There’s a reason this ramen restaurant has branches all over the metro, which it was able to maintain through and past the peak of the ramen hype. They’re that good. Nagi’s hearty bowls of their signature Butao are proof that quality and quantity can come together. While diners can never go wrong with their original King Butao, more adventurous souls can choose from their other interesting blends of Black, Red, and Green ramen. And with the omotenashi sheets to be filled out upon ordering, diners can customize their bowls perfectly to their liking—from the firmness of the noodles to the cut of pork and vegetables to top the soup (Top Tip: extra hard noodles and adding in an order of tamago is the way to go).
You can be sure a ramen place is good when, even after the whole ramen hype, people still queue to get in. Aside from the fact that they serve truly quality bowls of ramen, this quaint joint in Makati only seats 25 people at a bar setup around a chic, straightforward open kitchen, where diners can watch as their tasty bowls are being crafted. More than the basic ramen variants many know and love, Mendokoro’s menu also lists tsukemen, a type of ramen where the noodles and broth are served separately. To eat, the thicker-than-usual noodles are dipped in the extra rich soup. Mendokoro’s tsukemen is heaven for the palate and definitely worth the queue.
For ramen lovers at the southern end of the metro, huge distances don’t need to be travelled for a great bowl of the flavorful soup. Southerners will put up a good fight to argue they’ve got the best ramen joint within their bounds. Yushoken offers a decent variety of ramen, with four kinds of tonkotsu ramen, two of the tsukemen (dipping) ramen, and a cold ramen for those looking for something more refreshing than comforting. No pretenses, Yushoken only serves a handful of appetizing side dishes and good bowls of ramen that even northerners are willing to brave traffic and toll fees for.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
What Ikkoryu (and its numerous branches around the metro) brings to the table is extremely rich, flavorful bowls of ramen—and quite the variety to choose from as well. Specializing in tonkotsu ramen, Ikkoryu offers two signature bowls, the Ajitama and the Ebi tonkotsu which always hit the spot with their almost unbelievably tasty broths. Another delicious favorite is their black garlic tonkotsu, with an added layer of flavor, thanks to the special roast garlic oil joining the mix.
Dubbed “The House of Tsukemen”, Mitsuyado Sei-Men offers a wide array of the dipping ramen goodness. But the one that really steals the show, piquing curiosities and drawing in interested foodies, is their double cheese tsukemen. Crazy or pure genius? This bizarre innovation begins with their freshly made house noodles, parmesan cheese generously sprinkled on top, the diner then pours cheese sauce over the noodles, and then completes the culinary feat by dipping the cheesy noodles into the rich tonkotsu broth. This unexpected combination delights eaters with a burst of well-balanced flavors.
While some ramen houses specialize in tonkotsu or tsukemen, Hanamaruken Ramen from Osaka is a master of meat. Expect to find quality cuts of pork distinguishing one bowl from the other here. One special bowl however, sets this ramen house apart from all the others in the metro — their Signature Happiness Ramen. Very aptly named, this tasty bowl of ramen is topped with no less than a smile-inducing piece of their signature braised pork rib that’s fall-off-the-bone tender. But order quick — they only serve up to 20 of these blissful bowls a day!