Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rai Rai Ken: Best Ramen in Manila

My first time to eat authentic Japanese ramen happened last Friday at Rai Rai Ken - Finlandia Branch. Actually, I was with a group of food bloggers during Rai Rai Ken's first blogger food tasting. Aside from letting us savor the goodness of their ramen line, they also served items from their sushi bar as well as their new desserts especially made for Valentine's Day.

Rai Rai Ken Ramen and Sushi Bar was started by Mr. Benjamin Garcia who worked as a cook at a popular ramen restaurant in Makati called Ramen Tei. That was circa 1985. With the limited number of restaurants offering authentic Japanese ramen in the Philippines in the past decades, an opportunity presented itself to the then already budding Pinoy ramen master (who went on  as far as training Japanese chefs in making  authentic Japanese ramen). Soon after, Rai Rai Ken (that means 'welcome restaurant' in English) was born and the rest is history.



That night, I had difficulty choosing which ramen variety to try. I opted to get the healthier choice of Seafoods Hotpot (P165) which happened to be one of their best sellers. The tasty ginger-infused soup that was clear and thick at the same time, the fresh noodles and the variety of seafood ingredients made this ramen very filling and satisfying.


I also got to sample another ramen called Tantanmen (190). I had just a spoonful of it but it left a lasting impression in my taste buds. It had a half hard-boiled egg, roasted pork slices and mixed vegetables in a miso soup base. It was a bit on the spicy side and I loved it. I'm definitely ordering it on my next visit to Rai Rai Ken!


Ramen Kuroda, BF Homes
Ramen Yushoken, Molito-Alabang
Kokoro Ramenya, Roxas Blvd.
Yasuo Japanese Restaurant, Robinsons Place Manila
Erra's Ramen, Malate
Izakaya Den Japanese Restaurant, Malate
Ume-ya Japanese Restaurant, Bacoor
Yoshinoya, SM Manila

Other ramen varieties served to my fellow food bloggers that night include the following:

Chasyu (195)


Garlic Chili

Rai Rai Ken's famous gyoza was a winner. I highly recommend this appetizer when you dine at the restaurant. The dough was toasted on both sides yet the edges remained soft and firm. The filling, which was composed of minced pork, leek, garlic, ginger and other secret spices, was very tasty and flavorful. I think I consumed a total of four pieces and I enjoyed each bite immensely.


The Special Sushi Platter, the Jurassic Maki Roll and the Super California Maki with Salmon Salad Topping were the love! One bite and you'll get hooked. The makis were as fresh as you could get. I particularly liked the one with salmon topping and an orange-y sauce that had a hint of Japanese mayo in it.

Jurassic Maki Roll

Super California Maki with Salmon Salad Topping

The desserts were pana cotta that came in three flavors. I am biased to the white one with mango sauce. Its melt-in-the-mouth goodness blew me away. The rich, fruity sauce also complemented the mildly-sweetened pana cotta.

choco pana cotta

creamy pana cotta

coffee pana cotta

group pic
group photo

Rai Rai Ken currently offers 50% off on ramens

From Feb. 11 to 28, 2011 at the following branches:

1. SM Rosales
2. SM Clark
3. SM Pampanga
4. CB Mall Urdaneta
5. Robinson's Iloilo
6. Robinson's Gensan
7. Robinson's Dumaguete
8. Robinson's Cebu
9. KCC Gensan
10. Gaisano Mall Agus
11. Gaisano Mall Tabunok
12. AliMall Cubao
13. Finlandia Makati

From Feb. 18 to March 20, 2011 at the following branches:

1. Harrison Plaza Village Square
2. Harbour Square CCP Complex
3. Bluewave Macapagal
4. Robinsons Galleria
5. SM City Taytay
6. Bluewave Marikina
7. SM City Sta. Rosa

To know more about the restaurant that serves authentic and quality Japanese food, check out the Rai Rai Ken website or visit them on Facebook.

Thank you to Mr. Joey Garcia, Business Dev't. Officer of Rai Rai Ken Ramen and Sushi Bar for your generosity and to my ever gracious PR friend Annesy del Mundo for this fun and very filling Japanese treat! :)

with owner
with Mr. Joey Garcia

Rai Rai Ken - Finlandia
2877 Finlandia St.
Brgy. San Isidro, Makati


Rai rai ken Vicinity Map FINLANDIA

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  1. Rai Rai Ken is my hubby's favorite Ramen place! We got really sad when their branch in Tomas Morato closed down. But we still visit their Galleria Branch when we go malling.

  2. I have a GC of Rai Rai Ken. Would you like to trade it with a coupon from Metrodeal? or Ensogo? or DealGrocer? Whatchathink?

  3. @palengke queen: rai rai ken noodles are so sarap! my fave is tantanmen. :)

    @superf: despite my love for rai rai ken...nah, i don't think it's a good idea. haha.

  4. Rai Rai Ken is definitely my favorite Ramen pit stop. from the Tomas Morato Branch many years back, I am now one of its patrons at Finlandia. My all time favorite is the Chili Garlic Ramen! Now that I am married, I introduced the place to my hubby and being a food addict that he is, Rai Rai Ken is where he would usually bug me to eat whenever we don't get to cook supper.


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