LIPA, Batangas -- (UPDATED) Newly opened restaurant Ramen Who is out to answer the question, "Where can you find authentic ramen in Batangas?" Barely just a month old, it already has its share of fans and repeat customers.
Cara Katigbak manages Ramen Who on behalf of her family, who is no stranger to the F&B business as they are behind several concepts in the Lipa area. They are also massive foodies and Japanese food lovers such that the family occasionally braves the STAR Tollway just to have their ramen and sushi.
Katigbak felt that they weren't alone in wanting to avoid the hassle of driving all the way to Manila just for a satisfying Japanese food fix.
Ramen Who has a youthful face to stand out from the competition with its colorful, spacious interiors. The prices are noticeably less expensive than Manila without sacrificing authenticity, flavor, quality, and value for money.
Katigbak added that there was a deeper reason why they dared open this new concept. They had to close down their events concept and had to let go of employees, some of whom were with them for a decade, because of the lockdown. Opening Ramen Who enabled them to rehire some of those employees.
She also noted that one of the reasons Japanese restaurants are intimidating is the huge menu. Many guests are also unfamiliar with Japanese food and don’t know what to order.
With Ramen Who, the menu has been streamlined to focus on Japanese favorites: ramen, rice, and sushi.
Any ramen restaurant’s main draw is its broth. The Vice Tonkotsu-San highlights the restaurant’s base tonkotsu broth that’s simmered for 16 hours with choice pork bones and meat.
Miss Spicy Karai is Ramen Who’s version of kimchi ramen. This version lets the kimchi’s slight sour notes come out without bringing too much heat, nicely matching the tonkotsu broth.
Mr. Tantanmen is for those who want some spice with their ramen. Personally, I thought this needed to be spicier but guests can ask for more heat if they want.
The Cheesy Gyoza is one of those reasons why Ramen Who has customers who keep coming back.
The Sushi and Aburi (torched sushi) featuring California Sunrise, Spicy Salmon, Ebi Tempura (shrimp), Ultimate Unagi (eel) and Wango Tamago (egg) make a filling healthy accompaniment to any meal.
Ramen is also available for takeout and delivery in special compact packaging that separates the noodles and toppings, and broth. Shown here is the Uncle Shiyo-Doi (salt ramen) ramen ready for take-out.
Ramen Who? is located at The Outlets at Lipa Promenade. Indoor and outdoor seating options are available. It is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Pick-up and delivery can be arranged by messaging them on Facebook or Instagram.