The Types of Ramen You Should Be Trying Right Now

Apart from the usual, of course.
IMAGE FACEBOOK/ Mitsuyado sei-men & Ramen Daisho

The flurry of ramen houses in the Metro today is clearly a nod to Filipinos’ growing affiliation with the celebrated flavors of Japanese cuisine. While many have dared to recreate the popular noodle dish to suit the local palate, staple flavor styles manage to push through years of food trends and discriminating palates. These broths are central to each bowl consumed and effortlessly complement perennial toppings such as eggs, nori (seaweed), kikurage (mushrooms), and scallions. It’s hard to resist this perfectly rich medley. Whether it's cold outside or not, these are the types of ramen you should be trying.

1| Shio 

Oyasumi Ieki
Photo by Majoy Siason for

Perhaps the oldest type of ramen variety there is shio (“salt”), which contrasts either a chicken or a pork base. It’s easy to spot: The soup is light yellow and almost transparent. Shio is a default choice for those who opt for a bowl that isn’t too overpowering but lends just enough warmth to keep the tummy full. 


Esquire Recommends:

  • Ron Ramen’s Ukokkei Shio Chashu
  • Oyasumi Ramen Shio Butter


2 | Tonkotsu

Ippudo's Shiromaru Motoaji
Photo by FACEBOOK/ Ippudo Global.

Boiled pork bones make or break this creamy ramen, which originated from Fukuoka, Japan. It has a particularly pungent odor compared to other ramen kinds, but depending on the restaurant, one can have the richness adjusted to taste. It’s typically topped with chashu (thickly cut pork), menma (bamboo shoots), kikurage (mushrooms), and egg. 

Esquire Recommends:

  • Ippudo’s Shiromaru Motoaji 
  • Ramen Daisho’s Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Ramen Kuroda’s Shiro Ramen 


3| Miso

Photo by FACEBOOK/ Ramen Daisho.
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The distinct flavor of fermented bean paste is the lifeblood of this ramen style. The miso broth was said to be developed in Sapporo, Japan, in response to the prefecture’s harsh winters. The ramen’s thick, brownish-orange concoction is oftentimes accentuated by copious amounts of curly noodles, butter, sautéed vegetables, ground pork, corn, and egg. 

Esquire Recommends: 

  • Ramen Daisho’s Miso Ramen
  • Mensakaba Geishu’s Miso Ramen


4| Shoyu

Locals gravitate toward this soy sauce-based ramen style that is anchored on the savory aftertaste of chicken or pork bones or seafood products. The tangy and fragrant shoyu is usually taken with curly noodles, pork, onions, and egg. This classic is also known for its many offshoots, with many ramen houses recreating the traditional base and infusing it with their own touch for an added punch. 

Hanamaruken Happiness
Photo by Sasha Lim Uy for

Esquire Recommends:

  • Hanamaruken’s Signature Happiness Ramen
  • YUMI’s Shoyu Ramen



5| Tsukemen

Photo by FACEBOOK/ Mitsuyado sei-men.

Mitsuyado Sei Men Karashi Tsukemen

Tsukemen, or “dipping ramen,” might just be the most popular dry ramen variant in the country. This particular style, which hails from Western Tokyo, is best known for its theatrical claim. It comes to the table deconstructed. Diners would have to dip the slightly firm noodles into a robust, hearty soup, before slurping away. The tsukemen broth varies (popular choices include pork, chicken, or curry) and may be taken either hot or cold.  

Esquire Recommends:

  • Mitsuyado Sei Men’s Karashi Tsukemen 
  • Tsuke-Men’s Ebi Tsukemen 
  • Mendokoro Ramenba's Tsukemen


6| Kare 

JAEU Chicken Curry Ramen
Photo by FACEBOOK/ JAEU Bistro and Ramen Bistro.


Find in this style a marriage of two quintessential Japanese cuisine staples, ramen and curry. The soup is a delicious combination of pork broth, vegetables, and curry, and is topped with one’s choice of meat and tamago

Esquire Recommends:

  • RYU Ramen & Curry’s Ryu Ramen Curry
  • JAEU Bistro and Ramen Bar’s Chicken Curry Ramen


7| Tantanmen 

Ramen Shokodu Tantanmen
Photo by FACEBOOK/ Ramen Shokudo.

