Ramen is a favorite comfort food of mine. Whenever I crave for something or can’t think of anything to eat outside aside from fast food, I would go for Ramen. It’s comforting and appetizing as it is without getting extra add-ons.
Having tried different versions from food events, socials, or random food trips, I have on my list the best Ramen I have tried in the Metro. This is the same list I’d recommend to people looking for the quality Ramen. Please note that this is based on my personal preference and experience and is not influenced by top vlogs or blogs.
Top 5 – Ramen Kuroda
Ramen Kuroda lies on the cheaper range of Ramen restaurants. I’ve had this often in Venice Grand Canal Mall which is near my workplace. I didn’t expect that with the starting price of 200 bucks, the quality and taste of the Ramen are spot on and can compete well with the famous Ramen joints I know. And the price is already inclusive of the Tamago egg! The broth can be a bit fatty, but still savory. The meat proportion is also tender and not too thin or small, hence justifying the acceptable meat standard for Ramen. My favorites in their selection are Shiro Ramen (Tonkotsu) and Aka Ramen (Spicy Tonkotsu). I find the Kuro Ramen (Tonkotsu with Garlic) too strong for my taste. They also have the set meals that includes a smaller bowl of Ramen + Japanese rice bowls for only Php 340 up.I’ve tried this twice (haha, I can be matakaw like that) and I’d surely recommend this to those with huge appetites. If you want to indulge in good tasting Ramen but you’re on a budget, Ramen Kuroda is the place to go.
Top 4 – Ippudo Philippines
I’ve tried Ippudo several times in Uptown Mall. As an international brand, you’d expect this restaurant serves authentic, Japanese-style Ramen. And true enough, this well-known Ramen chain is not famous for nothing. The dominant red tones and oriental accents of the resto give that “Japanese vibe” that adds to the Ramen experience. And as a high-end Ramen restaurant, it’s already given that the menu is quite expensive. The budget per person starts at Php 500, not including side dishes or appetizers. I would dine here during “nakakaluwag-luwag” days, haha! What about the quality and taste of the Ramen? I could say it’s still worth it based on the serving! They did not scrimp on the ingredients and serving size of the pork. The broth is not overpowering with fat. The saltiness is moderate. I have tried Shiromaru Motoaji (Original Tonkotsu) and Karaka-Men (Original Tonkotsu with Spicy Miso).
My blog: Ippudo Ramen: A Ramen Champion
Top 3 – Ramen Nagi
Ramen Nagi is not only known for its best selling Ramen, but also for its flexibility of customizing the noodle texture, meat portion, and spice level of the broth according to the customer’s preference. It will always remind me of a special person who introduced me to Ramen Nagi that it has become one of my top favorites. It’s a frequent order during dates. At first, you’ll get confused and intimidated how to customize your order, but you can always ask the server. I’d always stick to Original Butao – Pork Shoulder (no spice).
My blog: Ramen Nagi: My December Comfort Food
Top 2 – Mendokoro Ramenba
I’ve been to its BGC branch only and every time, there’s always a long line. Dining here always comes with patience together with the other persistent diners waiting to be seated. While waiting, you can entertain yourself watching how the chefs prepare their masterpieces in an open kitchen, quietly simmering the broth or pressing the Gyoza. Mendokoro keeps things simple and straightforward with the limited items in the menu but each Ramen proves itself as a worthy contender, never outdoing the others in terms of taste and quality. The broth is rich in taste; savory, milky, and velvety. The chashu is never to be underestimated with its tenderness, and this grilled pork belly adds another depth of flavor to the broth. My favorite is the Shio (original Tonkotsu). There are times though, that I find myself resting in between before I finish the entire bowl because one, it’s too heavy; second, you can drown in the Umami taste. Nevertheless, it will still be among my top Ramen restaurants.
Top 1 – Ramen Yushoken
Yes, it’s the sister of Mendokoro Ramenba. I’ve experienced dining in Molito, Alabang, where the long line of customers is also a very common scene. And it’s not overhyped — people wait patiently for a reason. The taste, quality, and serving is the same with Mendokoro. The only difference is that Yushoken has more selections in its menu. What I like about Yushoken is the availability of Chicken Karaage in the appetizers because Mendokoro has the Gyoza only. A visit to the South would never be complete without dining here. People from far places go to Yushoken to experience the best-tasting Ramen.
Best Pairs for Ramen
Ramen is not complete without having these sides: Gyoza, Chicken Karaage, and Tamago.
So, there you have it! Although I’m still open to appreciating other Ramen restaurants that are less-known, these top 5 would stay on my list. Based on what I have enumerated, these are the consistent elements that I always look for when rating Ramen: taste of the broth, texture of the noodles, and the tenderness of the pork. Do you have the same picks as mine? Which Ramen in the above list is your best bet? Let me know if you can recommend other Ramen restaurants I haven’t tried.