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It’s time for a unique Japanese dining experience
For a year now I have harped and heaped praises on Ramen Yushoken. Their ramen is absolutely to-die for and always keeps me coming back for more. I don’t know what they put in their ramen, is it the noodles, their broth, or just a wonderful combination and artistry that excites my senses? I have no idea except that one fact remains, it is truly on top of my list of ramen places here in Manila. Given that the rainy days are here and cabin fever knows no victims, Tricia and I decided to try out the next alternative to Yushoken, meet Mendokoro Ramenba. Taking on the same concept from Yushoken, this unique ramen joint brings the experience of eating in a ramen joint to the good people of Makati. Only if you’re willing to brave the long lines and the strict serving hours.

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Spartan and very minimalistic. Just choose, enjoy and go
From some of my trips, I have noticed we have a very European attitude to eating, or more specifically emulating the French. The French are known for taking their time, relishing both food and above all conversations above all else. We Filipinos are the same, but in Mendokoro prepare to be self-conscious as the atmosphere is brisk and decidedly very Japanese. Mendokoro sets itself apart from other ramen places, spartan and spare is how I’d best describe their restaurant. With only limited seating it’s best to arrive in Mendokoro before 11:30 and closes until the 80th bowl for the lunch hour is served. Then opens again at 6:30pm and closes until the 100th bowl is served. So talk about being rushed just to try out Mendokoro.

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Shoyu ramen, rich and flavorful
When we arrived there was barely anyone there, maybe it was a good sign and we immediately ordered our food. The usual trappings were there: shio, shoyu, tantanmen,miso, cold ramen, tsukemen, add-ons and gyoza. But upon seating, with our tamago and gyoza served the line to order and get in started getting longer and longer. I was thankful that we got there early enough to enjoy Mendokoro just before the hubbub of activity.

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Shio ramen, creamy and deep
Once our food arrived, there was really no difference between Yushoken and Mendokoro, the flavors were absolutely the same. Every slurp, texture, flavor, spice, broth, and other stuff was familiar and I felt like I was back in Yushoken in Alabang. It was all familiar and once again I couldn’t help but savor every bit of it. The only downside, while eating I couldn’t help but feel pressured to eat faster as more and more people lined up in plain view. But maybe that’s the whole concept behind it, don’t stop to eat and talk, just focus on eating and doing the talking at a later time.

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Our meal won’t be complete without gyoza
With its brisk service and uniquely Japanese concept, the experience was enjoyable and very fun. Since I have never been to Japan I guess this was a beautiful introduction to the ramen bar concept I have read and craved for a future visit to Japan. For those wanting that experience, then this is the place to be, but just a word for caution to thrifty eaters, be prepared to shell out around Php. 500 for each meal. The experience of eating ramen perfection does not come cheap.

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Tangy aji tamago
Mendokoro Ramenba is located at Soliman Street, Salcedo Village. Makati City. 
They are open everyday from 11:30am to 2:00pm and at 6:30pm to 10:00pm
You may contact them at +6324789625 or you can visit their Facebook page here.
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