Cheap and authentic ramen can be irresistible—and so we have found ourselves many times eating at Erra's Ramen, which serves hot Japanese noodles from a steel cart permanently parked on Adriatico Street in Malate.
Satoshi Tajima, the 70-year-old mustachioed cook running the show, used to work for a ramen house in Japan. He still makes his own noodles and is there every day, in his neat clothes and perfectly brushed salt-and-pepper hair, a calming presence amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
Erra's Ramen draws in a variety of people, thanks to its 18-hour operations that starts at noon and ends at 6 a.m. the following day. It is popular with students, backpackers, and waiters working in the area. It has also earned nods from Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese tourists.
The makeshift space sits under a tent propped up by bamboo poles. It is cramped and some tables are on the street, but these inconveniences disappear as soon as you tuck into Tajima's fragrant noodle soups which range in price from PHP50 to PHP85.
Our favorite: the Tantanmen Ramen (PHP80), which uses soup stock cooked for eight hours and has niboshi (anchovies), kombu (dried kelp) as main ingredients, and wakame (seaweed) green onions, sesame seeds, sesame paste and naruto (cured fish) as toppings. There's also a three-hour slow-cooked chasu that will leave you wanting more.
What makes Erra's Ramen so good? Tajima shares his secret ingredient with us on Coconuts TV's "Instakitchen" below.
Erra's Ramen, Adriatico cor J Nakpil Sts, Malate, Manila; www.facebook.com/erramen, +63 2 3549509, +63 928 3474233. Daily 12pm-6am.
Video by ON Creative Production
This story first appeared on Coconuts Manila