Photography by Karlo Cadang
If you thought the ramen craze is showing any signs of slowing down, we beg to differ. The way we see it, it’s only just begun. Sure, there could already be a vast offering for this well-loved noodle dish with fast food chains and diners putting out their own interpretations. But there’s still a wide room for fresh takes to a revered classic. Thankfully, Kureji got the memo and decided to put their own spin to the ramen we all know and love.
In Japanese, the word “kureji” can be translated to “crazy”, which is an apt manner to describe their namesake. Their sizzling ramen has become the dish on the forefront of the diner, merging two all-time Pinoy faves : sizzling plates (think succulent sizzling sisig) and ramen. Not to mention, theirs is the healthier version too, with a signature chicken broth base that does not scrimp on umami. If you’re wondering what the sizzle is for, it’s not just for aesthetic. It actually highlights the various taste profiles you’ll find in your bowl, adding to that precious ramen experience you’ll always treasure.
Should you prefer to play it on the safe side for your first time, you can get their regular ramen with their Make Your Own Ramen which allows you to have your way with the style, topping, and soup. We hear they’re known for their Tomato Seafood Ramen, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country. We had their Sizzling Garlic Miso Ramen and we just love how the light broth complements the garlicky notes and brings out the best in the udon-like noodles. Ramen is not the only sizzling option you’ll find on the menu, though. They also have the Sizzling Yakisoba on hand, boasting a savory noodley wonderland filled to the brim with toppings that add various textures to the dish.
Here, you’ll also find Japanese cuisine staples you can go back and forth with as you slurp on your hearty ramen bowl. Get their Seared Salmon Nigiri if you’re gunning for a flavor-filled fix in just one bite. We bet you’ll enjoy the contrasts of cheesy, smoky, and juicy found in one hefty serving. Their California Maki, meanwhile, is playfully vibrant in both color and taste.
We also recommend something different from your usual with your Kureji feast. Case in point, their Nasu Abura and Asahi Butter Clams are savories spiked with Japanese liquor, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the depth this adds to the dishes. The result is a former that takes on the addictively fresh sweet side of things, with the latter having a tang that’s a mixture of tart and buttery.
Cap off your Kureji experience with some treats for your sweet tooth. The Kakigori (a.k.a. the Japanese answer to our halo-halo and the Korean bingsu) has only been added to their menu and we’re just glad it found its home here. Go ahead and pick your kakigori fighter from their Matcha, Strawberry, and Chocolate options. Or better yet, get all three when you’re with a group, and take turns sampling them.
What’s even cooler is how this diner is a proudly homegrown concept which seeks to help you start from scratch in reimagining your Japanese experience. With 3 North-focused branches already at their arsenal, we can’t wait for them to—maybe, just maybe—consider going South soon to spread the Kureji crazy.
Kureji has branches at Ayala Malls Vertis North, Ortigas Rockwell Business Center, and Malakas Street, Quezon City.
Want more Japanese cuisine treats? Check out this next story!