Ramen Bar – One of the Best Authentic Japanese Ramen Places in Manila?

Finally, Ukkokei Ramen Ron has serious competition in serving the best authentic Japanese Ramen in Manila. You have to try both Ukkokei in Pasay Road and Ramen Bar in Eastwood, then weigh in on the debate as to which one has the best ramen in town. 🙂

The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:

Ramen Bar is designed like a fastfood resto in a “sauna” setting. I actually didn’t like the ambiance since it didn’t seem to do justice to the quality of the food. Maybe something like Wabi-Sabi‘s ambiance would have been more appropriate.

The place is child-friendly, though. They have the appropriate high chairs, the kids could draw on the back of the placemats, and people don’t frown upon kids running around the restaurant. It is definitely friendlier than Ukkokei Ramen Ron where the owner is notorious for having a Fat Michael’s attitude.

Check out the Ramen Bar Menu.

Super Chasyu Ramen (P380). Soy-infused Tonkotsu Ramen topped with overflowing slices of chasyu and tamago.

Tamago – Soft Boiled Egg marinated for 48 hours
Tonkotsu – Pork Bone Soup boiled for 20 hours
Chasyu – Sliced Pork

We loved the Super Chasyu Ramen. The soup is milky with hints of saltiness, and the soup broth has deep flavors of meat. The yellow, curly noodles are cooked well, with just the right “bite” and flavor.

The only thing is they didn’t serve it piping hot, and it easily got cold after being served. I do hope they improve it.

R.B.S. #1 (Ramen Bar Special #1 – P380). Soy-infused Tonkotsu Ramen topped with tamago, naruto, nori, negi, chasyu and kakuni.

Kakuni – Braised Pork Belly
Naruto – Fish Sticks
Nori – Dried Seaweed
Negi – Spring Onion

I also liked the RBS because of the super soft but flavorful Pork Belly. I found the different textures of the seaweed and fish sticks enjoyable. The soup is more brown-based with dashes of pepper and soy sauce. Although it is served in a bigger bowl, it is only less than half full. Sadly, it was served at room temperature already.

Note: You cannot order extra soup with your ramen; you have to pay P80 for additional soup.

Yakiniku Beef Rice Toppings
. Thinly sliced beef with Chef Masa’s special sauce, topped with spring onions with steamed rice.

We liked the simple Yakiniku beef with thinly sliced bacon-style beef with good marinade. You can opt to order the ala carte at P195 (with twice as much beef), and just order the rice on the side.

Aidan caught in the act of using his hands. 🙂

We love going out with the boys, especially on a Sunday. They already know the drill when it comes to taking pictures. Sometimes, they pose without being prompted. 🙂

Tempura Ice Cream (P120).

The vanilla ice cream is coated with tempura batter. It is not good by itself, so you need to dip it in the chocolate sauce. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting dessert to try and a good way to wrap up your Ramen Bar experience.

G/F Eastwood Mall , Libis, Quezon City, Philippines
In Between Cookbook Kitchen and O’sonho Portuguese.

Related Posts:
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The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:


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Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals. We know one of the owners, Charles Paw (from Manila Jaycees) of Digital Hub fame.

P.S.I don’t think it was a good move to set up an authentic Japanese Ramen bar in a mall. It might lose its authenticity quickly and become commercialized. Try it while it’s new and let me know what you think.

47 thoughts on “Ramen Bar – One of the Best Authentic Japanese Ramen Places in Manila?

  1. I think you’re missing out on Shinjuku, it’s been around for years. Ramen Bar and Ukkokei Ramen Ron are fairly new in the business.

  2. Hi Anton,
    Thanks for linking to my post… awwww… 🙂
    Their Yakiniku beef is the best, I can’t get over it. I’m gonna go to Ramen Bar again this friday with my mom 😀

  3. you cant compare shinjuku or isshin after you’ve tried ramen bar and ukkokei..
    another 2 ramen places worth looking into are konbini (connecticut greenhills) and kenji tei (president ave, sucat) both are cheaper and offers fairly decent ramen.

