Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick Noodling at Ramen Nagi

After reading about Roch's blog about SM MOA's Ramen Nagi branch, I've just sorted out everything in my calendar too quickly, to leave room for a ramen snack with my hubby.  Though we leave near the area, we don't really frequent it, we don't even go there to shop for the things the family needs at home.  But if given the chance to go there, we would always spend time looking for a new food joint to sample some grubs.

Then came Ramen Nagi, situated at the alley where I would usually pass by, spankly located near the taxi/jeepney terminal.  Since they have opened late 2013, diners would flock them, and consider that the restaurant is tightly spaced, getting a seat on lunch and dinner is hard.  Which means you need to spend at least 30 minutes lining up and no seat reservation is allowed.

Every time I pass by, the place is cramped so it took me eight months to finally try it out.  I know, you might be saying, "what a pathetic and lame food blogger."  I guess I have been favored by the Lady Luck that day to see s number of tables empty, well about two.

As you step inside, you would immediately feel the lively eating environment, first with the very accommodating greeting of the staff, then passing by the slightly open kitchen's heat as the chefs and cook spiritedly away for the delight of ramen-lovers, it may be safe to conclude though it has more of a fast-food ajisen ramen vibe.

If you have been living under the rock, like me, hehe, Ramen Nagi is famous around Japan.  In HongKong however, they are known as Butao Ramen.

The menu is serious with the Four Ramen Kings of Ramen Nagi, accordingly the very essence of Ramen Nagi’s growing success in Japan.  But before I go there, I wondered if the Japanese word 'nagi' meant something.  


Judging by the photo above, and comparing it to Ramen Nagi's logo, the first translation seemed more appropriate.  Nagi means lull or calm, which I thought at first to be the name of the founder of the ramen house.  This time, I'm wondering how that relates to the resto.

So going back to the menu, Ramen Nagi offers four main ramen kings in all of their restaurants.   These are:

  • ORIGINAL KING BUTAO is their signature tonkotsu broth with fire sauce and seabura, the most basic hakata ramen
  • RED KING RAMEN AKAO  is for diners who likes it hot, really hot.  Topped with a fireball of miso-minced pork with the hottest cayenne pepper. The spiciness level can also be adjusted.  
  • GREEN KING RAMEN MIDORIO is an interesting fusion of Italian and Japanese with the ramen tasting like pesto with its parmesan cheese, basil and olive oil fusion. 
  • BLACK KING RAMEN KUROO probably the most unique one, with a tonkotsu broth that's black from the squid ink and blackened garlic.

On each table are the same group of condiments also found in other countries' Ramen Nagi branch.

Overhead are these bowls attached on shining red wall just to say they have art installed inside the resto.

What I like best here is the attentiveness of the waitstaff.  Once seated, we were immediately given a glass each of cold water, and offered teas as the menu was being presented.  Then we were given a sheet to customize our ramen, authentic Japanese style.

Here's how we ordered, mine is the one at the left, with all the details in my Midorio, while his is at the right, all confident to the chef's taste.  Hmmm...we'll see.

For Bhogs, Original King Butao.  The safest ground to eat ramen here  According to him the broth was so comforting and flavorful with the generous slab of char siu pork, a few bits of fat was was mouth-meltingly tender.  Let me mention that the bowls here are incredibly huge, a bad choice for light snack (should I say) but best for hungry heavy eaters.   While I was inspecting my choice of ramen and taking photos. he instantly polished it off, without even asking me if I want to taste.  I guess it was that good then.

Talking about my choice, I got the Green King Midorio.  

It was a great choice, the fat-laden pork broth intermixed with olive oil, oil from the parmesan and the infusion of basil and spring onions was amazing.   Each bowl is so heavy with pork slices you would even have a hard time getting with chopsticks.  It was all for the quality, so don't mind the cost because it's worth it.

The best time to go here would be the time between 2pm  to 5pm to get seated without waiting too long.

So, giving a bit of connection to the word translation of Nagi, I guess it says how much they would want to have their diners comforted with their ramens.  After eating, if we would be given the chance to lie down and snatch some zzz's we would (parang "baboy" lang ang peg).  Every serving of ramen is a bowl of comfort and which would calm you down from your stress and hunger.

Ramen Nagi Manila
Address:  Ground Floor, South Wing, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
Contact Numbers:  (02) 5502394

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