It's been a month and a half since I last visited Ramen Yushoken in Alabang's Molito. Ever since then there have been sporadic moments that I've craved for the luscious noodles and the lightly seared gyoza. Since then I've had the occasional day dream about my first meal in Yushoken and I can honestly say it was the most unforgettable experience in all my ramen tasting experiences. Everyday since that fateful day I've experienced a slight drool and the beautiful fragrant smell of the hot bowl of Japanese goodness. It cannot be helped there really is something in that bowl of noodles which haunts my dreams and makes me crave for all the trappings Yushoken has to offer.
Like a devil in disguise, Yushoken's ramen is the temptress. Seductive, subtle and still very much near orgasmic, the feeling of saying quality noodles is inescapable. The interiors may be posh and all but forget all about that when you're having a wonderful meal. It was me, my shio ramen, three pieces of gyoza and a tamago having a sacred ritual bordering on religion.
The shio ramen was the same as how I tasted it (check it out here) when Tricia lovingly shared her bowl with me. The amazing creamy broth and the piping hot noodles were more than enough but then the wicked chefs in Yushoken decided to add some more magical bits and pieces, forcing me and my stomach into a powerless state of want. A beautiful strip of pork, tender and moist lapping up all the herbs and spices and flavored of the shio ramen. Need I say more about it? I probably should, slurping, and in my case, devouring a bowl of ramen is an art that needs to be mastered. Many have written about the way ramen should be eaten, slurping to cool it down and at the same time feel the textures of the handmade noodles really changes the experience. There may be some scalding involved but with practice, the flavors change and I can say that I have felt a ramen nirvana.
However I'm not going to forget the gyoza and the aji tamago. Two beautiful sets of appetizers to wet my appetite. A wonderful blend of salty, sweet and the downright weird. The aji tamago being doused in what I think or probably suppose would be soy was a good break from all the slurping. Taking it in one go makes it go down faster and easier. Gulping the tamago in its entirety was akin to eating a Kinder egg without the delightful toy inside. Surprising flavors and a rich texture uncanny of marinated eggs, which I utterly detest.
If legends can be written about Yushoken's gyoza I would most likely jump at the chance to write its opening sentence. A lot can be said about this plain looking gyoza, the wrapper and the slight sear on the side doesn't make it stand out to much. But pair the gyoza with the sauce it comes in then we can say that legends about this small dish can truly begin. Unassuming but packing a whole lot of punch, the meat tastes like any ordinary dumpling but the sauce and the right amount of the proverbial snap, crackle and pop will make you want to beg for more. Believe me I've wanted more and no amount of my numerous trips to Little Tokyo in Makati just to have gyoza will ever compare to this golden side dish of epic and legendary proportions in Molito. There's just something about it that makes you want more, it's probably the combination of the aji tamago and the shio ramen that makes this side dish a beautiful polygamy of food.
With a scalded tongue but a happy stomach and a tongue buzzing alive with flavors Ramen Yushoken is truly a pit stop for any traveler in the south. The experience of eating this kind of food and with this quality is a knee-jerking experience that should be repeated as many times possible.
Ramen Yushoken is located at Molito, Madrigal Avenue. Muntinlupa City.