  4. Isshin is owned by Chinese so that is not included in the Authentic Japanese Ramen battle. 
    Shinjuku I heard degraded over time from my Japanese friends, but I'll try to revisit it.
    I'm more interested to try Kenji Tei in BF Sucat next. On Konbini, not sure about them…

  5. I’ve tried Ukkokei, but not Ramen Bar (and the venerable Shinjuku, of course).
    Easily the best ramen (shoyu or miso) I’ve ever had was from KYOFUU in Malate. IMHO, their shoyu easily trumps Ukkokei. It’s not even close. Unfortunately, they’ve closed down not long ago (after being in business since 1982). Maybe a cheap Chinese restaurant opening next door was the reason. I will definitely miss their shoyu broth, which was very rich in various flavors it’s almost like drinking wine. Another Japanese restaurant opened at their location though I’m not sure if they serve the same ramen from KYOFUU.

  6. Hi everyone,
    I still have to clarify, however, I think this Ramen bar’s menu was developed by my client who is the chef of Mangetsu Restaurant in Makati http://www.mangetsu.ph.
    RON serves ukokkei (black chicken) broth in the soups which is different from the traditional ramen.
    1232mom, being in the business a long time doesn’t prove you serve good ramen. Besides, many Japanese restaurants in Manila have closed because their original Japanese chef left and the taste deteriorated. Considering that, I’d say that Shinjuku, which served one of the best ramen in the country is the same. However, I still give them a 3-star rating for their Gyoza and the Chashu-salad (not in the menu). Forget about other dishes they offer, specially the Sushi and rice toppings. By the way, I stopped going to Shinjuku because they are ridiculously expensive.
    Speaking of expensive, Ron IS expensive. However, you have to consider that they are offering not just ramen but UKOKKEI ramen that I explained earlier. Also, having a restaurant along Arnaiz adds up to the cost.
    I know Kyofu ramen and others that mushroomed around Mabini St. in Manila during the 70s-80s. It all started from the now defunct DOSANKO. But personally speaking, nothing around that area had better ramen than Dosanko. And Kyofu is not an exception, sorry.
    A notable ramen house around the Malate area is RYUKO, located just across the Malate Church. Their ramen is only about P100 and for the price, I would give a 3 star rating. Gyoza is something you should try too. No wonder it’s good, they don’t freeze them, but prepare and serve on the day itself only. But don’t bother with the other dishes.
    Yes Anton, Isshin IS owned by a Chinese but they are doing very well. Probably the location helps but it’s not all that. Since we are talking about ramen, theirs is not something I would praise. I used to go there often only because they are open till late. I never ordered their ramen after one try.
    Kai, Konbini in Greenhills is a Japanese grocery. I’ve been there a few times and I’ve tried their food. What I can say is that probably they use what they sell.
    The taste of instant ramen has improved tremendously throughout these years and us Japanese living abroad for a long time sometimes will not be able to tell the difference between instant and the real thing. What more for non-Japanese?
    In my opinion, Konbini and many Japanese restaurants in the PH serves instant ramen. Take note of that.
    Roch, so you like Yakiniku? Then please allow me to introduce to you a Yakiniku restaurant called URAMESHIYA in Little Tokyo. Anton blogged about it before so you can search on it. The rule is, if you go to a ramen house, you should be there for the ramen.
    Someone once said that ramen is an universe on its own. That is because there are so many ingredients in it that compose the taste.
    When I visited Ron last week, I was so surprised that there were so many locals (non-Japanese) as customer. I just hope they all knew what to look in a really good Japanese ramen.

  7. Sad I didn’t have the same liking to the ramen. Maybe after a few years if they improve, I ate on their opening and felt it was a sad day… which should be the opposite.

  8. Hi Atsushi-san, thanks for the comprehensive comment on this. I learned a lot on the history of Japanese Ramen in the Philippines. I was about to email you on what you think about Ramen Bar…and if you know the Japanese owners… you actually set the standard for Japanese Ramen authenticity in the Philippines 🙂 
    Too bad, we were not foodies then during the 70s-80s and never tasted the ramens that mushroomed along Mabini St. 

