Lately, there’s been a Ramen boom in Manila and it’s driving me crazy. If you guys read this blog, you’d know by now that I’m a noodle person and ramen makes me weak in the knees.
So since the year started, I’ve been visiting some of the new ramen shops in Manila. And here’s my log on my ramen journey!
It took a while for me to write this review because it was quite hard to assess my emotions with this restaurant. When it comes to talking about restaurants, I always have two reactions. First, the restaurant is great and this reaction is always something that’s clear to me after the first bite. Second, it’s horrible and it’s possibly something I’ll never recommend to friends or even spend some time writing about. Again, that’s a reaction garnered from the first bite.
Somewhere in the middle was this restaurant which everyone who had gone with me, and everyone who has blogged about it were singing praises for and for me… I just couldn’t seem to sing the same praises.
I’m not saying Ramen Bar is bad but if it claims to be an authentic Japanese ramen and put it against the best ramen in Japan, it’s not good enough to cause a Ramen boom.
I was never a big fan of bagels. Back when I worked in Starbucks, bagels were items that were thrown out of our pantry because they quickly grew stale. And by stale, I mean rock hard. I’ve had my fare of eating stale bagel and I swore I’d never touch the damn thing after 10 a.m. It would take more than the help of an article writing service to convince me then how awesome bagels can get! However, a trip to the Big Apple and a strong recommendation of a friend prompted me to give it a try — especially when she’s actually pimping me a Zagat approved bagel: the best in New York.
I first met Mr. Sugawara when he invited me to join them for a family dinner at Kikufuji. His daughter and I had been good friends by then and while our brand of fun seemed to have finished early (and they had room for one more) I would assume that he thought it was possibly nice to join them for dinner. What happened afterwards was a mouth-opening experience as he showed me a whole new flavor palette for Japanese food. Fresh fish, a great balance of rice, wasabi and vinegar makes amazing sushi. Of course, there was also balance in terms of textures, colors, and flavors that by the end of the evening, I could never imagine myself eating at any other Japanese joint.
It has been months since I’ve been in Osaka but I am still basking in the high of having gone to Japan and returning in one piece. One of the masterpieces that I tasted there was not a native Osaka dish but still one of the best in Japan.
Hakata ramen claimed its fame in the late 80s as it was a fresh vibrant flavor for Japanese ramen. One of pillars of Hakata ramen is a shop called Ippudo who greeted me with a sign that eagerly awaited the happiness I’ll feel when I eat their ramen.