Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ryuma Ramen -- Great Place in Sta. Rosa!

The road to Tagaytay is paved with temptation most specifically, as you pass through the Paseo area in Sta. Rosa where there's plenty of shopping and eating to be had.
On the second floor of the building that houses the M&S, Debenhams, Timberland and Aerosoles outlet stores is Ryuma Ramen, a Japanese restaurant that is one part of an entire complex that includes a karaoke/fine dining restaurant, a tatami seating style grill, a bar, a japanese grocery, a children's clothing store -- all owned by the same person/s.
I think of it as RYUMA-LAND.
We stumbled upon it one late afternoon on the way down from Tagaytay. Ryuma's waitresses were aggressively pitching their menu to passersby so we decided to give it a try.
We opted to eat in the ramen restaurant as we thought it would be a bit more inexpensive but we learned the same menu is available wherever you decide to sit.
For me, the test of a good ramen restaurant is chashu ramen and Ryuma passed with flying colors! Their chashu slices were not too thin nor too thick, they were soft and melted in your mouth and had the right fat to meat ratio. The pork was just so flavorful -- fresh and juicy and had no pork-y taste (which you sometimes find in other chashu ramen bowls around Makati).
The ramen noodles were very good, cooked just right to retain that chewy bite. And no wonder their noodles are good -- a large noodle maker in one glassed in corner of the restaurant shows that they make their noodles fresh on the premises.
Aside from the chashu ramen, my friends ordered katsudon and katsu curry which they gave two thumbs up to. Both were good-sized portions and like the chashu ramen, very reasonably priced.
Ryuma Ramen's waitstaff are strangely enough dressed in chinese inspired uniforms, considering it is a Japanese restaurant. But they are all very pleasant, efficient and eager to serve.
The evening we were there, the Japanese manager was trying out a traditional pancake maker -- fish shaped and with a sweet bean filling -- and handing out samples to diners. i hope that he decided to buy it and look forward to having it again on my next visit!
Don't mind the kitschy, campy ambience and decor -- white leather covered chairs, table legs made of stainless steel, all sorts of Japanese doodads on the walls (samurai swords, armor, japanese dolls!) but try it for the authentic Japanese food at very un-Japanese prices.
Most of the regulars are Japanese expats from the nearby manufacturing companies and that should be your best indicator of how good this place is.

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