  9. Prices are reasonable and it’s a short ride from where I stay in QC! Thanks for sharing this restau Anton!
    By the way I’ll be moving with my family to Laguna by mid-October. I’ll bounce back and rejoin Maven secrets soon. I need to learn and relearn a lot of things.

  10. Hi Atsushi,
    I do not know why everyone’s overreacting when I mentioned Shinjuku, as having really good ramen. Am I not entitled to my own opinion? This is because I’ve been having it for years, even before blogging about food ever came about, to the point my well-travelled friends and I have considered it as our comfort food.
    I am not in any authority to comment about Isshin’s ramen because I consider their food forgettable.
    I will try the other Ramen restos you recommended in above post.
    I do have my other favorite Japanese restaurants which I go to for my specific cravings (such as sushi/sashimi, wagyu, etc) but I will not mention them anymore for fear that I will be gunned down again. I will just enjoy what I eat in silence.
    With my utmost respect for your opinions on Japanese restaurants,

  11. Hi, 1232mom,
    I have similar opinions as Atsushi of Shinjuku’s ramen. Their shoyu is nothing really special, but the miso is fine. They have the best gyoza though, in my opinion.
    I also like their Tsukemen (flat noodles dipped in warm broth). It’s the only place I know in Manila that serves it.
    But overall, I find Shinjuku quite expensive, and would probably head for Isshin instead if I’m looking for Japanese food at a late hour.

  12. everyone has different tastes but seriously, sobrang sama ng ramen bar compared to ukkokei.
    soup is not hot, taste is way worse than ukkokei, the ramen itself is poor quality….

  13. Hello, Atsushi,
    I will try RYUKO, as you recommended. Sadly I haven’t found the ramen I would go back to since Kyofuu closed.
    There were some things that bothered me about Ukkokei Ramen Ron — their miso broth was so oily one could faint before finishing half of it. Their gyoza was just average and their chahan was not good at all. I can imagine how comforting very rich, oily soup could be in winter in Hokkaido, but I could not eat it even when the weather is coolest in Manila. Their shoyu was the best I’ve had in a while, but didn’t have the complexity of flavors that I found with Kyofuu’s. Sadly I never tried Dosanko so I can’t compare.
    For overall best value Japanese restaurant (no ramen, though), my favorite is Hatsu Hana Tei. Great food, service, ambiance, and prices. Some of my favorites there are their ebi gyoza and battera hako sushi.

  14. Hello kai,
    I had Chashu Tokotsu Ramen at Konbini today. I don’t want to give details but one thing for sure, I will never go back to eat ramen there again.
    The price maybe cheaper than RON, but with that price, you can have better ramen in other non-ramen house Japanese restaurants.
    But the place was packed with even a group who made prior reservations. I guess because there is nothing similar in that area.
    How’s Kenji-Tei? I’ve actually heard about it but it’s too far for me to visit.
    I used to be a patron at Shinjuku. The 1st time I went to their main at Pasong Tamo was even before they converted to become a ramen house. Ever since they converted, I used to go there at least once a week. And when they opened their Makati Ave. branch, I visited them more often because it’s just walking distance from my office. But after all these years, there are many more Japanese restaurants. And even those non-ramen house Japanese restaurants serve good ramen now, in my opinion. And ofcoure, you are entitled to yours.
    I am not over-reacting and I don’t think others did too. I hope you will just take my comments as suggestions for a better Japanese ramen experience.
    Hello Robby Villabona,
    I just heard that RYUKO unfortunately closed down. However, they are relocating to another place, most probably around the area.
    By the way, a Japanese friend who gave me that tip today went to ICHIBANKAN RAMEN which is also around the area instead. I personally don’t like Ichiban’s shoyu, but it’s the Miso ramen he said that is good.
    Now, I will have to plan on visiting Ramen Bar.

