Ramen has dominated the food scene in the Metro. Even with the Pinoys’ uncompromised love for rice, Ramen has acted as a substitute for a filling, complete meal. The prevalence of Ramen has made restaurants contend against each other, vying to be the best one, and we as foodies can’t help but come up with a list of our own.
My sister helped me realize this new addition to my list. All the way from Makati, we traveled to Alabang to experience the best Ramen of the south – Ramen Yushoken. At first, I was reluctant to go. But in the name of passion for food, how far can you go? She guaranteed me the joyride will be worth it.
Yuhso in Japanese translates to champion while Ken means house. Ramen Yushoken traces its roots from Kazuo Yamagishi, the Ramen god. He invented the widely popular tsukemen or “dipping” Ramen. His main successor Koji Tashiro, came to the Philippines in 2012 to train Ramen Yushoken’s staff and to ensure that the flavors are at par with those in his ramen houses in Japan.
The interiors are simple and neat; the touches of bamboo wood typify the minimalist Ramen restaurants in Japan. The space was rather small to accommodate a number of hungry Ramen lovers, but it was comfy and well- ventilated.
When I heard that we were 17th on the queue, it was a good signal the business is doing right. It increased my anticipation for the Ramen we’ve all been raving for.
Typically, there is an open kitchen to see how busy this Ramen house can get – with passionate people eager to serve the best Ramen. The staff are friendly and approachable, despite the pressure of dealing with a bunch of guests specially on a weekend. Facing the kitchen is a small Ramen bar, if you want to imitate the Japansese dining style for solo diners or even in groups.
Utensils are absent in this place, so you better be good in your chopstick skills! I’m not really a skilled user, but doing this made me enjoy my Ramen slowly, gradually.
To start-off, we had two appetizers: Gyoza (Php 180) and Karaage (Php 230). What I liked about the Gyoza was that it was slightly burnt on the outside, adding extra smoky flavor and crunchy texture. The Ponzu sauce went well with it too! The restaurant makes its own gyoza wrappers and noodles daily using flour and kansui (alkali water) imported from Japan.
The crispy Chicken Karaage was also a good appetizer to start with. I loved the combination of salt, lemon and mayo to complement the goodness of this.
Upon seeing that the Karaage came in the shape of balls, I had doubts if the inside was well-cooked. Surprisingly, it was tender on the inside.
Our stomachs were already full, having satisfied ourselves already with the starters. But the best is yet to come! It wouldn’t be sealed without experiencing the most anticipated event of that evening: Ramen attack! I ordered the Shio Tonkotsu Ramen (salt-based) while my sister and Eli had Shoyu (soy-based).
Served piping hot, it was the kind of noodles I needed that day – warm, flavorful, rich and calming. The noodles were cooked al dente and the pork-bone broth perfected for 12 hours was too savory. I was lost for words.
The Chashu was not only fork-tender, it melts in your mouth. I loved that the pork was grilled, lending an added depth of flavor to the dish.
It was also generously sprinkled with mushrooms and spring onions. The Shoyu had the same consistency, only a bit tastier than the Shio. Nevertheless, both were awesome!
I couldn’t expound further, but I asked, where was I all this time since Yushoken existed? Alabang is too far from my place but thanks to its sister Mendokoro Ramenba, I now look forward to experience the similar Ramen joy in Makati.
Together with Ramen Nagi and Wrong Ramen at the helm, Ramen Yushoken is now a bonafide member of my top fave Ramen restaurants.
Ramen Yushoken keeps things simple and straightforward, executing the best of Japanese elements through its line of Ramen, appetizers, and ingredients. Truly one of the best.
Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Phone Number: +6328087424
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 AM to 11 PM
Facebook: Ramen Yushoken
No take-out or delivery