2014 Update! Read: RAMEN WARS: 10 Best Ramen, Eating Habits, and Social Buzz in Manila!
Here's a year end wrap-up of our Top 10 Favorite Ramens in Manila this 2013!
1. RAMEN NAGI BUTAO
RAMEN NAGI offers a gourmet version of ramen that is hailed as the best in Tokyo. It has been awarded the top spot in the National Ramen of the Year Competitions for the last two years (2011 and 2012). In Hongkong, the Ramen Nagi franchise is known as BUTAO, after its popular signature ramen, which Filipinos line up hours for just to get a taste. :)
Finally, Ramen Nagi has opened in Manila at the 5th Floor of SM Aura Premier. The Manila franchise is owned by Plains & Prints couple founders Roxanne and Erickson Farillas, together with Michael James Chua, Carissa Coscolluela, Enti Coscolluela, and Avi Siy-Chua.
As the Filipino foodie's taste for ramen matures, one would prefer more rich and bolder flavors vs. the lighter variety. And once you taste the richer gourmet version of Ramen Nagi, there's no going back to light and lesser quality ramen.
You've got to check out why foodies are raving about Ramen Nagi Butao...
So far, RAMEN NAGI has the best ramen in town, especially if you are looking for a richer gourmet ramen version. We love the Black King, Green King, and Ebi King. I can't wait for them to offer the Truffle Ramen King version! The Boys love the Butao King version. :)
Each bowl of ramen is already a complete and satisfying meal. They only offer and specialize in ramen for now. I hope that they make dessert options available soon.
Budget is P500/person. Make sure to visit early and during the non-peak times to avoid the crowd.
RAMEN NAGI by Ramen Master Ikuta Satoshi
5th Floor SM Aura Premier (Beside Yabu)
2nd branch located in SM Mall of Asia
Facebook: Ramen Nagi Manila
2. UKOKKEI RAMEN
UKOKKEI RAMEN RON
Ukokkei Ramen Ron serves the best shoyu ramen in town! I got this tip from my Japanese foodie friend, Atsushi Matsuura.
Before reading the rest of the blog post, you need to be aware of unique policies of this ramen house:
1. The Ramen is not available for take-out. You can only enjoy it in the restaurant.
2. There is a NO-SHARING Ramen policy which means you cannot share the ramen between two people. (Even if it is good for two people)
There is NO dessert in Ukokkei Ramen Ron.
Ukokkei. Tesoro Bldg.
822 A. Arnaiz Ave. (Pasay Road), Makati.
In between Paseo de Roxas and Amorsolo St.
RAMEN DAISHO UKOKKEI
RAMEN DAISHO offers ramen that may not only be familiar in name but also in taste. Daisho comes from a coined word meaning dai="big", sho="fly" or "fly high".
Their ukokkei ("Silkie" chicken) ramen recipe is the same recipe bought by the Ukokkei Ramen Ron owners years ago from Japanese Master ChefFunatsu Yasuhiko, helping start the ramen craze here in the Philippines. In addition to the ramen recipe, Ramen Daisho bought the Master Chef's Gyoza and Chahan recipes, too. :)
Take a look at what you can expect from Ramen Daisho...
If you love ramen and are looking for the ultimate ukokkei experience, Ramen Daisho is the best place to enjoy it while being treated with a nice friendly service.
Make sure to order the Hakata Tonkotsu Chashu-men or Miso Ramen, and the Yakibuta Chahan. Budget is P500/head.
Indeed, ukokkei ramen without the drama!
RAMEN DAISHO UKOKKEI
Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Liberty Center, 312 Shaw Blvd. Mandaluyong, Philippines
Operating Hour: Open Daily 11:30 AM - 02:30 PM, 05:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Telephone: +632 774-0036
Facebook: Ramen Daisho
3. IKKORFYU FUKUOKA RAMEN
IKKORFYU FUKUOKA RAMEN is a Tonkotsu ramen from Yamagoya Ramen of Japan, which has been around since 1970, specializing in Chikuho noodles. Their original store in Manila is in the East Wing of Shangri-La Mall, and a bigger branch has opened in SM Aura.
Check out our Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen experience:
For us, Ikkoryu has one of the best ramen noodles in town. Our personal favorites are the Black Garlic Tonkotsu ramen and the basic Ajitama Tonkotsu ramen. :) We like the fact that you can specify the doneness of your noodles -- soft, normal, hard and very hard.
