There are three kinds of special things that are offered here in Go-en: The Japanese Ramen Shoppe, and its not just about ramen or their Japanese food. I found out that they also feature Japanese manga or comics, they have a small library of English translated manga and its for you to read it while waiting for your ramen. But there’s one more interesting thing to try out while waiting for your ramen, try playing a kendama, it’s a wooden toy created by the Japanese that existed during the early ages and you can try it for free by throwing that wooden ball and catch it on top of the wooden kendama stick.
It’s a different kind of experience here in Go-en and I only learned about its existence after I got invited to taste and try their ramen and new addition of ramen to their menu. I also tried playing kendama and it took me some hours getting the right tricks and It also helped in burning some fats in my body hahaha.
Go-en is like a hidden gem in Manila because its far more different from other ramen houses we have, here in Go-en you will experience a piece of Japanese culture and also pop culture while enjoying a nice hot spicy ramen.
Go-en is a Japanese word that means a 5 yen coin, for the restaurant owners, they want it to share that Go-en means “good luck piece” when you keep it, it will bring you good luck.
Go-en: The Japanese Ramen Shoppe is in Quezon City, inside a complex of restaurant in #34 Sgt. Esguerra, they stood there for 3 years already and I’m glad that they introduced me to this hidden gem that brings good luck to us ramen lovers.
THE REAL RAMEN FLAVOR
The ramen restaurant is owned by a Filipina teacher and an American I.T. guy who lived and worked in Japan for years, they settled down here in Manila to bring a ramen taste that gives REAL flavor and not the authentic kind. The owners Marilyn Pefianco and John Geron are introducing to us the real taste of ramen by using real recipe like in Japan, they don’t want to use authentic because the most authentic ramen can be found only in Japan and not outside their country.
Ramen houses in Japan are simple and not look like a restaurant, here in Manila they brought Go-en to give us a different Japanese experience and ramen taste while we are here in our own soil. When you step inside Go-en, you’ll feel the Japan vibe right away.
Go-En: The Japanese Ramen shoppeAddress: Jardin de Zenaida, Unit B1, #34 Sgt. Esguerra, Quezon City
Inside Go-en: The Japanese ramen shoppe
They have high chairs for customers who wants to stand up and also sit easily while eating their ramen, I think this set up is for people who are on a rush. Just eat and run.
There’s also the standard wooden tables and chair
Very vintage feel when I spotted this kind of set up.
And here’s Go-en’s menu
just click the photo to view large version
Price ranges are from PHP 200-PHP 400
for you try their food and also ramen.
If you plan to visit Go-en, prepare at least PHP 400 or PHP 500 for your budget.
Here’s the manga library and their kendama toy display
They sell the kendama wooden toy for PHP 400 and up, The price of their kendama depends on the scale and material.
The manga comics are not for sale, but its free to read and borrow while inside the restaurant.
Its been ages since the last time I hold a manga…but this one from Clamp is already an English translated version
English mangas have much better paper quality than the original in Japan. Because in Japan, their manga and tankoubons are disposable, just like newspaper.
Here’s the Kendama
you have to throw the ball in the air and catch it with the wooden kendama stick.
Its not easy….but with hours of practice, you’ll start to enjoy playing it
Here’s John, the Go-en store operation manager and also a Kendama expert. He taught us how to play, John regularly teaches their Go-en customer how to play kendama, but when if he is not around, one of his lady staff can teach you how to play it.
So we learned how to use and play a kendama while waiting for our ramen.
Here’s Enzo of www.juanmanilaexpress.com trying some tricks taught by John.
Tantanmen (PHP 380)
Its my fave ramen ever, and its rare to find this kind of ramen, some ramen resto doesn’t sell this kind of ramen, For Go-en, Im happy that they offer this, its like heaven when I sip its ramen soup. I love their version and its not too salty compare to other ramen resto.
Best taste is to add more chili on it.
Wonton Tomato Ramen
No pricing details yet, but this is a new ramen that was introduced to us by Go-en. They used tomato based soup for the ramen and they added large wonton to add more meat heaviness.
I like the taste of it…it taste like a regular tomato soup, but there’s a ramen flavor kick after it. Its sure a healthy ramen for people who are tomato lovers.
This is my fave already….
Cheese Ramen (PHP 350)
Its very weird to see and taste a ramen filled with lots of cheese on top. It’s a different ramen experience and Im sure this will be a top word of mouth product after this blog post.
I tried it..and enjoyed it… best to eat it while its hot.
Mabo Ramen (PHP 350)
It’s a super spicy ramen….. but not too hot, okay let me explain, The spicy taste is present but its not too much hot when you eat or slurp the ramen and soup. The hot and spicy taste will be gone in your taste buds and its more different than a super chili noodles made by Korean or Chinese.
Gyoza (PHP 250 for 5 pcs)
Gyoza is always the best partner for your ramen.
5 pcs of Gyoza is just fine.
Okonomiyaki (PHP 350)
I super love a resto when they offer an Okonomiyaki, here in Go-en they feature the Osaka Okonomiyaki version.
it’s the best food ever invented by the Japanese, and I don’t want to call it a pancake or a pizza of Japan.
Kara age (PHP 250)
The Japanese style of fried chicken with some spice taste, its boneless and crispy.
Its hard to let go once you took a bite.
Mochi Ice Cream (PHP 80)
Imported straight from Japan, its hard to make these here especially if you are looking for the original kind of Mochi.
The only way to taste it is that to find a resto that brings Mochi straight from the land of the rising sun. Here in Go-en they hand carry these from Japan to Go-en resto in Manila.
Taiyaki (PHP 80)
Its my first time to try this Taiyaki. It’s a waffle shaped fish and inside a squished mongo red beans. It taste like a “hopia” but the waffle taste like that “Melona” ice cream waffle. They used a metallic mold to create a fish shape and then heated the waffle mix over a fire.
Its good…and it’s a must try here in Go-en
Go-en is a must try restaurant if you love Japanese ramen, I like their concept of bringing in the real ramen flavor and not its authenticity. The different and new kind of ramen here in Go-en are very weird and unique, it’s a new flavor with lots of fun factor, because of the taste, how its prepared, how its presented to you and how you will react when you tasted it. Its like an adventure in Japan when you try new and weird stuff, but here in Go-en, you can experience it without any passport or Japan Visa.
Ramen serving is just right, it’s a perfect serving for regular people who can finish a regular bowl of ramen, the price range is good also, I always budget myself a PHP350 if I want to enjoy a ramen, having a ramen price range below PHP 400 is the best.
And where can you find a ramen restaurant that can offer free reading of manga comics with English translation available and also you’ll learn how to play kendama for FREE. All of these are offered for free only in Go-en, because they love to engage with their customers. There are also some kendama challenges that you can try…if you finished a trick then your ramen is FREE.
The only sad part for my review is that their location is too far away from my location. But it took me one MRT ride going to GMA-Kamuning station, and I walked all the way from the MRT up to Sgt Esguerra, Im glad that Go-en is plotted nicely in Google Maps. I used a map to pin their location that’s why I walked when I learned that I can reach the resto in just 15-20 minutes walk from the MRT.
Go-en is a good ramen restaurant, it’s a fun and quirky kind of restaurant that you’ll can’t stop sharing it to your friends who are into Japanese pop culture.
For ramen lovers..its already an adventure