Rainy days and ramen

What’s better than having ramen? Slurping ramen during a rainy day.

Manila and many parts of the country have been inundated by rain since last month and aside from slurping local favorites such as sinigang, batchoy, mami, champorado and arroz caldo, the Japanese noodle dish is gaining more following in the country.

While a few years back, Japanese restaurants serving good authentic ramen in Manila were not abundant, nowadays you could find one in most parts of the metro. Take Ramen Yushoken in Alabang.

Ramen Yushoken probably tops the list of ramen-ya these days. I know it tops my list. Before it opened, we were already hearing some buzz about it as restaurateur Elbert Cuenca had traveled to Tokyo to go and try bowls and bowls of ramen (lucky!). Months later he opened a ramen-ya serving ramen derived from Japan’s “Ramen God” Kazuo Yamagishi, inventor of the tsukemen (dipping noodles), proprietor of the legendary Taishoken ramen shop in Ikebukuro, and adorable-looking old man who regularly sits outside his restaurant. His successor (or “son of ramen god”) came to the country to make sure that the different varieties of ramen to be served in Yushoken are at par with ramen god’s champion ramen houses. What a build up, right?

Since a queue often forms outside the resto during lunch and dinner hours, we were there even before it opened at 11 am. Yushoken serves ramen in a rich, thick tonkotsu broth base (made from boiling pork bones over several hours). Being a fan of miso (soy bean paste), I stick to my favorite even if it’s described as the most rich soup in the menu; the hubby got shoyu.

Ready for my ramen

Ready for my ramen

Understandably, expectations were high. It opened December last year and it didn’t disappoint as fellow ramen-loving friends kept singing it praises. Because it entailed a bit of a drive from where we lived, P and I only got around to trying it, five months after it opened. And it was worth the long drive, the gas and the toll fee that Saturday morning. Continue reading

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Time for champorado, lugaw and mami (and for donations!)

How the road typically looks for the past few days.

It’s been raining for the past few weeks, here in Metro Manila and in many other parts of the country. And it’s not one of those soft drizzle that just leaves the road wet and makes the weather a little cooler; no, it’s mostly heavy, furious downpour that leaves many roads and neighborhoods submerged in flood. (Many families living in low-lying areas or nearby rivers in different parts of the city and nearby provinces have actually evacuated–or asked to evacuate–because of the flooding.)

It is typhoon season and even if there is no storm signal (FYI for non-Filipino readers, the country has three storm signals and if you’re traveling here from June to September early December, best be acquainted with storm warnings here), sometimes the southwest monsoon (yes, I’ve been watching too many weather updates) can bring alarming torrential rain, like today.

It’s best to stay indoors when this happens, but if you must venture out, check flooding and traffic updates here. And should you want to find some little comfort from food, here are a couple of local dishes that should be in your list for good rainy day Pinoy food.

Continue reading