I'm not much of a ramen lover (of noodles, actually), but boy did I love my ramen at Ramen Yushoken.
Kazuo Yamagishi is agreed to be and known by most as the 'Ramen God' in Japan. I've actually never known anything on him until I heard about the newly-opened restaurant in Alabang. The ramen here is as authentic as is should be since everything, including their noodles, is made from scratch and is prepared strictly following Yamagishi's own techniques and recipes.
The head chef, I believe, is one of the Ramen Chef Champions. It could even be Tashiro, the anointed son of the 80+ year old Ramen God. I'm not entirely sure, but regardless of who the chef is, this place has definitely given the Metro's south another reason to be visited.
Photo: Kazuo Yamagishi, the Ramen God
The Ramen Chef Champions, including Tashiro
My first Ramen Yushoken experience was with my family for Sunday lunch. The advantage of eating with my huge family is that we get to sample various dishes by ordering a different bowl each. We pretty much covered all the available ramen bowls which were all so good. I liked them all, but my definite favourite was the Tantan-men Tonkotsu Ramen, which was the spicy one of the bunch. The spice was mild, and it was definitely tasty. The noodles were of just the right texture and of generous amount.
my Tantan-men Tonkotsu Ramen (with ground pork)
My older brother pointed out that you're supposed to drink/sip the soup within the first 15 seconds after it has been served to you. I don't know what added benefits this gives, but when I did, my ramen wasn't too hot to eat (which I feared) - it was just the right kind of hot that didn't burn my tongue, and that complemented the mild spice of the dish well. I was pleasantly surprised, despite my general lack of favor for noodles.
Other dishes that we tried apart from the ramen bowls like the gyoza, karaage and aji tamago were all very tasty as well. I therefore conclude, rather loosely, that you can't go wrong in this restaurant. Whether you're craving for something spicy, salty or sweet, the simple yet well-thought-out menu offers those, even with just considering the ramen line-up.
This place also offers Japanese beer which are a bit expensive, but adds to an exotic touch to your tastebuds.
The service was pleasant and quick, in spite of it being very busy with a perpetual queue of customers waiting to be seated. If you plan on visiting Ramen Yushoken, I advise you arrive when it opens for lunch at 11:00am, or at 5:30pm for dinner.
It has only been open since December 2012 and fully operational since this month, and has attracted and gained an abounding following of ramen-lovers and curious eaters. I only hope that the attraction will stay on and grow in the coming years, because if i'd want to work on building my liking for noodles, I'd definitely only trust the gods to teach me.
UPDATE as of February 2013: Yahooooo!
Molito, Madrigal Avenue
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
(02) 808 7424