I love Japanese food! So when I saw Ramen Bar at Eastwood (Quezon City) last year, I told myself that I would eat at this restaurant.
Unfortunately, I was not able to do so since my dining companions picked other places to eat. Luckily, for a recent project meeting, I was asked to pick a restaurant to eat at and naturally, I said we should try the Ramen Bar!
One of the servers quickly assisted us and led us to a table. We didn't have to ask for a menu since the food choices were on the paper mat! As you can see from the photo above, dishes were grouped according to small plates (appetizers/food with small servings), big plates (rice dishes), big bowls (ramen), toppings (additonal toppings for the ramen), and sweets (desserts). An English translation of the main ingredients used for the dishes were written at the bottom left of the paper mat cum menu. Excluding the cost of the fried rice and the additional toppings, the price range was from P120-P380, which I found pretty reasonable compared to other Japanese restaurants. (My companion thought the ramen was a bit pricey, though.)
|The Shoyu Ramen|
|Yakiniku Beef Rice Topping|
First to arrive was the Yakiniku beef rice, then the Shoyu Ramen. It took awhile for the Gyoza to be served, which was a bit surprising since there were only a few of us dining at that time (This was late afternoon.). The server provided extra bowls so that we could share the food. Among the 3 dishes, I liked the most the presentation of the steamed Gyoza. Its serving dish had an interesting shape and the added vegetables were a nice touch. The Gyoza looked freshly cooked, too. However, I am not exactly a fan of its taste as I have savored a better Gyoza at a Japanese restaurant in Makati. The dish that I liked best was the Shoyu Ramen, the broth was steaming hot and full of flavor; the noodles were not overcooked; and the toppings were delightful and not hard to chew. The Yakiniku Beef Rice would have been perfect if not for the rice. I think Ramen Bar might have scrimped on the rice. It wasn't fragrant, it wasn't sticky, and it wasn't cooked well, which made the rice difficult to eat with chopsticks. It reminded me of an episode of The Next Iron Chef (Season 2) where one of the contenders was harshly criticized for a poorly cooked rice that he served during a Japanese-themed food challenge. As the show's judges emphasized, a well-cooked rice is important in a Japanese meal.
We wanted to try their lone dessert offering: Tempura Ice Cream. However, we were already satiated so we skipped it. I might try this next time since the server insisted that it was really good. The staff, by the way, were very helpful and pleasant.
Overall, I am glad I was finally able to try this restaurant although it didn't completely meet my expectations. Maybe on my next visit, I would stick to a friend's advice: Never order a fish in a steak house so you wouldn't be disappointed. (In other words, I'll just order Ramen since it's a Ramen Bar after all! )