Manila’s cheapest: Erra’s $1 ramen in Malate

I’ve turned my back on Malate (also known as Manila’s tourist belt) a long time ago because it’s dirty, crowded, decaying and full of petty thieves. It’s still dirty, decaying, crowded and full of petty thieves but since am based here for work again now, I have to psyche myself up to appreciate its ‘character’ 🙂

For instance, I vowed to myself to explore Malate before more of its old spots are torn down to give way boring malls and real estate developments. Only in Manila will they demolish valuable pre-War buildings like the Army & Navy Club, Admiral Hotel, Michel Apartments and soon, the Philamlife Auditorium. It is just condemnable!!!

Anyway, what I like about this area is the food. The restos are far from fancy but they’re superb. One of these places, Erra’s Ramen in Malate, is becoming legendary for its piping hot bowls of ramen which are affordable for every Juan.Just look at the menu…

menu

It’s not even a restaurant per se but a cart within a roadside eatery that also serves tapsilog and assorted beer chow. The place is open round-the-clock and is crowded on most nights.

Malate al fresco

malate

I would not have taken Erra’s seriously if I had not known that it’s owned by a Japanese. They even have noodle-making machines at the back.

noodle making machine

At prices this low, it’s best to tone down expectations. On my first slurp of the tan tan men, I thought I was eating Shin Ramyun Korean noodles straight out of the pack (until I saw the noodle factory at the back). Somehow, it didn’t taste as exquisite. But what the heck, the slice of chashu (pork) that came with it was very good.

Tan tan men

The shoyu and miso ramen are the cheapest of the bunch. My favorite is actually the latter.The bowls are bigger than they look in reality. Love the fact that this cheap ramen can really fill you up.

miso & shoyu ramen

And because this is Malate, expect NOT to be left alone. Vendors will pester you to buy make-up, cellphones, flowers and what-not. We relented to this “numerologist” slash fortune teller who charged P100 per session (oh yeah, more expensive than the ramen).

Darn, she was good. Look for Aura 🙂

vibes

Erra’s Ramen is on Adriatico St. Malate Manila
(almost beside Malate Pensionne)

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