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Araya Ramen restaurant sits unobtrusively beside the exit ramp and beneath the De la Rosa Car Park 1 in Legaspi Village in Makati. It reminds me a lot of Tokyo’s small ramen-yas in and underneath the city’s train stations, serving quick and simple but good and hearty steaming bowls of ramen for the harried workers and the time-pressed salarymen.

It’s a tiny and rather cramped space, with a long counter facing the kitchen and a few tables along the side. Not a spot for lingering around and chatting. Slurp your ramen and eat your gyoza or whatever siding you want — there are others waiting their turn for a quick and satisfying meal before heading back to work or home.

Funnily enough, according to the Urban Dictionary, araya means “A drop-dead gorgeous girl who can be ugly at times but really beautiful. She’s such a flirt, she’s a cutie, she loves to text but mostly call! She’s a cheerleader most of the time and a ninja the rest.” That’s a funny definition. I also learned that Araya means “‘wild valley’ or ‘new valley’ in eastern Japan and pronounced Aratani in western Japan.”

No idea which one applies to the name of the restaurant but Araya Ramen can be found along De la Rosa St. below the De la Rosa Car Park 1, the one nearest to Greenbelt 5. I also don’t know if they accept reservations but you can call 888-4422 to make sure.