Okay, so it wasn’t actually raining that hard. The only reason we will ever need for us to get ramen is always “We want some ramen, we should go get some.” And off we went to Ramen Shokudo along Banawe Avenue. This was actually our second time at the place, which serves authentic Yokohama ramen. We can’t say for sure if that is indeed true Yokohama ramen, being more interested in the flavor than the provenance of a dish. In any case, Lucky Peach has a pretty good list of Japan’s regional ramen, so that would be a good place to start some research.
What we do know is that Ramen Shokudo’s ramen is pretty good. Also, “shokudo” basically means “shop” or “canteen,” and Japan Guide says shokudos are “casual restaurants or cafeterias that serve a variety of inexpensive Japanese dishes.” So the restaurant’s name, which sounds so exotic and unique at first glance, is actually pretty straightforward and simple.
The same can be said for the restaurant (the shokudo, as it were), which is a small place and features seats lining a counter that faces the kitchen, so you can watch the people hard at work preparing your order.
Ramen Shokudo offers rice bowls and a modest selection of appetizers, such as gyoza (P149), curry cheese roll (P149), and something called Fireball (P49), which is spicy minced pork that you can order as a side or sprinkle onto your ramen.
Oh my word, the ramen.
You get a hefty bowl of rich, spice-and-seasoning-drenched broth, smoky slices of chashu with nicely charred edges, and thick noodles that soak up the soup. You an even order extra noodles (P69) if you like. We ordered the Toriton Shoyu (P360), which is made with broth simmered for more than six hours and blended with their own soy sauce base, and the Toriton Tantanmen (P380), which contains sesame paste and a lot of spices to create a creamy broth. Rainy day or not, we’d still eat here. The ramen is served piping hot and is very satisfying, and the flavors just linger in your mouth.
As with many places in the area, or indeed in Quezon City, parking is limited. We went on a Saturday, when the neighboring bank was closed, so we were able to park there. Otherwise, you’re restricted to the two slots directly in front of the restaurant. The slope of the parking slots is pretty tricky, it’s almost as if those who are in charge of building sidewalks have no idea how vehicles would behave on and be affected by different surfaces and inclines; you’d end up banging the underside of your vehicle when you park, no matter how slowly and carefully you try to go, a lesson we’ve had to learn a second time. And hopefully it won’t happen a third time, because we’re definitely coming back again to try the other ramen.