I am no ramen expert. I don’t have a comparative list of the best ramen joints in Manila, and judge them according to noodle texture, tastiness of the broth, serving sizes, ingredients, etc., like what’s featured in most blogs today. But even if I’m no ramen guru, one thing is certain – I ultimately love ramen and know by heart the selected classical favorites I hold to this very day.
Ramen is one of the comfort foods you’d love to surrender yourself into on different life moments – warming up on a rainy day, wallowing over a broken heart, getting a relief after a stressful day at the office, or even plainly engaging in a deep conversation with your friend. That is why I have grown to love ramen over the years – it’s easy, soulful, straightforward and uncompromising.
With the number of ramen places popping out here and there, it’s hard to distinguish the difference. But you know there are certain ramen versions that would easily leave a lasting impression on your taste buds even on the first visit. Wrong Ramen luckily happens to be one on my list.
My last visit in this place was 3 years ago – back when this tiny restaurant is slowly crawling up to introduce itself in the food district of Burgos Circle, BGC. We were one of its first few visitors on its soft opening. Some things have remained constant, some have changed. For one, they stuck with the black, minimalist interiors in a cramped- up space. With their wave of ramen patrons that have undoubtedly increased over the years, it’s quite questionable why they didn’t go space expansion or refurbishing of interiors.
Wrong Ramen was known to have the guts to inject humor in promoting their business. The scrabble tiles that scream a funny motto, to their old battery canisters of salt and pepper, to the unorthodox restaurant name everyone would easily recall – Wrong Ramen has been playful through it all.
The battery canister of condiments morphed to regular pepper shakers, and instead of the transparent chopsticks used in the past, these are now curvy, black traditional ones.
Ramen is purely boring without an appetizer. A recommended treat to get this balance is to start off with Chashu Rice Rolls. These are shredded chashu rolled in rice paper. As expected, this appetizer has not failed to prove itself as a worthy starter before the main ramen courses are devoured. The delectable concoction of meat and vegetables rolled and dipped in sweet- tangy Ponzu sauce is beyond words and I could imagine the depth of goodness in every bite, while writing this. The vegetables are fresh and crunchy and the meat had this apparent savory taste that the sauce complements it very well.
And to go back to my first love, reminiscing the fondness and reliving the memories, I ordered the Tonkotsu Light.
Today’s Tonkotsu Light renders a fuller flavor, thicker broth. Its creaminess got the noodles absorbed quickly, that it came too short for my capacity as a ramen addict. When I asked the server for an extra serving of the broth, he said it is priced at Php 150 so I went back to my seat and settled for what was left. The pork is still tender and savory, and its excess fat isn’t that drowning – leaving the right amount of taste to the broth. My only qualm is the serving size of the soup which should be at least filling 3/4 of the bowl for unquestionable satisfaction. Nevertheless, it still made me full.
The spinach added extra crunch and texture to the noodles, which I find equally good. The noodles are still firm and chewy. What I love about Tonkotsu Light is that its mild flavor will give you the flexibility to add spices as you wish. I put a considerable amount of chili oil and powder, and I still deem it appetizing. It is best served with Runny Egg for Php 50.
Tonkotsu Rich on the other hand, is served with Chashu, and is milkier and richer in taste. The hint of fatty juices is more pronounced in this one. A bowl costs Php 395.
For those who wanted to skip meat and experience a bowl of ramen purely basking on the goodness of fresh seafood, then Sea Men is the right choice. Savor on shrimps, clams, squid, fish in a clean-flavored noodle soup, without getting rid of the fishy after-taste. Yes, the name is funny, but the taste is awesome.
The good thing about Wrong Ramen’s location is that you need not to rush into the crowded malls to get your quick ramen fix. Its nearness to offices, condominiums and other commercial centers make it easy to reach, but you really have to bear with the waiting time on peak hours.
Its longstanding survival in Burgos Circle, amid the fast-growing food establishments and competitors only proves that Wrong Ramen is still on top of their league. We all look forward to new branches, bigger space and innovation of concept. And without a doubt, I know Wrong Ramen can make it.
U F124 Forbes Retail Forbes Town Ctr, Rizal Drive cor Burgos Circle
Taguig, Metro Manila
Phone number: +6328238249
Hours: M-S 11 AM to 12 Midnight
Check their Facebook and Instagram for more details