It is 11 o’clock just an hour shy of lunch time. I know it’s pretty early for lunch but I have attempted many times in the past to grab a seat in this tiny but very busy ramen bar in Salcedo village called Mendokoro Ramenba and have always failed. Each time I pass and peek inside this ramen bar, there is always this long queue that doesn’t seem to dissipate. But finally today, I got lucky. I’m guided by the adage “the early bird catches the worm”…Er, I mean, ramen.
Diners brave the long lines just to be able to grab a seat in this ramen bar. I suspect that the ramen must be very good because it is neither new nor endorsed by some famous people but the line is consistent everyday. This ramen bar is frequented by office workers and Salcedo village residents alike who flock to this quietly tucked ramen bar, rain or shine.
As soon as you enter, you go directly to the cashier situated near the entrance to place and pay for your order. You will be given your receipt to keep and order slip to give to the staff behind the bar so that the food and ramen of your choice can be prepared as soon as possible. Take out is absolutely not possible but the ramen is just so delicious, you won’t need to.
The kitchen is very busy and constantly creating smoke. Fortunately, they have a very strong overhead exhaust to absorb all the smoke and food smells. Just to be sure, we sat at the farthest chairs at the innermost side but it can’t be avoided that the food smell will stick to your clothes at some point.
Finally my Tantanmen Ramen arrived. Tantanmen is a spicy ramen and is one of their two best-sellers . But you can opt for “mild” spicy if that is your wish, you just have to tell the cashier while ordering. It was smoking hot and oooohhh so delicious when it was brought to me. The broth was very tasty and thick, and as I dug in, I found ground pork and al dente ramen noodles and bok choi as garnish. Definitely a “must visit and eat” again ramen bar.
V. Corporate Center
Soliman St., Salcedo Village
Open Everyday from 11am – 12 midnight
(whether the Pope visits Manila or not, they are open.)