We still can't get enough of ramen, and it's a good thing there are many restos to choose from. Perfect for the rainy season in Manila!
IKKORYU FUKUOKA RAMEN PHILIPPINES
Level 5, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, Shaw Boulevard cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City
Telephone: +632 447-8333
- Monday to Thursday: 11.00am to 9.00pm
- Friday: 11.00am to 10.00pm
- Saturday: 10.00am to 10.00pm
- Sunday: 10.00am to 9.00pm
(Note: The IKKORYU FUKUOKA RAMEN SM Aura Store is now open, located at Level 2, SM Aura Premier. Call 0917 300-8883 for reservations.)
KICHITORA is ramen concept conceptualized by Filipino and Japanese partners, which opened their first branch in Shibuya Tokyo, subsequently in SM Megamall about a year ago and recently in Glorietta 5. Its name literally means “Lucky Tiger”.
I often asked foodies what is their favorite ramen, and consistently Kichitora is mentioned as one of their favorite ramens. Finally, when we tried it I had to agree with them :)
Check out our Kichitora experience...
OVERALL, if you are looking for a rich with a chicken broth ramen, Kichitora is recommended :) Order the Paitan Ramen Zenbu no Se, Tan Tan Mien and Chicken Karaage.
Kichitora in Glorietta has a nicer ambiance overlooking the Glorietta garden, but it faces the afternoon sun. Budget P500/head :)
It's great to know that this ramen chain was concepted by Filipinos with Japanese partners.
Kichitora of Tokyo brings together the winning recipes of Kohmen, Kookai and Daijin - 3 famous ramen and soba chains in Tokyo!
2nd Flr., Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Telephone: +632 775-1100
Finally, the Double Cheese Tsuke-men topped with parmesan and cheese sauce is finally here in Manila! The long-awaited opening of the first international franchise of MITSUYADO SEI-MEN brought to Manila by the UCC group was met with raves by loyal Manila-based Japanese crowd.
With the Ramen craze in full swing in Manila, Ramen-loving Filipinos would definitely love this Tsuke-men or "Dipping Noodle" innovation.
Here are some tips to have an awesome Tsuke-men experience at Mitsuyado's:
Overall, we love the gyoza, karashi and double cheese sauce Tsuke-men, and the street- food-inspired ambiance :) Of course, you can enjoy quality UCC siphon coffee afterwards :) Considering that most of the ingredients are imported, the pricing is a good deal already. Budget P500/person.
MITSUYADO SEI-MEN The House of Tsukemen
No. 22 Jupiter Street, Brgy. Bel Air, Makati City, Philippines.
Operating Hours: 11.00am to 12.00am Monday to Sunday
Telephone: +632 511-1390
Facebook: Mitsuyado sei-men
6. RAMEN YUSHOKEN
Foodies agree that RAMEN YUSHOKEN is one of the BEST RAMENS in the south.
YUSHO means Champion and KEN means House and its ramen recipe is based on Koji Tashiro’s, a ramen champion considered as the son of Japan's Ramen God - Yamagishi Kazuo.
We celebrated my younger brother Rommel's birthday here and decided to order all the items in the well-curated menu.
Here's our guide and our recommendations on what to order in Ramen Yushoken:
Overall, highly recommended and a surprisingly delicious and authentic Ramen addition to the Ramen Craze in Manila :) Budget P500 per head when you eat in Yushoken.
They have a limited capacity of 170-200 bowls of ramen per day and there are talks that they had turned down people because they have reached their maximum capacity earlier than expected. Best to go when they open at 11.00-11.30am for lunch or 5.30-6.00pm for dinner.
It's best to order one ramen per person to enjoy its full flavor. No takeouts are allowed.
Congrats Ryan and Chef Elbert for Yushoken!
Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Avenue corner Commerce St., Alabang, Muntinlupa
(Beside Omakase and Buona Vita Ristorante Italiano)
Open Daily 11.00am to 11.00pm
(Note: The closing times are dependent on availability of soup. Once they run out, they close.)
Facebook: Ramen Yushoken
Telephone: +632 808 7424
(Note: No Reservations. Cash and Credit Card are accepted. )
TAMPOPO is a ramen and tonkatsu specialty store founded by Takaaki Takagi in Singapore. Takagi is best known for starting Tonkichi, one of Singapore's best Tonkatsu Restaurants. The name Tampopo, which literally means "dandelion", is inspired by the 1985 Japanese "Ramen Western" film of the same name.
