Place: Quaint and modern. The dining set-up is communal; everybody sits around the kitchen where one can witness how the dishes are prepared. The place has good air conditioning. Sometimes though, when the cooks get fired up, one leaves the restaurant with the smell of gyoza.
Food: Generally OK, not bad.
First at our corner is the Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen (Php 390): a bowl of slightly curly noodles, mushrooms, and a piece of Chashu, all swimming in a nearly white broth, topped with sesame seeds and spring onions.
The broth has good consistency, thick and creamy. It's a little bland though; the soy sauce and pork flavors of the soup are not pronounced enough to make every sip punctuated. The noodles are firm and of good quality. They get progressively salty though. We like the mushrooms, firm and woodsy.
Next, the Hiyashi Tantanmen Ramen (Php 410). Just like our first ramen, this has the same slightly curly noodles, but this time with ground pork and bok choy, and a cold, milky broth that has chili paste.
The soup of the Hiyashi Tantanmen is flavorful. It has the right level of a salty-meaty taste. And that kick from chili! The heat is not overpowering but just enough to whet the appetite. Each sip of the broth, along with each bite of the noodles with the pork, is satisfying.
Last on our dining nook is the Gyoza (Php 100, 3 pieces). Now this one is really delicious! Each Gyoza piece has a balanced mix of meaty and pungent flavors. And the dough has good integrity, steamed and charred well for another layer of texture and taste. Yummy!
Price: Considering taste, serving size, and food quality, we find the price here reasonable. All the food prices are inclusive of VAT and service charge.
Service: Prompt and professional. We just wished the staff smiled more.
Mendokoro Ramenba is along Soliman St., Salcedo Village, Makati City.