Marymil M. Cabrera
WHO doesn’t love that bowl of yummy goodness filled with hot broth, noodles, not to mention that rich umami taste? No matter the weather, people will stand in line just to satisfy their ramen cravings.
The heart of any ramen is its soup – a thick broth made flavorful from hours of cooking. On top of this noodle soup staple from Japan are ideally, a soft-boiled egg, pork slices, freshly chopped leeks and bamboo shoots as these four complement well the taste of the soup. Meccha oishii (very delicious), right?
Get your wallet and tummy ready as we go on a ramen adventure! Here’s a list of where to go to get your ramen fix.
Ikkousha Hakata Ramen Cebu
Location: JY Square, IT Center, 1 Salinas Drive
Let’s start at SunStar Best of Cebu 2018’s Best Ramen Place. Hailing from Hakata, Fukouka, Japan, Ikkousha is famous for its collagen-rich pork bone soup served with thin noodles, flavored egg, four slices of tender pork chashu with spring onions on top.
Ordering your ramen is easy and straightforward; you just pick your preferred ramen base, noodle texture and the level of your broth’s saltiness – plus extra toppings if you wish – from a checklist and then hand it over to one of its friendly staff.
Location: 13, Escario Central, Escario St.
Inside the complex of Escario Central is where you can savor the tonkotsu and torigara flavored broth of ramen master Makoto Okazaki as he brings his creation from his beloved country. Though the ramen bar is just enough to fit four tables on each side, a long booth in the middle and a three-seat stool towards the kitchen, you will feel like you’re in an authentic, quaint Japanese ramen bar.
Tongara Ramen offers eight different ramen and a variety of sides made from scratch.
Location: Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City
“Irasshaimase!” is how the staff in black uniform greet you as you enter this popular ramen shop. It simply means “Welcome to the store!”
Aside from the Japanese-style interior, well-lit tables, a special paper placemat with “Ramen 101” printed on it, this ramen chain allows you to take a peek into the ramen-making process by its staff trained by the “Son of the Ramen God” Koji Tashiro – making your ramen experience more exciting.
Sachi Authentic Japanese Ramen Okonomiyaki
Location: Ayala Center Cebu; M.L. Quezon Ave., Cabancalan, Mandaue City
Delight in Osaka-style ramen at Sachi. Its broth may be thinner in consistency than those of Fukuoka’s and Tokyo’s ramen versions but the flavor remains full-bodied. With its growing number of branches, it’s no doubt that Sachi is a favorite among ramen lovers. One can choose from its six kinds of ramen, five kinds of okonomiyaki and rice toppings.
168 Ramen House
Locationa: Crossroads, Banilad
This ramen house serves different varieties of ramen: soy sauce-based, salt-based, soya paste-based and pork broth-based. It also serves curry series, donburi series, chahan series and sides such as gyoza, tsukune, karaage, sausage, otsumami chashu, yasai itame, ebi mayo and harumaki, to name a few. You may also request additional toppings like butter, corn, moyashi, nitamago and karakuchi nagi.
Barikata Ramen Bar
Location: G/F Calyx Center Bldg., Cebu IT Park
Barikata, which literally means very hard, describes the noodles of this ramen bar in the lively IT Park. It’s the right level of hardness for a noodle to be a high-quality one.
Its best seller is its tonkotsu ramen and its variants include shiro tonkotsu or “white,” an original tonkotsu ramen with white pork bone broth; kuro tonkotsu or “black,” a pork bone broth ramen with black roasted ground garlic and sesame oil; and aka tonkotsu, a pork bone broth ramen with hot and spicy ground pork and chili oil.
You will also enjoy looking at the Great Wave Off Kanagawa painting on the wall with a text that says “Ramen makes you smile and happy.”
Location: 38 Gorordo Ave.
Ramen Kamekichi, home of the original Yokohama-style and guilt-free ramen, used to be a hole-in-the-wall before it moved to its current location. What’s more enthralling is that you can choose the level of spiciness, with level 3 as the spiciest. One must try its shoyu chashumen and enjoy the generous amount of pork slices.
Hamakaze Japanese Ramen
Location: A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad
Hamakaze offers affordable ramen with an intimate ambience that can accommodate up to 30 diners. It has four wooden tables which can be merged to cater to large groups and a narrow bar counter for those dining solo. For first-timers, its Tori Paitan Syo-Yu ramen is highly recommended. The best part? It is open until 4 a.m., perfect for an after-party, sobering-up meal.