let's eat april issue
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THE G IRL + THE BULL THE BLACK P IG RAMEN YUSHOKEN SAN M IG PUB LARCY 'S
THE SOUTH ISSUEAPRIL 2014 ISSUE NO. 11
WHAT 'S INS IDEAPR I L 20 14 ISSUE NO . 1 1
07THE GIRL + THE BULL
15THE BLACK PIG
15SAN MIG PUB
FERNANDO MIGUEL BELMONTEPublisher
DON JAUCIANManaging Editor
THYSZ ESTRADAEditorial Associate
PATRICK DIOKNOArt Director
SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZWriter
LUCIEN DY TIOCOHead of Sales & Marketing
ANNALYN DELGADOEditorial Assistant
Golden Letter Publishing,1497 E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City
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Here in Lets Eat, weve always maintained a steady sense of fun. Looking back our last ten issues, its a marvel that weve continued to run with a healthy dose of ecstatic energysomething that youll need the most when youre putting up a food zine. Relatively small but packed with a delicious zest for all things food, Lets Eat has always been about the enjoyment of dining. And what better way to pair the search for the best place to eat than with a road trip.
All of us here in Lets Eat are consigned to what we can eat in the northern part of the metro. So its about time that we head south and discover the great new places to satiate our cravings. From the cheerful stretch of Aguirre Avenue, where we stopped for the charming new restaurant, The Girl + The Bull, which is run by a lovely twentysomething couple, to Muntinlupa Citys busier roads, where The Black Pig and Ramen Yushoken are located, we bring you a fun-filled guide to the best Southern eats, with plenty of room for dessert (Larcys Cupcakery) and a bit of cocktails, too (San Mig Pub, as featured in our new section LetsDrink).
Load up your car and get on the road, its sure to be a greattrip.
Connect with us on Facebook (LetsEatPhilStar) and on Instagram(@lets_eat_magazine). Starting this month, we will also be available on the digital newsstand Buqo, which you can download on the iTunes Store and Google Play.
ED ITOR 'S LETTER
Pork Belly Confit from The Girl + The BullPhoto by GABBY CANTERO
ON THE COvER
THE SOUTH ISSUE
LET'S EAT April 2014
F o o d F o r T h e G o d sBY SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ PHOTOS BY GABBY CANTERO
Years after its opening, and despite proliferation of other ramen places, Ramen Yushoken still remains as the citys definitive ramen destination
The beachhead for the Ramen Invasion thats taking over the country was established by Ukkokei on Pasay Road around three years ago. The restaurants
master chef became legend for his spicy Tantan-men and his even spicier persona. His restaurant wasnt the first thoughthere was Shinjuku on Makati Avenue and a multitude of Rai Rai Kens all over Metro Manilabut the Ramen Nazi certainly was the first to cause a deafening buzz among dedicated foodies, the first to serve an authentic, artisanal bowl of ramen. In November of 2012, Mitsuyado Sei-men, a franchise from Japan, began the takeover of Filipino palates in earnest when it introduced Tsukemen, a deconstructed ramen of sorts, freshly made noodles served separately from the rich broth, which is then used for dipping. One month later, right before Christmas, Ramen Yushoken opened its doors, and in doing so, detonated the biggest explosion of ramen obsession the Philippines has ever witnessed, and the repercussions of that big bang in Alabang are still being felt to this very day.
Yushoken is considered by many of the ramen cognoscenti as primus inter pares: first among equals. Ramen is a dish that, by its very nature, is as unique as the individual ramen craftsmen who assemble the components of their bowls like samurai sculptors. Fans of ramen are absolutely loyal to their favorites, and are deeply partisan with their opinions. While there really is no empirical manner on how to determine what constitutes a best bowl of
LET'S EAT April 2014
1 Clockwise from top left: Karai Tokusei, Gyoza, Shoyu Ramen, Karage,and Tantan-men
2 Mazesoba3 Ramen Yushokens interiors 3 Smoked Duck Crepe
ramen, Yushoken seems to have hit on the magic formula, and it is, not surprisingly, simple, yet sublime. Quite Zen. Its all aboutbalance.
It is all about the assembly of ingredients. We dont claim to have the best noodles or the best broth or the best toppings. But Yushoken, we know, has the best balance of all three. And thats why people love our ramen, Elbert Cuenca reveals to me. He is the passionate gourmet who brought steak to a whole new level in his famous steak room; he is also the man I have to thank for bringing a Ramen God to our shores.
