On 23 March 2013, I wanted ramen. I wanted authentic, unadulterated Japanese ramen, but I didn't want to drive all the way to Ukkokei Ramen Ron in Makati to get it. To my joyful surprise, I found an excellent ramen joint just ten minutes' drive from my parents' house. Welcome to the neighborhood, go-en The Ramen Shoppe Plus!
Although I wanted a traditional soupy ramen, when I saw the menu I couldn't resist the tsukemen. Bouncy noodles, perfectly cooked eggs, an umami-laced dipping broth, and pork with just the right balance of lean and fat. A worthy substitute for Bankara in Bangkok which was my first and best encounter with tsukemen last year.
|Tsukemen. Dipped ramen. Men (not the two-legged kind) and soup separated at birth rejoined here in this tasty dish. Do the noodle dip for a tasty experience. Futomen, menma, boiled egg, fried garlic chips, sautéed naganegi, chushu and kakuni. Php420|
The enthusiastic and knowledgeable server suggested the okonomiyaki as a side. This "pancake" had a lot of stuff going on, but I was impressed by the chef's restraint-- a very Japanese trait. It could very easily have gone over the top with too much mayo, too much sweet sauce, too much bonito, too much of everything, as bastardised Japanese street food tends to get outside of Japan. go-en's okonomiyaki reminded me of a Korean pajeon with its emphasis on fresh vegetables and seafood, but it was thicker, fluffier and more deliciously calorific.
|Okonomiyaki. Often called a Japanese pizza or pancake. This version is Osaka style. Chopped cabbage, egg, squid, sakura ebi topped with pork, katsuboshi, aonori and our special sauce. Php350|