Since the rainy season has snuck its way into town, I've been craving for all the hot soupy comfort food dishes that warm the heart and the tummy. A friend posted a question as to the best ramen place in Makati, and boy, were the answers unanimous.
Welcome to Ukokkei Ramen Ron
Located in the Pasay Road strip of restaurants, it's easy to ignore unless the scent of hot broth lures you closer to their steps.
The place doesn't even try. Metal chairs and a handful of small tables strewn around the restaurant for the lucky diners who get a seat at this magical Japanese ramen shoppe.
The best place to sit is by the counter, where you can also view the extensive sake & Japanese beer they serve.
Also the best way to peek at the Japanese master at work. The Chef is also the big man in this joint, so you know you are getting the real ramen deal.
"We're open 11am-12mn. The store's close when we ran out of soup to serve"
You know the place has street cred when they refuse to let customers in. I witnessed this myself when, at 830pm on a Sunday night, the strict server locked the glass door and left all the hungry customers outside the restaurant watching us diners in envy.
The reason for this rule is that Ukokkei Ramen Ron prepares their broth, or soup, 48 hours in advance. They use black chicken bones and boil them overnight, then when it thickens and the bones disintegrate, it keeps boiling with japanese herbs and spices to capture the depth of flavor that is in every Ukokkei ramen bowl. So if they say they ran out of soup, there's no way they can whip up a new bowl for you in 20 minutes. I love slow food.
The menu is sparse, since Ramen is the star of the show, but we were able to order some Yasai Itame, sauteed vegetables. A bit greasy but very very tasty and crunchy. This is the only non-meat item that entered my tummy.
We ordered some Gyoza, pork dumplings. They looked ugly and not presented very nicely, but the flavor inside the dumpling was good enough to finish! Don't be fooled by looks. I still prefer Nihonbashi Tei's Gyoza though.
And because we like our fried food, a must try is their Karaage, or fried chicken pieces. Paired with Japanese mayo, it was like McNuggets made yummier 100x.
But the real deal is obviously the Ramen. The most famous is Ukokkei Shoyu Chashu, Soy based broth with pork, mushrooms & spring onion. The sauce might taste salty to sensitive palates, but it was just the explosion of flavor from days of simmering that made the soup good to the last drop. The ramen noodles are soft and have the perfect texture of fresh ramen noodles, not like the gummy ones we get from instant versions. This bowl was a winner.
I ordered the other version, Ukokkei Miso Chashu, with a Miso based broth. I liked this more because the sauce was a little richer and had that fermentated miso taste. What more can I say? Warmth and Carbs in a bowl of hot ramen.
Another dish to try is their Chuka, which is the dry version of their ramen. With no soup, the sauce that coats the noodles was perfectly balanced with the chicken, shoots and mushrooms that season this noodle dish. Now I'm craving for this right now!
ToT's Bro & Per looking happy and hungry, respectively.
Brave your way and pray they don't run out of soup! Don't even try to call for reservations, they don't accept reservations or takeout! YOU HAVE TO EAT YOUR SOUP THERE! It's that good.
Ukokkei Ramen Ron
G/F Tesoro Bldg., 822 A. Arnaiz Ave.,
San Lorenzo VillageMakati City
+632 856 4588