Last February, just months before the unknown that was coming, I and my sister decided to treat our cousins to a Ramen Night in Muntinlupa, a city in Metro Manila. Our younger brother cousin Carlos has just got married and to celebrate that, we brought him, his wife Jean, and our niece and nephew with us that night. We arrived after an hour of early evening Saturday traffic at Ramen Yushoken and yes, we had to wait outside for another hour and a half to be seated. We know the place and had dined there before so we know the wait would be so worth it.
Two and a half hours of driving and waiting, we were then seated, and again wait for another 40 minutes. Imagine how hungry we were, we can start to munch on those little plates of only our teeth would permit HAHA. Lesson learned for us to bring a snack if we were to eat there again. When our bowls were served, the smell is murderous to say the least.
It was an unusual night with unusual waiting so it was just right we ordered something unusual. We all decided to get Super Chashu, each for ourselves. It is part of their Secret Menu and is not listed on their regular Menu. The main difference of this one to with their classic Ramen lists is the pork cutlet. I think it is twice or even close to three times the thickness of the regular chashu that goes with their regular bowls. And yes, it was not just thick, the flavor is even tripled because it has been marinated and cured longer than the regular ones, that is why they only serve a limited number of these bowls a day (We were so lucky that day that even if we were late, not much guests ordered it so there was enough for the six of us).
It was not just a bowl of ramen, it was not just a good meal, it was a magical experience! We are big lovers of Ramen, well I guess because it's obviously Asian? But this was really different. That pork chashu cutlet for me was Japanese Noodle House meets Texas Steakhouse. It has this rich, umami taste with hints of hickory and charcoal that I just can't explain, especially on an Asian dish.
This dish is super rich and creamy (a small warming for people with hypertension as a huge portion of the flavors are of course from pork fat in the chashu slice and the broth itself) plus it is topped with spring onions, bamboo shoots, kikurage or wood ear mushrooms, and sesame seeds. Some of my cousins were not able to finish their bowls even if they tried their best because it was just so many for them. I on the other hand, of course, feasted till the last drop. I did feel a little groggy right after though.
Aside from our Ramen bowls, we also ordered some signature Japanese side dishes. On the above picture is the Gyoza which is similar to what is known as pot-stickers in the US. It has minced pork and vegetables inside this pan fried/toasted dumplings. Dipped in soy sauce, they are so good!
Gyoza (Php 215)
Karaage are deep fried chicken cutlets, usually the deboned leg and thigh parts (yes, the tastiest ones!) and then served as is. What makes Yushoken's Karaage different from the rest is that these are larger balls and are cooked tender and not dried through frying. So they are not just flavorful, they are loads of juiciness.
Karaage (Php 280)
Writing about this post is bittersweet because this is something that we cannot do anymore for quite sometime, to dine together outside on restaurants. I do know that some restaurants now are open and allow dine in with physical distancing, but still with the cases of around 2,000 new infections per day, I don't think it is worth the risk. So for now, we'll settle for these memories that brings back the feelings of joy and happiness, and tastes that are beyond remarkable to forget.
Molito Commercial Complex,
Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781
Metro Manila, Philippines
My kids (Okay I'm just their big brother but their like my kids, Love them!)
Never Stop Hoping for Outside Dinners
I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join this new Linky that I thought of starting - Timeless Thursdays.
Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.
This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)