FOOD: GO-EN: The Japanese Ramen Shoppe Plus!

If there's one thing that I love, it's to try out new places to eat! Who doesn't like eating in the first place? Being a curious beaver, I usually look around the net for places to try-out, read for reviews and know the usual budget needed.

We first discovered Go-en during a Japanese food festival at the Festival Mall in Alabang. They had a booth there that sells kendamas. You can either try it out first or buy one. The booth-keepers were even nice enough to teach us how to play! And then they told us about their place. Ever since then, we were itching to try their food out.

Luckily, this ramen place was very near my boyfriend's workplace. So just the other week, we decided to give it a try.

Go-en Ramen is a small distinct place at Sgt. Esguerra avenue. At first glance, one can notice their combination of modern and traditional motif. With Japanese style paintings and wooden chairs and tables surrounded by yellowish walls for a more modern look, but nonetheless, the place has this homey and cozy feels.

One of the catchy parts of the place upon entering is their counter, wooden little booths with festive designs. Behind the door, you can see shelves of mangas. They're not actually for sale, but you can borrow them within the vicinity, since there's a seafood place and a cafe just beside their store. They're actually like a little library of mangas with titles like Paradise Kiss, Naruto, Deathnote, Fairytail, Bleach, Ao no Exorcist and a lot more. And for people who just can't read Japanese? All the mangas are in english. No worries there. :3

Just a word of precaution though, do take care of the mangas that you'll be borrowing and be sure to return them to their rightful place.

My boyfriend and I decided to sit in front of the bar. We always prefer to look at how cooks prepare our orders. In front of the bar, you will notice a shelve-full of Kendamas of different color and designs! At the center is a little television that shows how to play it.

Ahh! I want that Black with Sakura Petal design! * A * !!!

What exactly is a Kendama? Others might ask. Here's a brief description:

"A kendama (けん玉 ?, also written as 剣玉 and 拳玉) is a traditional Japanese toy which consists of three wooden cups of different sizes placed on the center of a wooden spike, with a smaller cup at the spike's base and a ball connected by a string to the center piece. In English, kendama may be referred to as ring and pin and bears similarities to the classic cup-and-ball game, similar to the Latin American world toy known as balero. The principle of these toys are the same: catching one object with another, where both are joined by a string."

~Taken from Wikipedia.

Kendama is actually fun to play with. It's like the yo-yo of the traditional Japanese, and there are also different ways of playing it.

Kendamas and other traditional Japanese toys that can be freely used and played with.

While waiting for our orders, we decided to give it a try. The waitress was nice enough to teach us some basic moves. I personally enjoyed playing it, to the point of wanting to buy a Kendama for myself. ><

 Tsukemen Ramen

I had the Tsukemen Ramen or dipped ramen. It was my first time to eat this type of noodles. And in my entire life of eating ramen, this was the first time that I was able to finish a single serving. (yay!) I also had a bottle of Ramune, recommended to me by the waitress. According to her, its a Japanese type of soda commonly sold especially during warm Matsuris or festivals.

A bottle of Ramune

Meanwhile, my boyfriend had an Osaka-style Okonomiyaki with a bottle of beer, which he enjoyed dearly.

In all honesty, there wasn't a dull moment in this place: you can either read or play with their Kendamas, or just simply enjoy their savory food.

And before this post ends, I want to introduce to you all, Go-en's 'Maneki-neko' Sylvester.

Sylvester is a black and white cat (I'm not sure of the breed, sorry ><  ) which has made the Go-en crew his family, and home. His house is located just outside their shop.

Hey there, Sylvester! :D

He's reeeally friendly, so when you drop by Go-en, don't forget to look for him and give him a pat.

For anyone interested, Go-en Ramen is open everyday, open from 12:00 noon till 12:00 midnight.

Jardin de Zenaida, Unit B1
#34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave.
Brgy. South Triangle
Quezon City
Philippines 1103

(02)-441-GOEN (4636)

For more information, you can check out their site:

Don't be shy, they're a very friendly bunch!

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