The Philippine franchise, owned by George Huang, Chris Tiu, and TY Tang, is Tampopo's first outside of Singapore. It is the first 2-in-1 Ramen & Tonkatsu specialty resto concept in the country.
The search for the best ramen heats up in Manila with the opening of Tampopo! Check this out...
Ramen and Tonkatsu...we love that TAMPOPO offers the best of both worlds.
I like the open resto with sunken garden concept, but the temperature of the place is still dependent on the air conditioning of the mall. It's great that they are able to have two kitchens, one specializing in ramen and the other in tonkatsu. This is their competitive advantage over the other Japanese ramen and tonkatsu concepts.
They are also able to offer Red Mango desserts since they own this franchise as well. Chris Tiu really knows how to pick winning brands.
I recommend the Black Pig Shobu Ramen and the Tampopo Black Pig Tonkatsu. The Koumi Fry Ramen is also a must-try. :)
Overall value is very good considering you are getting really high quality noodles, soup, and pork in a 2-in-1 Ramen & Tonkatsu resto. I also love the fact that they only charge 3% service charge :) Make sure to put extra tip for awesome service. Budget is about P700/head.
TAMPOPO たんぽぽ Philippines
Tonkatsu Specialist and Singapore's No.1 Ramen
Ground Floor, Promenade 3 Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
Mobile: (+63) 917 854-7440
Operating Hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm Daily
Reservations accepted for Lunch 12nn-2pm, and for Dinner 7pm to 9pm.
Facebook: Tampopo たんぽぽ Philippines
8. RAMEN SANTOUKA
RAMEN SANTOUKA is one of the best ramen franchises originating from Hokkaido, north of Japan. It is named after a famous poet's pen name -- Santōka Taneda -- and is the latest restaurant to join the Ramen Craze in Manila.
For their soft opening, they are serving variants of their original ramen and a few side dishes.
Here's what to expect and what to order in Ramen Santouka:
We like the Shio soup and Kara-Miso Spicy Ramen. But it's the Tokusen Toroniku that we love. Made from the delicate pork cheeks, the meat is even better than pork belly! :) Budget P400/head.
We can't wait for their full menu and for the Kurobuta versions to be available!
RAMEN SANTOUKA PHILIPPINES
The legendary ramen brand that offers the same family recipe since 1988, enjoyed throughout Japan and in other international cities such as Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Indonesia, USA, Canada and now in the Philippines!
Address: G4-132 Ground Floor, Glorietta Mall, Ayala Center Makati
(Near Outback, beside Mercury Drug in front of SM Makati)
Telephone: +632 728-1381
Facebook: Ramen Santouka Philippines
Operating Hours: Open Daily, 11.00am to 11.00pm
A lot of foodies have been waiting for Chef Him Uy de Baron to open his own restaurant.
After gaining a following from his successful catering gigs, he finally decided to open Nomama -- a Japanese restaurant with a twist, focusing on artisanal ramen with ingredients made from scratch.
Nomama in Japanese means "That's it", but this resto got its name from a play on words that it's "not your mama’s ramen".
Locavores would be happy to know that he supports the slow food movement and only uses the freshest local and organic produce in Manila whenever possible. He is committed to the same advocacy as Chef Sandralyn Hataway of Tourné, Chef Tatung, and Chef Sau del Rosario of Le Bistro Vert.
Read More: Nomama (2x) But You
Overall, I think Nomama is still finding its groove. The pricing is a bit on the high side, especially for the QC-Tomas Morato area. The waiters don't know how to take orders yet (so make sure to specify your order clearly). Then again, where else can you find a ramen place with really good non-ramen food and divine desserts?
When it comes to innovation, this resto truly deserves a round of applause -- there's no other resto like Nomama Nomama But You *clap* *clap* *clap* *clap* :)
Nomama by Chef Him Uy de Baron
G/F FSS Bldg 2, Scout Tuason cor Scout Castor St.,
Quezon City, Philippines
Mobile: +63 917 522-8272/
Phone: +632 5422558
10. RAMEN BAR
Finally, Ukkokei Ramen Ron has serious competition in serving the best authentic Japanese Ramen in Manila. You have to try both Ukkokei in Pasay Road and Ramen Bar in Eastwood, then weigh in on the debate as to which one has the best ramen in town. :)
That's it! Let me know what's your favorite ramen place that you think should be included in the list.
Live an Awesome Life,
P.P.S. I'm excited for 2014 when Ippudo and Ramen Champion open in Manila!