Last Saturday for lunch, P and I were going down along Arnaiz Ave. in Makati City looking for Ukokkei Ramen Ron, a Japanese ramen restaurant that’s been hailed by many to have the best ramen in Metro Manila. We only knew it was along Arnaiz Ave. so we were both on the lookout for it. On a stoplight, I then saw a Japanese guy walking on the curb and joked that maybe we should just follow him. A hundred or so meters later we saw Ukokkei and who should be walking inside in front of us, the same Japanese guy I pointed out to P a few minutes earlier. (Hee!)
The place was almost full, mostly with Japanese, expats, and (judging from the amount of SUVs and luxury vehicles parked in front at the time) a number of well-heeled Filipino families. When we got our seats, we immediately scanned the menu. As other Ukokkei fans have told us, the ramen comes in three different kinds of broth–shoyu (soy), shio (salt) and miso. Mostly everyone we’ve talked to recommends getting one of the miso variants. But P and I had agreed we would get two different kinds of ramen. He ordered the miso butter corn (PHP360) and I ordered the shoyu chashu (PHP380).
The miso butter corn certainly lived up to the hype. The broth had a rich, buttery and salty flavor that went well with the sweetness of the miso, corn and slice of pork. For P, the broth was just as just good as the broth of the ramen we had in Tokyo on our first night.
While the shoyu chashu ramen I got was also good, I didn’t think it was just as good as the Tokyo ramen. The broth seemed one note and the menma was a bit tough. The thin slices of chashu (char siu or barbecued pork) were excellent though. As for the noodles, they were firm, toothsome and flavorful on their own.
Because “when there’s ramen, there’s gyoza” (credit to my favorite manga, Oishinbo!), after P finished off his bowl of ramen (and mine) and he was still hungry, we ordered some of the Japanese potstickers (PHP120). Ukokkei’s gyoza was soft, succulent and satisfying. I would easily order it again for my next visit. That along with a bowl of miso ramen.
G/F Tesoro Bldg., 822 A. Arnaiz Ave., San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
Oishinbo is a manga on the “fascinating, addictive journey through the world of cooking and food culture”