There’s a legendary Ramen Place in the South, and it is named Ramen Yushoken. Sorry Butamaru.
Having said that, the Ramen at Butamaru may actually be to the liking of some people. We went here on a summer afternoon and we were the only ones in the place. That’s not really supportive of my previous statement but whatever.
The interior, I have to admit, I like better than Yushoken. So that’s one thing going for them. It has lower ceilings so its not supposed to be noisier thatn Yushoken. It’s ambiance is more intimate and the colors they used I feel are more relaxing. Plus the pictures of Japan was a nice touch. I would just move that fridge away from the line of sight of patrons seating in the bar. And the tape dispenser.
The staff was very friendly. They were also attentive but not intrusive. They would wait for the time when you’re not talking to your friends before asking you for a refill of your house tea. They are also very knowledgeable about their menu.
We all only ended up eating the same dish, the Shoyu Ramen. Let’s talk about that.
If this shall be your first bowl of Ramen, you may actually laud it as the best ever. Not me.
I don’t like the broth. It’s not as thick and rich as Yushoken’s but still able to be oily. Kakain ka na nga ng hindi healthy, yung hindi pa maayos. It’s the same base as Yushoken’s (pork bones) so you really can’t help but compare the two. It also has a very strong taste of burnt garlic. Not toasted. Burnt garlic.
The chashu was soft but not melt in your mouth as (you guessed it) Yushoken’s. It also had a funky taste to it, like they added some seasoning that I just can’t get. It was foreign and I did not like it.
The strips of mushroom were good. It had a little bite but the taste was overpowered by the garlic. The noodles I loved as well. Firm and did not get soggy.
Nothing special about these. They are refreshing. Plus they’re free and refillable! I just wish I got the cold one as well. Hot tea with Ramen in a Philippine Summer afternoon? I did not think that through well enough.
I seriously don’t know if it’s from the broth itself or the Shoyu, but the burnt garlic taste was a bit off. And I was really disappointed in the lack of richness. It does not differ much from the prices of Yushoken so come on! You need to step up your game Butamaru! That’s very strong competition!
I’ve heard a couple of people tell me that Ukokkei Ramen Ron is better than Yushoken. But until I don’t get to try that and confirm I still declare the House of Champions blessed by the Ramen God himself as the best in Metro Manila.
If you are in the South area and in a Ramen Fix, look for Yushoken first. If it’s full (which it most probably will be) and you cannot wait, then you can drive a short distance more to get to Butamaru. It should be in that order.