I love a good bowl of ramen — firm noodles, tender slices of pork and soft-boiled egg in a warm, flavorful broth is one of my go-to comfort food. As such, it always delights me to discover new ramen restaurants that I can frequent. Recently, my Saan Sa PH family went over to Ukokkei Japan in SM North.
Ukokkei Japan by Menzo is a Japanese restaurant which serves affordable ramen bowls and other Japanese meal staple.
Ukokkei Japan by Menzo
We tasted some of the best dishes served in Ukokkei Japan.
Appetizers and side dishes
For the side dishes, we had california rolls (P130) and gyoza (P140). Both of these are okay, though for the gyoza I still prefer the more tender pieces in Ramen Yushoken. If you’re not particular though, these are good add-ons to your meal.
We also had teba karaage (P120). Teba kaarage refers to deep-fried chicken wings and is one of Ukokkei Japan’s bestsellers. It has a slight crunch and honey-sweet sauce. It’s one of the winners in our group.
For our veggie dish, we had kani salad (P160). I love this one — it’s light, refreshing and creamy. Mango cubes add sweetness to each spoonful. If we didn’t have a full table, I would gladly order another bowl of kani salad.
Ukokkei Japan also serves a variety of rice bowls.
We had beef yakiniku don (P240), which has a tender beef and sweet-savory sauce that seeps through the rice. I like this dish and would order it again when I come back. Next is pork katsu don (P280), pork cutlets with crispy breading and egg.
Lastly, we had katsu curry rice (P280), which at first bite reminded me rather nostalgically of the mild curries I used to eat in Kuala Lumpur.
The rice bowls are a good option if you want a filling meal that doesn’t include noodles. The meats are flavorful and serving size is sufficient.
The highlight of Ukokkei Japan is their ramen bowls. Ukokkei Japan serves ramen at P190 each (other options: ajitama ramen – P230, chasu ramen – P250). Each ramen contains 1pc pork belly, spring onion, black fungus and seaweed.
Shiro ramen has a creamy pork bone broth and is a favorite of mine. It’s simple but really delicious.
Kuro Ramen also has a pork bone broth enriched with black sesame and garlic, which gives it a garlicky taste and smoky fragrance.
Lastly, there’s Aka Ramen, which has a mildly spicy broth. I like that the spiciness is tolerable so I can slurp the soup without developing a runny nose. It’s also a favorite among our group.
Aside from the regular ramen, Ukokkei Japan also servers special pork ramen (ramen – P290; ajitama ramen – P320). We had Special Shiro Chashu Ramen, which is Ukokkei’s signature ramen. It has a creamy pork bone broth cooked for 15 hours to bring out the rich flavors. Among those we’ve tried, this is definitely the best.
We also had tsukumen in classic tonkatsu flavor (P320). Tsukumen is basic dry ramen, which you dip in the accompanying soup so the noodles suck in the flavor. It’s my first time to try tsukumen, so for me it’s interesting. Taste-wise, I still prefer regular ramen.
What I noticed about the ramen here in Ukokkei Japan is that the noodles are served firm by default (though you can also request otherwise) and the chasu is thicker, firmer than other restaurants I’d been to. In ramen tasting, the broth makes or breaks the ramen, and the broths prepared in Ukokkei are delicious.
In fact, the ramen offered in Ukokkei Japan exceeded my expectation. Since I’d been to other budget ramen restaurants, I’d always assume that affordable ramen bowls are served with reduced quality and flavor, but generally the ramen here is quite good.
Overall, I like the offerings in Ukokkei Japan. It’s a good restaurant for people who are on a budget but would still like that authentic Japanese flavor in their food.
Practical Info: Ukokkei Japan by Menzo
- Maginhawa, Quezon City
- SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
- SM North Edsa
Suggested budget: P800 for 2 people
Disclaimer: Thanks Saan Sa PH for organizing this event and Ukokkei Japan for feeding us! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Ukokkei Japan? Any other budget-friendly ramen restaurants you can recommend? Let us know in the comments below!