Ramen weather or not, Oyasumi Ramen is a little unassuming restaurant in San Juan that will make you crave for a hot bowl of their noodle soup — their ramen selection is unique enough to merit a trip to Little Baguio, and their modern flavor combinations excite the ramen lover's weary palate. Stick around till your bowl's left with some of that flavor loaded soup, and they'll transform it into a lip-smacking finisher.
While Oyasumi is known for its inventive flavor combinations and modern spins on the classic noodle soup, they are still deeply rooted in the Yokohama style craft of ramen. The owners, brothers Martin and Miguel Ledesma, are taking their firsthand learnings from Japan and incorporating techniques into each bowl served to their customers. Noodles here are house-mixed and made fresh every day, and broth gets its robust flavors from long hours of cooking.
If you still want to keep it to more familiar, safe flavors, they have a classic ramen in the Iekei (P350) — a traditional ramen with chashu in signature tonkotsu-shoyu tare broth with spinach, leeks and three sheets of nori. You can upgrade your ramen noodles to flavored noodles (Add P20) which are made fresh daily, and also change to a thick-cut chashu (Add P80). During our visit, the flavored noodles available were squid, garlic, spinach, and spicy — just imagine the different nuances each different noodle flavor will lend to the broth and overall ramen experience!
If you really want to have the true Oyasumi experience, however, it's when you embrace the unfamiliar and tread into their more playful and inventive ramen variants. They're definitely not your usual bowls for ramen weather, but still keeping everything well balanced to make sure the ramen is still delicious and never gimmicky. The Tomato (P370) is a crowd favorite, an umami-loaded bowl as its creamy yet light soup combines ripe tomatoes, katsuobushi, and sesame in tonkotsu broth. Topping this bowl are leeks, nori, chashu, and aji tamago (soft boiled egg).
Ramen with cheese? Yes, please! Before you brush this off as a too out-there kind of ramen, give it a slurp. Basil (P370) keeps everything subtle and lip-smacking, its broth cloudy and rich with tonktotsu, shoyu, basil oil, chicken oil, cheese. It's just milky enough but not cloying, the herbed version of the classic iekei ramen given a kick. While you're there too, get and order of Gyoza (P150) to snack on — their dumplings are crisp outside and plump with generous meaty filling.
Once in a while, Oyasumi rolls out new flavors on their blackboard menu. During our visit, new items include an XO Ramen (P370), with broth brimming with enough spice and heat, served with dried scallops and chashu. Another surprising ramen is their Shio Butter (P450), a bowl with clearer broth and plump scallops resting on a bed of noodles. A sip of the soup reveals a stunning clam broth, simple and clean, and a welcome addition to slurp with firm noodles.
While one order of ramen is already filling when you've slurped up all the noodles, they offer a delicious option of making the most out of the flavorful soup that's left in your bowl. Turn the leftover broth into Cheesy Risotto (P60) and get an additional carb fix with a warm serving of creamy rice, each morsel soaked with the flavors of your previous noodle dish, resurrecting the flavors with a cheesy twist. Just like the satisfaction one gets from ramen on a cold day, the risotto appeases and comforts like a warm hug.
Oyasumi Ramen is located at 308 P. Guevarra corner Seaview Streets, Little Baguio, San Juan. The restaurant is open daily from 11am to 10:30pm. Follow Oyasumi on Facebook and Instagram (@OyasumiRamen)