We got lost. That seems to be the consistent theme with all of my entries, but this time, it wasn’t my fault1! We finally found the place, and it was PACKED. So packed that they closed their doors to any new customers at around 8PM. On a Saturday night. Bad business or great marketing? I’m still undecided.
Ukokkei Ramen Ron’s claim to fame is that the broth is prepared 48 hours in advance. I did a little research and found that they use chicken bones and herbs for the broth; leave it simmering for 48 hours and you have stock that is infused with the strong flavor of chicken and Japanese herbs. Apparently, the restaurant stops serving customers as soon as they run out of soup. We noticed that the decor was extremely sparse except for the giant chopsticks and noodles, just in case you forget you’re in a ramen house.
When the Yaki Gyoza came, I was a little disappointed, because they were SMALL. I felt like there was a meat shortage with how small the serving was. It’s like they didn’t want us to eat! I’m not going to deny that it was DELICIOUS, but there’s only two kinds of food I don’t like: food that is ridiculously expensive and food that is bitin.
We ordered eggs for the ramen, because I mean, what isn’t improved by eggs? Unfortunately, they came before the ramen did, so I ended up eating my share and having egg-less ramen. I must say that the eggs had a unique taste to them. They were neither soft-boiled nor hard-boiled, and they had a salty quality to them, almost as if they were salted eggs.
I had the Ukokkei Shoyu Chashu Ramen, which is their best seller. It’s basically ramen with pork in soy-based broth. You won’t really find much variety in their menu; it’s just three kinds of ramen broth. You’ve got Shio (salt), Shoyu (soy) and Miso. That’s actually a great example of KFC-marketing. Focus on the best thing on your menu, and just serve that, almost exclusively. It only works if the food is good, and in Ukokkei’s case, it was.
Here’s the Ukokkei Miso Buttered Corn. I have to admit, both the Miso and Shoyu broths were delicious, but I couldn’t tell them apart. It looked weird, but as we say in the food porn industry, butter is better. All the time.
At the end of the day, it was a great meal. I’d say the place definitely ranks among the top three ramen houses in Metro Manila, crazy chef notwithstanding.