Ghetto Grub: Erra’s RamenApril 6, 2019
- Gela VelascoWords
Malate isn’t the first choice for most people looking for a place to go for Friday night dinner. If you do happen to end up hungry while in the area, after a busy evening at one or more of the many reputable bars and pubs around, finding that perfect spot that serves warm, greasy, and cheap chow for you to nurse your post-drunk self with might be a challenge. Thankfully there are sidewalk stalls like Erra’s Ramen along Adriatico Street to give you an affordable but satisfying food fix.
Erra’s Ramen is a pretty unique dining experience.
Erra’s Ramen is not hard to miss on a Friday night. Large groups of people drinking beer to go along with their bowls of ramen surround the tiny, steel cart. Extra chairs and tables are placed on the street, just outside the sidewalk, during peak hours, so expect lots of passing cars, fishball trolleys, and cigarette vendors to wander by. It’s a pretty unique dining experience.
The stall’s cheapest ramen dish is the Shoyu Ramen at PHP 50. The largest and priciest bowls are the Tantanmen at PHP 80 and the cold soup Cordo Ramen at PHP 85. At most, you’ll end up spending PHP 130 if you go all out—PHP 10 for an additional boiled egg, PHP 20 for extra pork, and PHP 10 for an extra dash of heat and spice.
The ramen bowls are a steal given the cheap prices and generous servings.
I ordered a bowl of the Tantanmen with extra pork and egg, netting me two boiled eggs, three long slices of pork, a fishcake, and three or so pieces of nori for a little over a hundred pesos. My order came in a wide red bowl with generous servings of both the soup and the noodles, while the cheaper ramen options come in a different, taller bowl that’s still just as lavishly filled. Both options are a steal given the cheap prices and abundant portions.
On another visit, I had their Spicy Ramen which costs PHP 60. It had a strong flavor, the bright red color of the soup serving as a warning that one spoonful gives enough of a kick to curb a bad cold. Unfortunately the red spice leaves a rather slimy aftertaste, so don’t forget to order a cold beer or coke to wash everything down after the meal.
The pork could hold its own against many of its counterparts from fancier ramen establishments.
It’s hard to complain too much about anything, though. Erra’s prices are almost criminally low, on par with the average carinderia while serving much better food. Their pork could hold its own against many of its counterparts from fancier ramen establishments, and their soup base is sufficiently flavorful. However, their Miso Ramen did lack the dashi flavor one looks for in such a dish.
Erra’s Ramen is located literally on the sidewalk itself, with the establishment leaving little room for pedestrians to walk through. Those whose immunities have survived Manila street food won’t have a problem with the food here, but I’d have second thoughts about bringing someone who only eats in airconditioned spaces. Clean floors aren’t a guarantee either as our public streets have never been known for their cleanliness.