  15. Hi Robby Villabona,
    Unfortunately, the Makati Ave. branch closed down recently. I only know the one in Malate/Mabini (not even sure of the exact location).

  16. Tried mangetsu yesterday, nice menu, ordered the beef udon, very very nice very chewy noodles, handmade kc. The broth is very good also, bit salty nga lang sa huli. Salmon sashi was good but not the best. very interesting place, Jap food lovers should try this resto. My friend and I tried Pharoah for desserts(joke lang)

  17. I had my rbs 1 sent back because the soup was not piping hot. I suddenly remembered my ippudo east vill experience and ramen bar was a far cry. The kakuni buns were good though, pork was really tender but not melt in your mouth tender. Not sure if id go back to ramen bar again though.

  18. Wow Ramen Bar’s ramen are quite expensive… I’d say they are more expensive than Tokyo’s best ramen shops. These better be good.

  19. Is that so? Hmmm… have to plan a Malate trip soon. I’m ok with Isshin’s miso ramen — for the price and location I think it’s good.

  20. i have yet to try this ramen bar in QC. as an afficionado of tonkotsu ramen during my stay in yokohama japan i still have to discover the most authentic tonkotsu ramen available in the country.
    ive eaten in Konbini 3 times and for those 3 times the quality of the soup have declined and the noodles is always different. im sure its not me getting accustomed to the taste. i know when the soup is different from the first time ive tasted it. my fave ramen in yokohama have the same aroma everytime i indulge my self to some noodle slurping. i might not go eat ramen there for the coming months.
    Kenji-tei ramen here in the south is i can say comparable to rairaiken’s ramen. nothing special. best ramen to taste here in the south area is what Hanakazu serve.

  21. Just had RAMEN BAR for lunch.
    With regards to the authenticity; I just confirmed that the Japanese chef of Mangetsu in Makati http://www.mangetsu.ph is behind the creation of the menu, so it is “authentic” in that sense.
    The reason for the mixed reviews here and from others that I have heard from; the main reason I think is because of the TONKOTSU soup they offer which is different from the typical clear SHOYU soy-sauce based soup. So if you’ve never tried tonkotsu soup before, you should either like it or not like it at all. But then again, even you’ve tried tonkotsu soup before, there are different tastes depending on the province where it originated. Tonkotsu soup ramens originated from the southern island of Kyushu but each province have a slightly different taste.
    From a Japanese comfort food, ramen has now become a gourmet dish in Japan. There are restaurants you have to fall in line for hours just to get a bowl of their specialty. Different chefs try to create a new type of ramen while the consumers search for what’s best out there.
    A few things I noticed though; No Gyoza!? This was a disappointment. I never heard of a ramen house without gyoza. My ramen took less than 15 minutes to be served. That’s good, but they could improve, specially on serving it as fast as possible once it’ cooked.
    I personally liked the ramen I had today and will be going back again very soon.

  22. Yes Sarah, I found it over-priced too. But take into consideration that a Japanese chef is behind the ingredients and the menu… then I guess it’s alright.
    But knowing the ingredients, I believe the cost/price could go lower.
    I guess it’s a matter of calculating your daily income and ROI.
    I just hope other ramen houses will NOT follow the price scheme just like how it happened long time ago … ramen houses following Shinjukus price as basis.

  23. I hope next time I’ll go to Philippines, I’ll have the chance to try those wonderful ramen!
    Congratulations Anton!
    Sylvie from Quebec, Canada

  24. Anton – Thanks for the nice and honest review , we already made some adjustments by using another bowl with a smaller diameter and heating the bowl so the soup stays hotter longer , we also adviced the waitstaff not to serve the ramen if its not piping hot to avoid it from happening again , BTW we added some more additional menu items the past week, please drop by to try them if you have time =)
    Atsushi – Yes our menu was created by our chef/partner Masa Ishikawa of Mangetsu and we try to make it as authentic as possible by ordering all our sauces from Japan and importing some of the ingredients from Japan also thats why the high cost, will try to lower our prices in the future once our operations stabilizes. We are also planning to add gyoza in the future, we were not happy with the initial results of our gyoza thats why we didn’t include it in our initial menu but for sure we will add it soon . Thank you very much for your comments and we will try to become better =)

  25. I tried ramen bar already but did not like it. Pagpasok pa lang namin sa ramen bar, pangit ng vibes/ambiance. and when we ordered the ramen (rbs #1) di mainit yung soup. ang weird pa ng lasa. Sobrang alat na di maintindihan.
    i agree with 1232mom on shinjuku ramen house. And it’s way better than ramen bar.

