Most ramen restaurants in Japan apparently lack the treated tweaks of which many of us Pinoys are familiar. While we might have been used to these elegant dining ramen places in Rockwell or BGC, those from or have traveled far up the globe can easily describe the set-up as a bar and set of stools with the cook preparing the dish to your face. That you slurp it up fast to give way to the rest of hungry customers waiting in line, and that's it. Then again, whoever said a refined ramen place is anything pretentious especially if the food is good? Whoever declared that ramen can't be enjoyed with stranger sides besides a saké—say, beer or ice cream? In this hazy, hypnotic bed weather, we know what we want and it's ramen.
Riding along this idea of serving ramen in a more "polished" approach, Kureji opened its first standalone site early this year along Malakas St., Quezon City. It's the homegrown brand's second after its first branch at Ayala Vertis North. Taking over the space of a traditional bungalow home complete with a bodega at the back, Kureji Malakas infuses Filipino and Korean in its cozy interiors. It spans wide to accommodate 150 people and boasts a function room intended for 25-30 pax and a smaller "business room" for 10-15. It also has a five-stool bar, serving Japanese beer among other liquor.
Kureji Malakas still carries its "crazy" branding, the name's literal translation from Japanese, as it fronts its sizzling ramen permutations as bestsellers. (Add some gyoza and finish it off with their house blend iced tea, we strongly reco!) We have our gastronomical picks—including ice cream—in the gallery above, if you're curious!
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Photography by Vyn Radovan