Friday, April 26, 2013

Get Blessed by the Ramen God at Ramen Yushoken

Hiyashi Chuka
(cold ramen)
I have read so many good things about Ramen Yushoken. I have told my brother about it, too, and the fact that it had opened a branch in Molito Alabang. That my brother likes ramen is an understatement I think, so the very first chance he got out of his busy schedule, he went over to Molito to find out what the big fuss was all about. Unfortunately, when he got there, they were out of ramen and he was told that they were no longer accepting customers for the day. I had warned my brother about this, too-- that Ramen Yushoken prepares only a limited number of ramen per day and they could close even before store hours are up when the ingredients run out-- so he was not too mad at me when I sent him on what turned out to be wild goose chase. A couple of days ago, it was a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to have a meal in Ramen Yushoken because she had read so many good reviews about it, too. Not having gone there myself, of course I agreed to go.

Out of excitement, I think, I left my camera on the day that we went there. It was a good thing that my friend had a fantastic camera on her smart phone. (Thank you, Mennie, for making these photos possible.)

Gyokai Tsukumen
House-made and Fresh
Ramen from
Ramen Yushoken
While waiting for our orders, I busied myself with learning more about Ramen Yushoken by reading Ramen Yushoken 101, written on paper that doubles as the restaurant's place mats. My placemat tells me that the restaurant's specialty, tonkotsu, or pork-bone broth, is boiled for 12 hours. That explains perhaps their order limit per day, that and the fact that they make their noodles in-house. Understandably, restocking on tonkotsu, which pervades all the soups of Ramen Yushoken, when they run out may be a tricky proposition for the chef.

My place mat also contains literature on the history of sorts of Ramen Yushoken. Fun fact: Ramen Yushoken's ramen is "derived from 'Ramen God' Kazuo Yamagishi... He is the most revered ramen personality in Japan today, as he was the inventor of the widely popular tsukemen or "dipping ramen."

The place in Molito is very cozy, has high ceilings, good lighting and acoustics. On one side is a bar which, though it looks decidedly modern, is reminiscent of traditional Japanese ramen houses. You can have your ramen here to get that authentic ramen house feel or if the couch is not your thing. While your at it, why not get yourself an ice cold bottle of Asahi or Sapporo Premium Beer?

Speaking of tradition, do not expect to order sushi, katsu, or tempura here. You go to Ramen Yushoken to have ramen, nothing else. (Ok, so maybe some traditional Japanese side dishes like gyoza and karaage.) This reminds me of a friend of mine who told me that there are no "Japanese restaurants" in Japan like the ones we have here. What you have there are restaurants like ramen houses and sushi houses that serves only one particular specialty and they have real "masters" at the helm who have perfected their craft by learning from the master that came before them. What an thought. That kind of redefined the word "specialty" for me.

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