about time when you’re there for they have lunch specials from 12pm-5pm, dinner every Monday ’til Thursday at 5pm-11pm and every Friday until Sunday at 5pm – 12am. Indeed, it is the perfect place to chill, unwind and enjoy good food.
Thank you Mr. John and the entire staff of Go-En Ramen Shoppe for the warm welcome!
Go-En Ramen Shoppe
Jardin de Zenaida, Unit B1 #34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave.
Brgy. South Triangle Quezon City
For another fun gastronomic adventure, check out Equatorial Coffee: Get Productive with Special Coffee + Eats at Quezon City.