Japan’s take on the Chinese dan dan noodles is tantanmen, a slightly spicy pork or chicken-laced broth seasoned with chili, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, all of which leave a nutty aftertaste. It’s served with minced pork and topped with either spinach or bokchoy

Esquire Recommends:

  • Ukokkei Ramen Ron’s Tantanmen Ramen
  • Ramen Shokudo’s Toriton Tan-tan Men 


8| Hakata

Uma Uma Signature Ramen 
Photo by Criselda Carreon for


Another Fukuoka ramen style is the hakata, a broth made from slow-cooked pork bones paired with thin, firm noodles. This ramen’s milky, full-bodied base is commonly seasoned with salt and topped with chashu, mushrooms, and pickled ginger. 

Esquire Recommends:

  • Uma Uma Ramen’s Uma Uma Ramen
  • Ippudo’s Karaka-Men
  • Ramen Jiro’s Hakata Tonktosu Ramen


9| Seafood

If there’s any ramen variant that’s often unnoticed but is worth a second look, it’s the kind that puts the spotlight on seafood such as scallops, prawns, and squid. This type is reminiscent of bisque, but is accentuated with a touch of pork or chicken stock for a boost in flavor.  

Esquire Recommends:

  • Mendokoro Ramenba’s Seafood Ramen
  • Butamaru Ramen’s Kaisen
  • Mensakaba Geishu’s Ebi Wantamen


10| Tori Paitan

Kichitora of Tokyo Paitan
Photo by FACEBOOK/ Kichitora Ramen.


Local ramen houses have ventured toward an alternative that’s just as rich and creamy as the classic tonkotsu, catering to foodies not keen on pork-based broths. Enter tori paitan. This variant is generally light on the stomach since it comes with thin noodles and a generous mix of chicken and vegetables. 

Esquire Recommends:

  • Kichitora of Tokyo’s Black Garlic Paitan Ramen
  • Ramen Nagi’s Chicken Paitan King


11| Mixed 

Ramen Yushoken Tonkotsu Shoyu
Photo by courtesy of Patty Mendoza.

As Filipinos are very welcoming of creative takes on culinary staples, we ought to save room for a ramen style that pools together flavors of different classics. Of the many varieties present in the local food scene, it seems that the shoyu is regarded as a starting point for an even grander ramen experience. 

Esquire Recommends:

  • Mendokoro Ramenba’s or Ramen Yushoken’s Tonkotsu Shoyu (tonkotsu, shoyu)
  • Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s Awase-Aji (shio, shoyu, and miso)
  • Oyasumi Ramen’s Tonkotsu Tantan (tonkotsu, shoyu, tantanmen)



Ramen House Directory 


Butamaru Ramen – Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City 

Ippudo branches

JAEU Bistro and Ramen Bar – Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City 

Kichitora of Tokyo – Glorietta 5, Makati City; Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City; and Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

Mendokoro Ramenba – V. Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City; Icon Plaza, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City; Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Mensakaba Geishu – Southland Apartelle, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City

Oyasumi Ramen – P. Guevarra corner Sea View Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City 

Ramen Cool – 25 West Capitol corner East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City; West Life Building, West Avenue, Project 7, Quezon City

Ramen Daisho – Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Liberty Center, 312 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City

Ramen Jiro – High Pointe Medical Hub, Bagong Silang, Mandaluyong City

Ramen Kuroda branches 

Ramen Nagi branches

Ramen Shokudo – 401 Banawe corner Maria Clara Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City 


Ramen Yushoken – Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Ron Ramen – 822 Paseo Tesoro, Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo, Makati City

RYU Ramen & Curry – SM Jazz Mall, Nicanor Garcia corner Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City

Tsukemen – The Grid Food Market, Second Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City

Ukokkei Ramen Ron – Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City; Upper McKinley Road, Taguig City

Uma Uma Ramen – S Maison, Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way, Pasay City; The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

YUMI - Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan City

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