Remember the Ramen Nazi of Pasay Road? He’s Back (And Smiling)
It was one of the rules enforced by Tamura-San, the Ramen Nazi at Ukokkei Ramen Ron, early on in the last decade. We had barely finished slurping our ramen when the bowls were whisked away and the bill unceremoniously shoved under our noses. The server stood there and hovered over us till we grudgingly settled it and vacated the table.
We were miffed, even pissed. But soon, we were back for more.
We were hooked on the firm toothsome noodles in the bowl of rich, flavorful stock from dark chicken "silky fowl" that had been simmered for hours on end, topped with thick slices of fatty pork belly. When we came early enough, there was the tantalizing possibility of snagging one of the limited bowls of tantanmen, a spicy, nutty miso broth with ground sesame, chili, and minced pork. Not that we were allowed to share. Or take home any leftovers. Chef’s rules, you know. So we reveled in our own big bowls of bliss.
We just ignored the glowering Ramen Nazi behind the counter, and focused, Zen-like, on our noodles.
Well, Tamura-san is back, and he’s invading our homes. The same ramen we loved at that nondescript storefront on Pasay Road is now available in ramen kits for us to heat up the safety of our own homes.
Tamura-san has partnered with Dr. Gerard Henson, one of the few people who could make him smile all those years ago.
"I would go there almost every day, sometimes even twice a day. He was really the Nazi everyone says he was," says Henson. "One day I decided to go up to him, greet him, and thank him for my meal. I did that every time I was there. Eventually I made him smile and we became friends. He would cook me meals that weren't on the menu.'
When the lockdown began, Tamura-san decided to close own permanently and return to Japan. That's when he and Henson spoke and decided to partner and make ramen together. Henson brought in his wife, Tere, his chef-cousin Margarita Fores, and her son, Amado, Ramen Ron's managing director.
It must be the pleasant company, because Tamura-san is now all in smiles.
Tamura-san's greatest hits:
Ukokkei Miso Chashu Ramen. A creamy miso-based broth with ramen topped with fatty beef belly, bean sprouts, and spring onions.
Ukokkei Shoyu Chashu Ramen. This one is soy-sauce based with bamboo shoots and spring onions.
Tantanmen. The legendary limited dish with sesame, chili, miso, and ground pork.
Hiyashi Goma Ramen. Noodles served cold with sesame sauce, cubes oof pork, wakame, cucumber, sesame seeds, pickled ginger, onions, and leeks.
Ramen Ron is at The Commissary at Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Extension, Makati.
To order, head to Ramen Ron's Instagram Page.