I’ve professed my admiration for the Ramen and Gyoza of Ramen Yushoken and I intend to stick to it until I’ve proven myself wrong! Those are the best of their kind in Metro Manila, hands down. This was after trying other Ramen places such as Kitchitora of Tokyo, Taisho Ramen, Ramen Bar, Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss, and Nihon Bashitei (not really a full ramen place, but the Ankake Ramen is divine!). This week I tried a place that has been getting rave reviews and has six locations in key areas in Metro Manila, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.
As the title says, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is a close contender to my admiration for the Ramen pilgrimage site in the South. The main reason for this is both establishments have tonkotsu broth as their base. Tonkotsu broth is a soup made by boiling pork bones. It’s rich, it’s heavy, and it’s really good. I hit their Bonifacio High Street location because I haven’t been in this area for a while. Their other locations are in Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Aura, Alabang Town Center, Power Plant Mall, and Century City Mall.
I love Karaage. I love Ramen Yushoken’s version, I love this version, hell I even love Tokyo Tokyo’s if I’m really craving for some. Ikkoryu’s is crispy and somewhat larger than what you’ll get at Yushoken. I just wish the shredded cabbage they serve it with didn’t look so sad. These babies were gone quick!
Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu Ramen
Their Tonkotsu broth gets mixed with spicy tobanjan paste which according to Ikkoryu’s menu gives it “an absolutely appetizing and wholesome flavour”. My girlfriend loves eating spicy fare, so she immediately honed in on this. I asked for a taste and thought the spice with the tonkotsu was a good combination. However, she found the heat a bit lacking and added more chili sauce from the condiments on the table.
Ajitama Tonkotsu Ramen
I’ve heard that this is Ikkoryu’s best seller. The Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu Ramen get’s two Ajitama as extra toppings (hence the name of the dish, get it?). The Ajitama was so good. The soft boiled yolk was just perfect, and you can get the taste of the special soy blend that has permeated to the eggs themselves.
Presentation wise, Ikkoryu’s is messier compared to Ramen Yushoken. The slice of chashu is larger than Yushoken’s but is not at par compared to its melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The bamboo shoots seem limp. The broth is thick, heavy, but lacks depth in taste compared to Yushoken’s. I wanted to gulp down the remaining broth in my Yushoken bowl whereas I left about a quarter of the broth in this one.
Don’t get me wrong, Ikkoryu has good and filling Ramen. They have locations that are easier to get to for most of Metro Manila’s residents. They also have a lot of red accents in their restuarants which I totally dig! However, I’m eating here after having had a taste of Ramen Yushoken and just can’t help but compare their Tonkotsu broths. The noodles are equally good, I just don’t get why Ikkoryu would give diners three choices (soft, normal, and hard).
I don’t dig their bowls, even though it has a red colored rim. Paired with the messy presentation and that slice of nori, it just looks cheap and not an almost 400 peso bowl. The soup “ladles” are also awkward to eat with. The narrow space makes its hard to catch noodles in the spoon then slurp the excess soup that dripped from them.
I still stand by my conviction that Ramen Yushoken has the best Ramen in town. I didn’t try Ikkoryu’s Gyoza because judging from pictures I’ve seen on the internet and my verdict on the Ramen, I’ll eventually come to the same conclusion.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen serves up some great bowls of Ramen. But if you’re looking for the best, you still need to brave Metro Manila traffic and pay some crazy toll fees to be able to get to them.