Although there have been a lot of Japanese restaurants in the country for quite long now, the ramen craze officially started a few years back.
During this time, many ramen houses opened to cater to the growing demand for this mouth-watering Japanese broth. Maybe I just don’t like noodles, or maybe I’m a certified non-conformist, but either way, I have never seen myself going to ramen houses and comparing every ramen bowl with the hope of finding the best ramen in town.
It was my Japanese boss who introduced me to ramen. On my first day, he said he’s going to treat me for lunch. And yes, for a delicious ramen!
That afternoon my perception was changed. We arrived at MENDOKORO RAMENBA at 12 noon and the lines were crazy. Is this still because of the ramen craze? Or is there something special about their ramen? That, I have to find out. So after my boss ordered from the counter, we waited for roughly 30 minutes before we were finally given a seat. As soon as you enter, you will hear their chanting rituals as they greet their guests.
MENDOKORO RAMENBA is situated in Salcedo Village, Makati City. The place is relatively small and can only accommodate 21 hungry people. Guests were seated in such a way that everyone has a view of their open kitchen. So it’s like watching a live cooking show, waiting to be served with your order. Your official waiting time will start as soon as you take your seat. This is the time when they will start cooking your food so be extra patient.
After another 20-30 minutes, we finally got our order. I ordered Shoyu Ramen (as recommended by my boss) and I’m telling you, it was love at first slurp! How can I not love this ramen? I mean, the noodles are not overcooked but doesn’t give you a hard time chewing either. It comes with a generous amount of thick and creamy soup with overflowing flavors, topped with spring onions, sesame seeds, and black garlic oil.
The meat or Chasu is the bomb! It is cooked for 16 hours so you can just imagine how tender the meat is. It literally melts in your mouth, no muscles to be used during mastication. We ordered extra Tamago to complete this ramen experience. MENDOKORO RAMENBA also serves Gyoza which is also very good.
Tamago, 3 pieces Chasu, 3 pieces Gyoza
When they were still starting, MENDOKORO only served 80-100 ramen bowls a day so people had to be early or else come back some other time. It’s a good thing that MENDOKORO is now serving unlimited bowls daily.
After my ramen experience, I would drive all the way from QC to Makati just to have my ramen fix during weekends. As always, the waiting game is worth it. I would not mind going through heavy traffic, as long as I got my Shoyu Ramen.
Just a reminder, MENDOKORO does not accept reservations so you really have to go through the hassle of waiting before getting served. And to preserve the taste and overall appearance of the food, no take outs allowed. Everything must be consumed inside the ramen house. They also do not offer any beverage except for water. This is to make sure that guests will get to taste the real goodness of their authentic dishes – no more, no less.
Just some trivia, MENDOKORO RAMENBA has the same owner as the famous ramen house in the South, Ramen Yoshuken.
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