Episode 101: Of Cravings, Large Servings, and Ramen Shokudo

Satisfying a craving for ramen is quite easy nowadays, with the dozens of Japanese restaurants popping out in the metro for the past few years. But sometimes, just grabbing the nearest bowl of ramen within reach isn’t enough. If you’re going to eat ramen, you might as well get the most satisfying noodles that you can, right?

The invitation that day was a bit sudden: Maiya was craving for ramen, and she wanted to try out Ramen Shokudo, a new Japanese ramen restaurant in Quezon City. Being the ramen fan that I always am, I agreed to accompany her to dinner.

I found out later that Ramen Shokudo was a relatively new place. The restaurant opened last February 2017, and it boasts of serving authentic Yokohama-style ramen, made with 100 percent natural ingredients and no MSG. That’s quite a tall order.

To add to the authenticity of the restaurant, the dining area is set up in a cozy bar-style with a grand view of the action in the kitchen, similar to ramen bars in Japan. The area can accommodate about 22 people, which also means you may have to fall in line before you can get seated. Just like in Japan.

First off on our meal was their gyoza, the traditional ramen side dish. The gyoza had a crispy, salty, oily feel in it, complimented by the spicy kick of their gyoza sauce.

Along with the gyoza came the curry cheese roll, their best-selling appetizer, which is basically deep-fried gooey cheese rolls with curry drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise. The taste of the savory cheese and the spicy curry blended well, especially while it was hot.

Finally, it was time for the ramen.

Ramen Shokudo’s best-selling tantanmen is a bowl of thick, dense noodles resting on a rich broth and topped with a slice of juicy chasyu, ajitama, and minced pork. The result is a rush of spicy, creamy, meaty, oily, peanut-like flavors bursting in your palate.

Maiya ordered the shoyu ramen, noodles with a mix of pork and chicken broth in a savory soy sauce base and topped with menma, scallions, and ajitama. This variety is light and mildly salty, and is recommended for those who like simple, subtle flavors in their ramen.

The servings were large and quite heavy, but we still slurped our way through the noodles like it’s the biggest thing we’ve had in life. I’ve eaten tantanmen in a lo of places, but this has been the best and the most satisfying bowl I’ve had in years.

As for Maiya, judging by her reactions, it looks like eating at Ramen Shokudo satisfied her cravings in many ways. In the end, though, she could only finish three-fourths of her ramen, and she was so full by the time we left. Yup, the ramen must have been that heavy.  Not for me though, since I finished off mine with ease, but my stomach is a different story altogether.

Perhaps it was a good thing that Ramen Shokudo didn’t have dessert; otherwise our stomachs and waistlines would have been busted afterwards… except she started asking about that crepe shop I casually mentioned on the way home. Maybe next time.

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Ramen Shokudo
401 Banawe St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 247 7873

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P.S. It’s been months since I last blogged about food. Sure, I get to post on Instagram about my latest food adventures, but I’ve never had the time to write here. Looks like this latest assignment is my wake-up call to start eating – and writing – again.

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