Reminiscing the Ramen Experience

Last February, I was able to visit Japan for the first time. Together with some media friends, we visited the CP+ expo in Yokohama (more on the trip in the next posts). 

Before heading to Yokohama though, we visited this ramen place in Dazaifu in Fukuoka. I have never really liked noodles and I was a little bit disappointed when I knew that this was lunch already. The place was in a very small area. It was very surprising though that people literally were making a beeline outside of this restaurant!


We arrived inside and sat at the noodle bar which faced their kitchen. Since we did not know any Japanese and the waitress did not know any English, we communicated through sign language. She just asked us to choose the kind of noodles and the spiciness that we want and point our option on a menu board that she was holding (the noodles were categorized into stiff, soft, or something like that).  After that, she disappeared. 


All the Japanese variations plastered on the wall. Of course, we had no idea what they meant.

All the Japanese variations plastered on the wall. Of course, we had no idea what they meant.

   
After several minutes, this was presented.

The Ultimate Ramen. Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Ultimate Ramen. Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture.


It was the best noodles I have ever tasted! This is not an exaggeration because all of the guests were very satisfied and happy after that lunch. Hmmm… ramen.


I keep on thinking if it was just comforting to eat noodles in the middle of such a cold weather that’s why we enjoyed it so much. Or it was just meant to be that me and the ultimate ramen had to meet.


Ten months after, me, Ronald, Chonx and Jason (together with Aby) reunited to begin the search for a replicate ramen experience here in the metro. Jason recommended this very controversial ramen house in 811 Arnaiz Avenue, Pasay Road — the Ukkokei Ramen House.


Much to my stomach’s dismay, we were waitlisted — number five to be exact. We waited for around twenty minutes to be accommodated. Upon surveying the place, it was somewhat similar to the authentic restaurants in Japan. Good start!


Chonx, me, Aby, Ronald and Jason

Chonx, me, Aby, Ronald and Jason

This was so exciting! There we were, with two agendas in mind: (1) to test if this ramen house can match the “ultimate ramen” we tasted in Japan and (2) to check out if the place was worthy for the hype it was getting. (This place was by the way closed down last August and just reopened last September).

I ordered Ukkokei Miso Chashu. There were several ramen “concoctions” to choose from. Jason got the specialty of the house, the Tan Tan Men (hopefully this is the name, LOL; if I am not mistaken) while the rest ordered the Miso Chashu with Buttercorn and the Curry Ramen.


Ukkokei Miso Chashu

Ukkokei Miso Chashu

 

Our orders came almost immediately. The verdict — to quote Jason — “Believe the hype” —  this could be the local version of THE ULTIMATE RAMEN! Now, I have tried several ramen from Little Tokyo located at Pasong Tamo where my office previously was located and then, the Ramen Bar of course, but this one from Ukkokei is probably the best that I have ever tasted 🙂 


And the verdict, Mr. Ninja?

And the verdict, Mr. Ninja?

So there you go. If you have some cravings for authentic Japanese ramen, this could be it. Ukkokei does not allow reservations so I am afraid that you could not escape THE line when you go there especially during dinner time. 


But as they always say, good stuff is worth the wait! What do you think? 

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