I have a colleague who is just crazy about Japan and its culture. He studied the language in college, he goes to Japan almost annually (even before they allowed a multiple entry Visa), heck he even proposed to his fiance in Tokyo! So when he started talking about Ramen Yushoken and its awesome Ramen bowls I knew this was going to be good.
I’ve been reading around and seem to get that Yushoken translates to something close to House of Champions and I’m not arguing with that! This is my second visit to the joint in two years and it was still very good. Let me say this now, they have the best Shoyu Ramen and Gyoza in Metro Manila!
Ramen should be enjoyed right after serving with the noodles still “al dente”, devoured in minutes. You might want to be all prissy eating a pricey bowl of Ramen while in swanky Alabang but listen to everyone one else slurping away and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Dig in!
Their Gyoza is the best I’ve ever had
Just look at them. Small dumplings packed with tons of umami flavor. Bite into them, stop yourself from gobbling each one. With each bite enjoy that rich and savory taste, let it stay in your mouth and close your eyes. Take all that flavor in. It’s one of the best experiences to get after a long day at work.
Perfectly seared in one side and soft on the remaining ones. The inside is so moist, so juicy, and you get soothing tastes from the herbs. It’s the best Gyoza in town! There’s really no need to dip them in that sauce, but go ahead and do it to add more flavor.
Five pieces of fried chicken thighs that are so juicy. These may look like the simple fried chicken you probably do at home but the seasoning on these babies jack-up the umami once again.
They get served with a wedge of lemon, a dallop of mayonnaise, and some salt. But all I did was squeeze the lemon juice and eat each one, fast. No need to repeat the same eating ritual as with the Gyoza on this one, gobble them up and enjoy!
The Miso Ramen has a few followers but I am not a big fan. My friend loved it and highly recommends it. Just to be clear, it has the same pork broth base as all the other Ramen but infused with Miso paste. It’s still very meaty and don’t be expecting a piece of bangus.
The best Shoyu Ramen in Metro Manila
It’s both delicate and heavy at the same time. As I said, every bowl of Ramen is prepared as a ritual and you can definitely see it here. Lest I forget, Ramen Yushoken prepares their noodles fresh daily so they absorb the broth well. The broth is thick as it should be and good.
It’s also packed with flavor. The soy sauce infused on the Shoyu bowl does not overpower but rather enhances everything else. The chashu (that slice of pork at the bottom) is seasoned perfectly, fried heavenly, and melts in your mouth good. Every component of the bowl, all the way down to the bamboo shoots, compliments each other to give you one hell of a good meal. In the end you will be left smitten for more.
I tried it first in August of 2013 and more than one year later it’s still as good. The place remains packed with diners, we had to wait five minutes or so before being given a table. Attention to quality and delivering on taste with every bowl keeps people coming back to this noodle haven.
There a few people who slam Ramen Yushoken for some very mundane reasons: There are no spoons and forks; Most of their dishes are noodles, no sushi; It’s rich in cholesterol; It’s too pricey; It’s too far.
First of all, it’s a Ramen house not a full-blown Japanese restaurant so they only have chopsticks and soup spoons and 90% of the menu are noodles. The broth itself is made from pork bones so you’d expect things to be really fatty. As for the price, I believe the attention to detail and quality warrants them from keeping the prices as they are.
The location? If you’re a real Ramen worshipper, you must make that pilgrimage. What’s a little traffic and toll fee for the best Ramen experience in Metro Manila?