  26. Hi Jelly Bean
    Sorry about your experience with the soup, what was the day you visited us? We recently changed the bowl that we are using and added some new procedures to make sure that the soup is really hot when it goes out. Please give me the date you visited so we can check and remedy it. As for our soup thats really the properties of the tonkotsu soup base which is the specialty of our Japanese Chef and as mentioned by Atsushi is either you will like it or don’t like it at all. But we’re coming out with a lighter chicken and fish based soup base soon to compliment our tonkotsu soup base so we have something for everyone =)

  27. I personally liked Ramen Bar when I ate there. Mind you this was even during the time that they were in soft opening. I liked the Shoyu Ramen, especially the pork which was very tender. I liked the taste of the soup. but like what was said here, it’s either you like it or don’t. i personally like my soup flavorful. Unlike the Shoyu Ramen of Konbini which is a clearer soup.
    The ambiance is good. I don’t know why Jelly Bean didn’t like it. It’s bright and friendly. Although maybe having individual tables as opposed to communal would be better because of privacy but I guess this is how they do it in Japan. They go to Ramen places to eat a quick meal. Filipinos generally make eating a social activity.
    The only bad part about Ramen Bar for me is that it’s far away from where I live. Otherwise i’d be there often. I’m also looking forward to them allowing take out since I’m too busy to go there. I’d like to be able to send someone to buy Ramen for me. I know it’s not as good as eating there but it’s better than nothing.
    I’ve been eating Konbini’s ramen only because it’s the closest. 🙁 But it doesn’t hold a candle to Ramen Bar.

  28. I will try to visit and eat at Ramen Bar one of these days. I was about to order when I saw their chef outside sitting on the bench smoking with his apron and all. I just lost my appetite seeing that. Sorry.

  29. What’s your problem with their chef smoking with his apron and all? As long as he prepares clean food and cooks good there’s no probem with that.

  30. Ukkokei is overrated. My wife and kid found the soup too oily for ramen. It’s been years since I’ve eaten really good ramen and it made me miss the Japanese restaurant my mom used to co-own with my tita and their other friends. It was located before in Polaris Street in Makati (any of you remember it? :P)and the late Doreen Fernandez used to dine there quite often. She rated it one of her favorite Japanese restaurants in her column. Arrggghhh! I miss it more. Hahaha!
    Anyway, I’m still waiting for ramen as good as the ones I’ve had in Tokyo. Wala talaga dito eh.

  31. Hello MikeC,
    The Japanese restaurant you are talking about that existed in Polaris should be NIPPON. They transferred to Tomas Morato, but their Japanese chef left, so you can imagine what happened after.
    But then, I personally didn’t find NIPPON as great as the good Japanese restaurants available then and now. I had a few friends who even complained about their dishes directly to the Japanese chef.
    RON, as many call it ukokkei but ukokkei is just a kind of chicken they use … its real name is RON … as many actually feels is in fact overrated in my opinion as well. Some dishes are good but not all are “great”.
    But then again, its all about personal preferences.
    I don’t know where and which ramen house you went to in Tokyo, but in contrast, there are many bad ramen houses there and others that are overrated too. Those ramen houses get popular just because some gourmet writer wrote about it on a popular magazine, etc.
    So just believe your taste and who cares what others say, just find what you love most!
    But ofcourse after tasting the rest.
    In Manila so far, I’d say TAMAGOYA, RON and GENYA are the bests (not in order). And their ramen are totally different from each other. So you can’t rate which is better than which.
    Did you know there are great ramen houses in Cebu? I guess the secret has not reached Manila yet, hehe.

