With the rainy season upon us, ramen offers a blanket of comfort in the middle of the pouring rain. Every slurp from a huge bowl of ramen is like a warm hug. It is just soothing.
I am a big fan of ramen. From big ramen franchises to mom-and-pop ramen shops, I listed here some of my favorite ramen restaurants in Manila that you should visit this year.
Here they are:
Tamagoya Noodle House
Hidden somewhere in Marikina and Antipolo, Tamagoya Noodle House is one of the local ramen shops that I like for a quick ramen fix. When in Tamagoya, I usually have their Stamina ramen, which is a bowl of miso-based ramen with chili for some kick. Not only are their noodles good, they come pretty cheaply too!
Location: Soliven Avenue, Masinag, Lower Antipolo, Rizal
I like Wrong Ramen because they often dare to be different. They are bold and experimental. They go beyond the typical Tantanmen and Tonkotsu ramen options with offerings on the menu like the Communist (Szechuan peppers, chashu, sate, and hotpot balls), Hot Junk (kimchi, spam, snap sausage, tteokbokki, and parmesan), Krusty’s Funeral (softshell crab, crab fat, coconut milk, cilantro, chili), Seamen (clear soy broth, clams, shrimps, onions, squid), and FU (bacon, spam, fried egg, black pepper, and parmesan). Whenever I visit their shop in BGC and order the FU, I always feel bad at the start because of all the fat I’m going to commit sins for. However, I feel good in the end because it’s so worth committing sins for.
I also like their humor on social media.
Location: Burgos Circle, BGC, Taguig City
Admittedly, Ippudo is one of my favorite ramen shops in Japan. When I landed in Fukuoka in 2017, my first meal was Ippudo because it was just right to pay homage to the birthplace of this popular ramen chain. Whenever I’m in Japan, I try to score a bowl of this ramen before I bid adieu to a marvelous country. In the Philippines, it’s good to know that we have plenty of Ippudo restaurants around in case you’re craving for a steaming bowl of Hakata ramen.
Locations: Mega Fashion Hall. Robinsons Place Manila. Uptown Mall, BGC. SM Mall of Asia, and Eastwood City
Ukkokei Ramen Ron
One of the first bowls of ramen that I have tried before the ramen craze began was Ukkokei Ramen Ron. I could still remember sitting in its McKinley Hill branch and having a bowl of Tantanmen. Unfortunately, I heard that branch has closed already. Is that true?
I didn’t have a lot of ramen experience yet that time so I wasn’t able to compare it yet back then. However, until today, after bowls and bowls of ramen, that memory is still etched in my head. It might be time to go back and pay Ukkokei a visit.
Location: 822 Paseo Tesoro, Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City
When I’m craving for a ramen that is thick, creamy, and black or red then Ramen Nagi is the ramen place to go to. Their Black King and Red King are my usual orders, but of course, not at the same time because their servings are huge. Squid ink is used to make the Black King’s soup dark and creamy. Meanwhile, the Red King offers a perfect balance of savory and spicy, which I really enjoy.
I like Ramen Nagi a lot such that even before my flight somewhere, I sometimes have a bowl of its ramen from its NAIA Terminal 3 branch.
Locations: SM Aura Premier, Robinsons Place Manila, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, Robinsons Magnolia, Greenbelt 3, UP Town Center, The Podium, and NAIA Terminal 3
The first time I visited Mendokoro Ramenba was in its Makati City branch. I waited in line for around 30-45 minutes on a Sunday to get seated and to try its Tantanmen ramen. It was good. Their Tantanmen was rich and creamy, just the way I like it. For me, their ramen is as close as a bowl of ramen I get in Japan. It is by far my favorite ramen joint in the city.
I recently visited their newly-opened BGC branch. Luckily, I was able to get a seat immediately.
Locations: Salcedo Village, V Corporate Center Soliman, Makati and Icon Plaza, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
The Super Chashu Ramen is probably the only dish that almost breaks from our tradition, as it is seemingly vying for the same attention as our broth. Marinated and slow cooked for an even longer time that it takes to cook our soup, the end result is an even smokier version of our ever popular Shoyu. Ask for it from our secret menu 😉
Ramen Yushoken is Mendokoro Ramenba’s sibling located down south. Their menus are the same, the only difference aside from the location is the size of the shop. It seems to be that Ramen Yushoken can seat more people, which is why it was pretty rare that I have to wait here to get a seat. When I visited Ramen Yushoken some time ago, I tried one that is off the menu – their Super Chashu.
Location: Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa
These are some of my favorite ramen shops in Manila. I bet there are a lot more shops to try out there. Let me know so I can visit ’em soon! :)