Ramen is distinctively Japanese, both in taste and sense. And though this oriental concoction originated from China and only introduced in Japan in the late 19th century, it was the artistic culinary style of Japanese chefs that made ramen known to the world.

Ramen arguably is a savory oriental staple, however, since Japanese chefs reinvented this dish and enhanced its nature into a satisfying comfort food with luscious add-ons, its identity becomes thoroughly part of the Japanese cuisine. And has ever since moved on from being associated to a Chinese fare.

Japanese dishes boast a global reputation of having one of the most flavorful recipes in the world with each selection prepared into near perfection, no wonder it appealed to food-loving Filipinos. 

The dishes manifest the inexplicable 5th taste called umami, something that sets Japanese food apart from other intercontinental recipes. And next to sushi and maki, ramen is the most sought-after Japanese food in the Philippines among gastronome adventurers.

Morning ramen trip with colleagues.
Basking into the heart of Japanese cuisine 

Why this noodles staple becomes a hit among food lovers? 

Perhaps because it acts like a food therapy during cold weather. It warms up tummy and the Japanese delicate style of cooking captures senses and taste, even those with the most delicate appetite. It possesses a unique ability to satisfy one's hunger. I, myself constantly crave for a bowl of ramen when the weather is gloomy.

Days ago, this pang kicked in when the clock was inching closer to our lunch break (lunch break is just a figure of speech in the bpo industry, but actually it's still breakfast time 😄). It was a fine day. The sun had just rolled up beyond the skyscraping buildings along Eastwood and the environment is a bit warm, but since we're working in a place with a biting cold atmosphere, our tummies needed to be constantly warmed up to get on with the day.

My colleagues, Nikki, Aira. Randy, Scarlet, Jaja and Angge, immediately agreed with this oriental hankering and decided to have some taste of Japan  somewhere. Craving for an intercontinental recipe is not quite a problem when you're working in Eastwood, the place has been soaked up with varieties of restaurants offering a plethora of recipes from almost every culture. So when we agreed to go out for lunch it was not a long and painful discussion where to go. We took the easiest way - the Cybermall. Ramen Kuroda is situated on the third floor of the mall.

Ramen Kuroda has a minimalist interior which fairly demonstrates Japan's subtle culture. 

Honestly, I haven't been into this Japanese resto nor heard about it, though it has been in the Philippine soil for three years. So I was a bit excited to try their dishes. And oh, ramen in particular. When we got there, it was only 10:00 in the morning so it wasn't yet crowded. I've had enough time soaking up with my thoughts assessing the interior.

The place has a relaxing ambiance, washed up in a simple Asian home setting. Thoroughly oriental in furnishing, with a minimalist interior design that has only white and black hues, which is typical to a Japanese architecture. I easily felt at home.

It was a calm Wednesday morning and the homey atmosphere of Ramen Kuroda added to the pleasure of devouring  all things Japanese. When the crew handed us the menu book, my eyes fixed on the varieties of ramen. I was determined to gorge it alone without any side dish to savor the taste without any destruction from other food.

Kuro Ramen, a tasty homemade noodles in roasted garlic oil topped with tonkotsu and boiled egg. Php180.00 only! Per serving is already good for sharing 

Ramen Kuroda offers three basic ramen selections topped with a tonkotsu piece (tender pork slice) and hard boiled egg  - Shiro ramen, Kuro ramen and Aka ramen. I chose the Kuro ramen, though I've no idea what Kuro means lol! Later, when I made research, I've discovered that Kuro in Japanese term means a milk-based broth in garlic oil. Shiro  has a very basic taste of tonkotsu ramen according to its description in the menu while Aka ramen is the spicy version. I find the Kuro variety flavorful. It has a spike taste of roasted garlic and its smell is a little pungent but overall savory. I like the way spices coated the noodles, blending well to the garlic oil which makes Kuro ramen flavorful . Though I'm not into pork, I took the tonkotsu piece topping since it was tenderly boiled.

Don't be confused with tonkotsu and tonkatsu. Although they both referred to meat. Tonkotsu refers to a pork bone broth while tonkatsu refers to a deep-fried breaded pork.

The Kuro ramen set

 Angge taking time mixing the flavorful Kuro ramen 

 Ramen teriyaki pork don set with tidbits of fresh fruits

 Scarlet having a great time devouring a bowl of tonkotsu ramen with a glass of green mango shake 

The milky broth of Kuro ramen rocks! 

My colleagues picked the ramen set because it has additional dishes and more budget-friendly. With only Php320.00 per set you'll have a bowl of ramen, teriyaki pork don and fresh fruits, this serving is already good for sharing. I didn't grab a glass of fruit shakes but the rest of my friends sampled the refreshing coolers. And according to them it has a taste of authentic fruits with less ice granules.

Nikki enjoying a bowl of rice with Teriyaki pork don and a glass of delicious mango shake

Aira  ready to gorge the Kuro ramen 

I've been to many Japanese restaurants in the country and tried different preparations of ramen but still couldn't figure out which one offered the best. Each restaurant boasts a delectable recipe with a distinct flavor, making it hard to pick which one is the best. However, as unique as the Japanese cuisine itself, the  style of  preparation demonstrates what Japan's island of Kyushu, where ramen recipes have been honed to perfection, has been known for, a luscious ramen that digs into the heart of Japan's subtle dining and culture. At Ramen Kuroda this ramen recipe version just did its mission in providing Filipino epicureans with the best homemade Japanese tonkotsu ramen. It also offers the best value of money without sacrificing the quality of taste. Truly comforting!

Unlike other Japanese restaurants in the country with a ramen specialty, Ramen kuroda offers a delectable selection that won't break a bank. Each ramen bowl costs only Php180.00, while the ramen set of teriyaki pork or chicken pork don with tidbits of fresh fruits costs Php320.00. The ramen chashumen bowl (with additional and larger tonkotsu) is only Php230.00.

For diners who wouldn't want a bowl of ramen, the place has other options in the menu to devour, the bento set (with rice, half ramen, salmon, ebi tempura, teriyaki chicken) Php500.00 and the typical rice toppings, choices of teriyaki pork don and chicken don for only Php240.00.

Ramen Kuroda serves authentic Japanese tonkotsu ramen and other oriental dishes so if you're into things Japanese and looking for some variations in your food adventure, this restaurant is worth a visit. The Eastwood branch opens at 10:00 in the morning and located on the third floor of Cybermall.

Special thanks to Aira, Angge and Nikki for providing me great photos for this post. And to Scarlet, Randy and Jaja for being great food buddies.

Until our next food trip guys 😄😁