  32. I went to Genya Tongkatsu Ramen last week, I was excited, but a bit disappointed. The broth, the meat and egg was excellent. But the Ramen is disappointed. The Ramen (noddle) taste like Chinese noodle. And my sense of taste was right! My friend whom recommended me to this place, plus forwarded me this food blog “OAP” mentioned to me that the supplier of the noodle is a Chinese. One time he was eating in Genya saw the Chinese supplier delivered the noodle. Overall, I finished the broth. It was good.
    Ukkokei has good ramen, but the broth is too oily. Ramen is excellent though, but they put two pcs of meat only. Expensive.
    I guess you can have everything. How I wish I can speak to the Japanese chef of Genya to use real Japanese noodle and not Chinese noodle. If I am correct, what the heck a Japanese Ramen using Chinese noodle. Genya can be perfect Ramen house for me… but they just missed the noodle.
    Nomama ramen is disappointing. Nothing great and the broth is NOT hot enough.
    My next target is TAMAGOYA in Antipolo and Ramen Bar in Eastwood.

  33. Ate at the new Ramen Bar in Edsa last night. I am a lifelong fan of ramen and lived in Japan for twenty years. I thought the Ramen Bar ramen noodles were overcooked, soft and mushy. The ramen was below average and certainly not worth repeating. I have never commented on a restaurant before, but this food was so poor and overpriced I had to post this experience. The gyoza were deep fried and had some sort of cheese stuffed in them, which was an unpleasant and and I found inedible surprise. They came served with a mayo dip. Are they frozen then shipped to the outlets to refry? I suspect so. The price for four of us was very high, almost two thousand pesos and we only had two beers, four ramen and two orders of gyoza. They add a heavy service charge, which also came as a surprise. The tastes were not authentic Japanese, and I was very disappointed. Perhaps it’s a chain that is growing faster than its ability to maintain quality. If you look for authentic ramen, avoid this place.

  34. Can you please educate your children to observe proper manners while eating? This includes, but not limited to, fingering their food, playing with the utensils (chopsticks included) and devouring more that they can chew. It is slovenly.

  35. Three years ago, I was trying to look for a Japanese restaurant on the Internet serving the best ramen in town . Ukkokei Ramen Ron was listed one of the best brought up by the search engine. So I took my colleague and we tried it out at their Makati branch. We arrived after office hours. The place is popular and we waited for a long time to get a table. Finally, the moment has arrived. We were able to slurp and dine on the Shoyu ramen courtesy of the Ramen Nazi. Not bad. Meat was tender and the broth was okay. The second time, I took my wife and youngest daughter to Ukkokei’s Malate branch. Again, the dining experience was the same. Not bad.
    And then came Ramen Bar. Our office was just at the back of Eastwood City. On my first try, I ordered RBS #1. After my first slurp of the broth my reaction was Whoa! Now, that’s a one of a kind! And the chasyu was definitely fall of the bone. The next time around, I took my colleague whom was with meat Ukkokei and his evaluation was the same. We got hooked. Ramen Bar is definitely better.
    I’m a bonafide Ramen afficianado. I’ve been to Ukkokkei > 5 times and to Ramen Bar > 15 times just to be able differentiate which one is the best. I’ve read the comments from the other entrees in this blog but there’s nothing I can find wrong in terms of service at Ramen Bar. Comparing the same type of Ramen (shio, shoyu, miso) from Ukkokei and Ramen bar, Hands down, it’s Ramen Bar by a mile!. The broth, fall-off-the-bone meat, ingredients are way much better than Ukkokei.
    I’ve compared Ramen Bar’s RBS #1 to RamenPlay Shoyu ramen in Katong, Singapore and it’s still Ramen Bar’s RBS #1 by a mile. My next ramen foodie experiment is to compare RBS #1 with the nearest ramen variants at Ramen Nagi, SM Aura.
    Until then.

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