When I was trying to re-organize my stash of photos, I realized that I had A LOT of pictures of food. So many, in fact, that they comprise about 65% of my portfolio. I never dreamed of becoming a food photographer. But I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to practice writing about more lifestyle-y topics such as…. food!!! Who wouldn’t want to write about food? Right? Contrary to popular opinion, I lurrvve food! And while I do have my list of favorite restaurants and coffee shops and I tend to order the tried-and-tested quite often, I also like trying out new stuff. So today, I went with my colleagues to this Japanese restaurant in Eastwood City called Ramen Bar.
I have liked Ramen Bar’s Facebook page way way before but have never had a chance to go there. I liked how the ramen were presented (and photographed!) in their website: the perfectly placed naruto, the rectangular carpet of nori, the swirling noodles, the fresh green yasai, the mouth-watering chunks of meat… everything looked perfect in the photo! But tasting the real thing was an altogether different experience.
Having lived in Japan for almost six months in 2010-2011, I can say that I know what ramen is supposed to look and taste like. Now, I’m not gonna go purist and claim that ramen can only be this certain percentage of salty or it should have this number of meat slices. Each city in Japan has their own version of the ramen. Even the different shops give their own twist to the ramen! BUT I do know that ramen isn’t the size of a rice bowl… or worse, a cup noodle! So I had my expectations.
I ordered the generic shouyu ramen, that is, ramen with soy sauce broth. It cost Php 280 (roughly 700 yen or $7). I waited for about 15 minutes while I chatted with my colleagues. When my ramen came in a BIG bowl (yay! major requirement fulfilled!) in all its heavenly salty aroma, I just dug in, slurped the noodles like a true-blue gaijin (never mind the etiquette which I’m not familiar with)… and it was awesome! I especially liked the meat slices because they’re SO tender, tasty, and soft I just zoned out at the first bite. It was almost like being back in my favorite noodle shop in Tokyo.Ramen Bar definitely did not disappoint. Theirs is the best ramen I’ve ever tasted in the Philippines. I’m definitely going back there to try one of their more adventurous flavors, like the bikkuri ramen (suprise?? ramen). There might be more surprises next time!