The past few days I have been craving for a hot bowl of noodles, particularly ramen. The very mystifying and artfully done piping hot noodles with all the nuances of Japanese culinary delights. To satisfy this craving I could have easily gone to one of the many convenience stores or dropped by Ramen Cool in Kapitolyo. But I did not and the thing is, the noodles in convenience stores taste a little funny (but I still wouldn’t pass up the chance to buy one) and the noodles in Ramen Cool just seem so pretentious. I really wanted to taste the real thing or at least have a near authentic ramen meal. Thankfully last night, I did get to have the noodles of all noodles at Molito’s Ramen Yushoken in Alabang.
The experience of tasting ramen in Yushoken’s is incomparable and may just be the near authentic meal found in Japan or at the very least the ones in Little Tokyo in Makati. Ramen in general is a flavorful and perfectly balanced bowl of broth and noodles with all the goodness and magic found in Japanese cooking. In the past I have tried different kinds of ramen in Ramen Cool and also in Ikkoryu, the former was a bland and near forgettable experience while the latter was good but I was still looking for that distinctly Japanese flavor.
Before I get to the ramen eating experience itself, I need to rewind from the beginning of the meal. Our dinner, began with the soft and gently friend gyoza. The gyoza prepared our palate for the evening’s main course; the wrapper not to thick, the filling just right to fully appreciate the meats inside, the fry just right and enough not to deeply fried to make it crispy nor too light to classify it as a dumpling/siomai; and finally, the gyoza sauce, perfectly balance to the point that it doesn’t overpower the overall taste and feel of the dish.
After an appetizing start, our ramen came just in time, Tricia had the shio ramen and I had the shoyu ramen. According to their menu, the shio ramen is a salt-based and their most basic ramen; on the other hand, the shoyu ramen is soy-based ramen with deeper flavors that the shio one. Interesting tidbit that was very much appreciated but now it was time to dig in, the only way to really eat ramen is to eat while it’s still hot. Perusing the menu, the rationale for this is so that the flavors and the noodles wouldn’t spoil and as they so pointedly tell us, who would want cold noodles anyway?
Looking at the presentation of the meal, it was difficult to really get started, I just had to first appreciate the aesthetics and the artistry in its preparation. Beautifully done with all the components of the meal properly represented providing you with a view of each of the flavors to come. With all the prerequisite pictures and admiration done and over with, it was truly time to taste and see why many people line up for this meal and this restaurant. My first spoonful of the broth and the gentle slurping of the meal was simply amazing! If the visuals of food enjoyment and near orgasmic pleasure that Chef Mao expressively illustrates in Cooking Master Boy, then that was my experience sans the near orgasmic pleasure though. The broth was not too salty even if it is a soy sauced-based one, the pork was tender to the point of melting in your mouth and having absorbed the broth, it was sublimely delicious.
Our experience at Yushoken really affirmed why I love Japanese food. With all of its culinary complexities there is actually simplicity in everything inside the meal. The mere presentation of everything, the way the spices were garnished, the cut of the pork, the combination of flavors that compliment were strokes of artistry and quality.
Though the price of our relatively short dinner was steep, it was certainly well worth it. To experience eating in a place like Yushoken merits a second, a third and even more visits to sample all of their meals. I for one will most certainly go back, but not quite soon, to further enjoy this adventure of ramen.
Ramen Yushoken is located at Molito, Madrigal Avenue. Muntinlupa City.
You may visit their Facebook page here.
You may visit their Facebook page here.