Nothing beats the good-tasting broth and soft and chewy noodles of ramen. Its hearty toppings, be it pork or beef, allow food lovers to taste and experience the uniqueness of Japanese cuisine. The heat of its broth comforts us after a long and busy day, giving us what we truly desire–a warm bowl of flavorful soup and noodles.
However, a bowl of ramen in the Philippines is usually expensive because of its imported ingredients. There are budget-friendly restaurants in Makati and in other cities that can satisfy your taste buds without spending much. Here are 11 affordable ramen dishes in Metro Manila that will definitely reward you the oishī palate.
1. Ippudo’s Shiromaru Motoaji (PHP 385)
Ippudo’s tonkotsu ramen may lack color and presentation, but wait until you taste its broth and noodles. It’s only then you can say that their Shiromaru Motoaji cannot be judged by its look. Ippudo cooks their classic Hakata-style ramen broth for 15 hours to bring out its rich flavor. It’s topped with chasu, a Japanese pork belly that’s boiled and stewed for over two hours. The noodles are ultra-thin but perfectly firm and are made daily.
Ippudo branches: SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, Eastwood City, Robinsons Place Manila, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Power Plant Mall, and Uptown Mall
2. Tongara Ramen (PHP 390)
The signature Tongara Ramen has a sweet taste because of a special broth called tongara that’s made of chicken and pork bones simmered for hours. It’s topped with a soft-boiled egg and bamboo shoots. It’s a feast in your mouth once you taste the tongara, consume the fresh wheat noodles, and take a bite of the succulent pork belly.
Tongara Ramen location: Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Ave., Marikina
3. Ramen Nagi’s Original King Butao (PHP 390)
Ramen Nagi’s Original King Butao is best consumed when you’re hungry. Served in a large bowl, its flavorful and creamy broth is cooked for more than 20 hours. Enjoy it with its handcrafted noodles and char siu, a kind of pork barbeque. Crowds love Ramen Nagi as you can customize your order to your desired palate, garlic (from none to extra heavy), pork (shoulder or belly), and spiciness level.
Ramen Nagi branches: SM Aura Premier, SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Place Manila, Greenbelt 3, U.P. Town Center, Ayala Malls Feliz, and NAIA Terminal 3
4. Takashi Japanese Cuisine’s Volcano Ramen (PHP 320)
Fuel your taste buds with a spicy ramen challenge as this Volcano Ramen from Takashi Japanese Cuisine will determine your tolerance for spicy food. Warning: Its fiery red broth and noodles will set your tongue in fire. But, don’t worry, you can still control the spice levels by choosing from five spice preferences.
Takashi Japanese Cuisine branches:
Pioneer branch: Pioneer Center Supermart, 8006 Pioneer St. cor. United St., Kapitolyo, Pasig
Makati branch: G/F Elizabeth Place Condominium, 332 H.V. Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati
5. Ramen Daisho’s Hakata Tonkotsu Chashu-Men (PHP 380)
Ramen Daisho’s Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen reveals a secret sauce–a thick broth that comes from ukkokei (black) chicken. Together with a handful of thin and silky noodles, chasu, soft-boiled egg, seaweed, and bamboo shoots, this dish for less than P500 will complete your whole ramen experience.
Ramen Daisho location: Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Liberty Center, 312 Shaw Blvd., Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong
6. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Shio Ramen (PHP 385 for regular / PHP 445 for large)
The restaurant’s authentic home-style Japanese ramen recipe is primarily made of freshly-cooked pork broth. Once served, you’ll experience a layer of oil produced by more than 20 hours of simmering. The starchy noodles add flavor to the soup.
Hokkaido Ramen Santuoka branches: SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta 4, TriNoma, Greenhills Shopping Center, Eastwood Mall, Alabang Town Center, U.P. Town Center, and Ayala Malls Cloverleaf
7. Ramen Kuroda’s Kuro Ramen (PHP 180)
A bowl of Kuro ramen is a thumbs up if you’re on a budget. For less than PHP 200, Kuro Ramen can match the flavor of popular ramen brands. Its noodles are tender and firm, just like what you’re looking for in a bowl of ramen. Its rich, smoky tonkotsu broth with roasted garlic prove that it’s a must-try for ramen enthusiasts.
Ramen Kuroda branches: SM Marikina, SM Fairview, SM Manila, Eastwood Cyber & Fashion Mall, Eton Centris, Double Dragon Meridian Park, TV5 (LaunchPad Reliance cor. Sheridan St.), Mezza Residences (Sta. Mesa), Venice Grand Canal Mall, Lucky China Town Mall, Aseana II, RCBC Plaza Makati, and BF Homes
8. Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen’s Ajitama Tonkotsu (PHP 380)
Ajitama Tonkotsu’s signature ramen bowl is everything you wished for in a bowl of ramen: full-flavored broth topped with a hard-boiled egg seasoned with Ikkoryu’s own blended soy sauce. Taste the wholeness of oishī flavors for less than PHP 500 with this dish.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen branches: Shangri-la Plaza, SM Aura Premier, Power Plant Mall, Estancia Mall, Bonifacio High Street, Century City Mall, Alabang Town Center, and Newport Mall
9. Mendokoro Ramenba’s Shoyu Ramen (PHP 410)
Shoyu Ramen is a soy-based tonkotsu ramen with tender pork slices. Before digging in, watch chefs prepare your food at their open-kitchen setup. When dining in, expect a long line as the restaurant can only accommodate approximately 20 customers.
Mendokoro Ramenba branches:
Makati branch: Shop 18, V Corporate Center, Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati
BGC branch: Icon Plaza, 26th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
10. Butamaru’s Curry Tantanmen (PHP 370)
Curry Tantanmen is made of a spicy curry broth with peanuts and sesame sauce. Butamaru broth is cooked for 16 hours, releasing a strong yet delicious flavor. The ramen has spiciness levels you can adjust according to your preference.
Alabang branch: E405 Commerce Ave., Westgate Center, Filinvest Corporate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Ortigas branch: G16 Ortigas Technopoint Bldg., Ortigas Home Depot Complex, 1 Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig
11. Ramen Yushoken’s Shoyu Ramen (PHP 400)
Ramen Yushoken offers a bowl of tasty ramen that’s not too heavy for the light eater. Shoyun Ramen comes with a smoky broth with a chunk of grilled char siu that adds a rich taste to the dish.
Ramen Yushoken location: Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Ave. cor. Commerce St., Alabang, Muntinlupa
Apart from the flavors, these bowls of ramen invite you to enjoy the experience with your family and friends. Treat yourself and bring your loved ones to the next ramen trip of your choice.