Ramen Kuroda opened its doors to the mall-goers of SM Manila last November 7. (Photo from Ramen Kuroda Facebook Page)
, known for its authentic goodness and affordability, opened its newest branch at the second floor of SM Manila last November 7 to cater the need of mall-goers that crave for a hot bowl of ramen after a long day of shopping.
Ramen Kuroda’s management team was present at the event and led the ribbon-cutting ceremony together with a few of their administrative staff and restaurant crew . ShoppersGuide
was there to witness the opening.
Unlike most branch openings, Ramen Kuroda’s event was anything but fancy. After the ribbon cutting, the staff and kitchen crew went straight to work mode and served the hungry diners! Their sudden shift to operation mode seemed a bit abrupt, but surprisingly, it was actually a thing of beauty seeing Ramen Kuroda in action.
JAPANESE AUTHENTICITY FROM FLOOR TO CEILING
Ramen Kuroda kept it classic with a black and white interior giving it a minimalist feel.
Originally from Japan, Ramen Kuroda opened its doors to the Philippines in 2013 at Aguirre Street in BF Homes, Parañaque. Since then, it has been making waves among ramen fanatics and foodies because of its authenticity and affordability, with its ramen starting at a humble price of PhP180. Soon Ramen Kuroda established seven more branches all over the metro, with the one in SM Manila as among its newest addition to the family.
Their newest home in SM Manila doesn’t differ from its other branches in terms of menu and style. The 130-square-meter store is very spacious and doesn’t feel cramped with chairs and tables. The new branch can also accommodate a maximum of 60 guests during peak hours, so rest assured you’ll still get a seat despite the crowd.
Diners can see how their ramen is prepared with Ramen Kuroda’s open kitchen.
The store is very minimalist, with black and white as its dominating colors. There are also plenty of wood accents similar to the native houses in Japan and an open kitchen so you can watch the staff in action as they prep your ramen bowl.
The humble interior from floor to ceiling is inspired by the Japanese's simplicity.
Their Area Manager, Ms. Jane Aguilar, shared that the idea behind the minimalist concept is to attract customers from all walks of life. They don’t want to intimidate their guests with flashy interiors so they decided to stick with a toned down simple set up, but still inspired by Japan’s culture. Even the staff members are dressed in an all-black fashion from head to toe and avoided the usual get up of other Japanese restaurants in which they dress their staff in kimono, to give a more welcoming vibe to its customers.
First day of Ramen Kuroda and guests are already enjoying their food and the service.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony and a few photo ops, Ramen Kuroda was already in business-as-usual mode. From the CEO to the staff, everyone was already on their toes to welcome guests who are curious with their food.
Simply put, the service in Ramen Kuroda can be described as both professional and friendly. They are more than willing to explain to the curious customers their offerings and will gladly assist you with a seat if you decided to dine. They also actively offer water and house tea while you wait for your order.
A full house of hungry diners at Ramen Kuroda
Ms. Jane pointed out that they opted for the customers to be able to order from their seats rather than over the counter because Filipinos love to be pampered. And judging from the customers’ faces at Ramen Kuroda, they really did seem to enjoy the great service that the crew provided.
SOUL-SOOTHING RAMEN THAT WON’T BURN YOUR WALLET
The menu folder also follows the basic and sleek theme.
Although Ramen Kuroda offers plenty of options in their menu, it really is the ramen that is the star of the show. They have three types of ramen that you can choose from and enjoy. Despite the seemingly limited options of just three, one sip of any of them and you’ll also agree that their ramen is really one of the best out there. All are made from the best ingredients and prepared in advance so you’ll get the best bowl possible.
The ramen is made with the usual basic ingredients of a ramen noodle soup such as pork broth boiled for hours, homemade wheat noodles, a slice of pork or chasu as they call it, and half of a hard-boiled egg, and then sprinkled with leeks and sesame seeds. The other two ramen variants are given a tweak so you can experience a whole different range of flavors. All three ramen are offered at a starting price of PhP180, not bad at all compared to the prices in other ramen houses.
Ramen Kuroda’s most basic but very flavorful ramen, is the Shiro Ramen. (Photo from Ramen Kuroda Facebook Page)
Their first and most basic ramen is the Shiro ramen. The rich broth is made up of tonkotsu soup or pork broth that has been boiling for hours to get its prime taste. The soup is surprisingly rich and thick, and very creamy that it’s almost milky, with hints of oiliness in every slurp. It is also well-seasoned with a bit of a nutty flavor coming from the sesame seeds mixed in the broth. The ramen basically embodies that umami taste that we love making it one of the best ramen you can have.
The pork topping is incredibly soft and tender and not too salty. The yolk of the hard-boiled egg is a little bit runny that also gives the soup a different texture once you eat them together. The noodles on the other hand are cooked properly, and are a bit crunchy but become soft overtime as you eat your ramen. Despite the seemingly limited ingredients, Ramen Kuroda stayed true to the ramen that is served in Japan and focused on these basic elements to make it taste incredible and authentic.
The toasted garlic gives Kuro Ramen a bit of a dark color. (Photo from Ramen Kuroda Facebook Page)
Next is their Kuro ramen, one of their most recommended ramen. Kuro ramen still has the same basic ingredients of their ramen but has an extra dash of toasted garlic thus giving the ramen a darker color. But despite the ‘burnt’ look of the garlic, it doesn’t taste burnt at all. Instead, the flavor blends perfectly well with the creamy broth! The resulting taste is not overpowering but just gives the ramen a whole different flavor, making it more garlicky and with a sort of a stronger and bolder kick.
Don’t be intimidated by its color! Aka Ramen is spicy but still delicious. (Photo from Ramen Kuroda Facebook Page)
The third type of Ramen is called Aka ramen. Aka ramen is their offering for those that love to have their hot ramen bowl extra spicy. The orangey color from the spices might intimidate you but the broth is still bearable to savor and not too spicy as you might expect. Even if you’re not fond of spicy dishes but just want a bit of a kick in your ramen, this bowl is for you.
For something that tastes as authentic as those served in Ramen Kuroda, a PhP180 for a bowl of ramen is a definite steal! They also serve it in generous bowls so you’ll definitely leave with a happy tummy.
Aside from their famous ramen, you can also order extra slices of pork or chashu for just PhP50, if you can’t get enough of the meat, and other additions like the egg. They also have set meals wherein you can combine your favorite ramen with their rice meals, like their gyoza and don sets, and fresh fruits that ranges from PhP320 to PhP500. If you have a sweet tooth, you can order one of their fresh fruit shakes or their own version of halo-halo in the form of yellow mango and green tea.
A WORTHY STOP OVER
Visit Ramen Kuroda and experience their amazing bowls of ramen yourself.
After a long day of shopping, Ramen Kuroda is a worthy stop over if you are craving for a good hot bowl of soup after a long day of walking. Although it is a budget-friendly ramen place, Ramen Kuroda’s offerings can easily compete with those of other ramen houses that boast of authenticity but with a menu that are very high priced.
With the ramen competition in the Philippine restaurant scene becoming stronger, Ramen Kuroda is definitely one of the strongest players out there. Their efficient service, relaxing ambience, and authentic and affordable cuisine make them a great ramen house that everybody should be able to check out and experience.
If you are nowhere near SM Manila, just visit Ramen Kuroda’s website for the complete list of their branches so you too could experience their amazing bowl of ramen.
Address: 2nd flr SM Manila Natividad Almeda-Lopez corner A. Villegas and San Marcelino Streets, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Contact No.: (+632) 243-8665
Store Hours: SM Mall hours 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Except otherwise indicated, photos are property of ShoppersGuide.com.ph.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.