The god is not literally in Alabang, but a blue figurine of Kazuo Yamagishi stands guard on a shelf overlooking the kitchen of Yushoken. Yamagishi-san is one of the most esteemed ramen chefs in Japan; hes now well into his eighties, but he still regularly visits his restaurant in Tokyo. He personally
to distill their signature Tonkotsu broth: milky from the marrow and silky from the collagen from the melted down tendons. The noodles are prepared in-house daily, using flour imported from Japan, kneaded with kansui: the specially treated water with the perfect level of alkalinity that gives the al dente noodles their unmistakable bounce and brightness. The toppings, crafted with the same exacting level of precision. Yushokens Aji Tamago, those jewel-like marinated eggs, half boiled at a precise 62 degrees, are indisputably, the best in the Philippines.
It would be extremely easy to open a successful chain of Yushokens. Elbert and his partners are often asked to do so. But that is not to be. A shrine to excellence has to stay true to its nature. There must be only one. One inimitable venue, one singular destination, to worship the one true RamenGod.
assigned one of his champions, Hideoki Aoyama, to guarantee that the impeccable quality and the impossibly high standards of his mentor are maintained in Yushoken. This partnership between Filipino ramen devotees and Japanese ramen icons has succeeded magnificently, and has exceeded all expectations.
A year and a half into its existence, in order to meet their extremely loyal customers endless demand for Miso, Shio, and Shoyu, Yushoken now needs to boil over five tons of pork bones every month
Shio Maze-soba, Tantan-men, Karai Tokusei, Shio, Shoyu
PR ICE RANGE
TonkoTsu Ramen P320 (Shio) to P380 (Tantan-Men and Miso)
Tsukemen P390 (Tonkotsu and Gyokai) to P420 (Karai Tokusei)
Cold Ramen P370 (Hiyashi Chuka)side dish/exTRas P80 (Aji Tamago) to
Ramen Yushoken has a list of reminders printed along with their menu. Some of
these include:1. Eat the ramen while its piping hot.
2. Slurp the ramen to help it cool down and pull more soup along with the
noodles.3. Ramen Yushoken only has
chopsticksno fork and spoonlike any proper ramen house.
4. A healthy dry ramen is also available off the menu, as your server about it.
Ramen YushokenMolito, Madrigal Avenue, Muntinlipa City
(02) 808 7424
LET'S EAT April 2014
A T A b l e o F s T o r i e sBY SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ PHOTOS BY GABBY CANTERO
Art, love, and gastronomy all find a table in the Souths charming new haunt, The Girl + The Bull
LET'S EAT April 2014
This is a love story. Three stories about love, actually. First, a sweet love story about a girl and, well, the bull. Second, an intense love story
about art. Third, a passionate love story about food.
The first story is about a girl, Thea, as sweet-looking as a young Natalie Portman, but with an even brighter spark: the dazzling green highlights in her hair reflect her undeniable charm. The bull is her young man, overflowing with enthusiastic determination, hence the nickname. His real name is Gabriel, and for an easy frame of reference, recall KC Concepcions dad during his younger years. Its not surprising at all that they met when both were cast in a schoolmates short film. They look absolutely perfect together, like fresh-faced teenagers in a television commercial, ready for their close-up. The inevitable happened, and the cinematic reel developed into a real romance. Theyve been together since.
The second story is about a talented but impulsive artist who couldnt seem to find the fulfillment he sought in the halls of academe. After a succession of starts and stops, he finally found what he was looking for: Gab realized that his form of expression was not limited to the visual, but extended to the visceral. More than just the sense of sight, he discovered that what he truly loved about art was the joy in
satisfying his audiences sense of taste. From eyes to mouth, from viewers to diners, from palette to palate.
The third is about Thea and Gabs love story. Its the kind of love that exists not just between the two of them. What started out as a brief vacation in the United States for the young couple turned into one of their great journeys together, one that goes on to this very day. The trip serendipitously led to their discovery of a shared passion for the one thing that could rival their affections for one another: good food. Inspired by the genius of Thomas Keller in Napa Valleys French Laundry, and moved by the creativity of David Chang in New Yorks Momofuku, Thea and Gabriel had an epiphany, and realized what they bo