January 13th, 2014
Ramen restaurants pop out like mushrooms all of a sudden. I do not know how the craze started but I do seem to be influenced by it. Almost every week, I have to have my own dose of ramen. Since there are so many Ramen restaurants in Metro Manila, I have so many places to pick from.
Last week, our pick was Ramen Nagi. I’ve heard of the place because a lot of people have been raving about it. I checked out some reviews on the net prior to going to the restaurant. Wow, 100% of the reviews that I read were positive! My gosh, every single review of the ramen was good! How could that be?
I got more excited to try Ramen Nagi out. We met up at around 5:30PM at 5th floor, SM Aura.
WAITING IN LINE
Yeah! We were 21st on Ramen Nagi’s list. Imagine it was even before 6PM and we were already number 21?!?!?! :O My expectation for Ramen Nagi just went up further. Why would people spend one hour of their precious time waiting in vain for a table at Ramen Nagi?
There’s even a catch. You can’t leave the line or else, they will give your slot to someone else.
While waiting, I took some pictures of the restaurant. I laid my eyes on the poster in front of Ramen Nagi. There were four different types of ramen displayed. I stared at those mouth-watering pictures for awhile before deciding which ramen to choose for ordering.
The excitement was killing me at the time. I was hoping that our number would be called out soon.
RAMEN NAGI RESTAURANT
Finally, entered Ramen Nagi. The servers were fast at work. Going around serving orders, cleaning tables, getting payments, and greeting customers as they enter and leave the restaurant.
As for me, I just wanted to sit down, order, and eat Ramen Nagi’s specialties. There were so many things that made me want to indulge quickly. I couldn’t wait any longer!
We were given a paper and pen each. I looked at the paper and was pleasantly surprised how much flexibility Ramen Nagi is giving their paying customers on how they want their ramen to be!
We can choose the richness of the broth, the strength of the special sauce, how much garlic should be placed in the ramen, what part of meat they will put, and the type of vegetable we want. We can even ask Ramen Nagi how soft we want the noodles to be. Based on reviews, we should be choosing extra hard.
Lastly, we can order extra toppings for a fee. Of course, we can order drinks too! I didn’t order any drink as I was already satisfied with the service tea.
We passed the papers to the waiter. I felt like submitting a test paper to a teacher for testing. Hahaha, I even joked the waiter about it.
Ramen Nagi has four staple ramen in their menu. They have a 5th ramen which they call Limited King which the restaurant choose to offer based on season. During our visit, the Limited King was the Shrimp Ramen. We were 6 in the group. We agreed to order one of each so that we can try out everything. Since I was the one who really wanted variety due to my wanting to post in this blog, I ended up getting the Limited King (while I really wanted to try out Butao King).
We got to taste a spoonful of broth for all our orders. Based on my palate, I think I liked the Black ramen the most. Let’s see, I’ll order that next time I visit Ramen Nagi.
- Original King (Butao) – Php 390
Fire sauce + Seabura + Tonkotsu
This is Ramen Nagi’s original ramen and is quite popular in Hongkong. According to my friend, this tasted just the same as the one in Hongkong. This further validates the authenticity of the ramen which is cool!
- Black King (Kuroo) – Php 410
Black ball + Garlic + Tonkotsu
Awwww, the Black King. You m.u.s.t. wear black or bring extra shirt when you order this because you’ll see streaks of black in your outfit after eating this. It’s unavoidable.
I must suggest to Ramen Nagi that they offer aprons for Black King customers. It’s a must!
- Red King (Akao) – Php 410
Red Ball + Spicy + Tonkotsu
You want spicy, this one is for you!
- Green King (Midorio) – Php 410
Basil + Cheese + Tonkotsu
The Green King is an acquired taste but some friends do prefer this over the other Ramen Nagi dishes.
- Limited King (Ebio) – Php 410
Shrimp Powder + Shrimp + T0nkotsu
This was my order. Funny that I was looking for shrimps in my order. But apparently, the shrimp taste was embedded into the soup. There was NO whole shrimp included. However, when I tasted it, oh my gosh! It tasted like shrimp that was made into soup. It was so tasty, I couldn’t even describe it anymore! If you love the taste of the shrimps, then you should order it!
One watch out I would like to give you is that the pork belly is 80% fat. So if I am you, I will choose the pork shoulder instead. To each his own, of course.
Other Limited Kings: Genkio (curry), Sakanao (tuna), Sansyoo (Japanese pepper), & Kosyoo (black pepper).
Ramen Nagi has the richest broth I’ve ever tasted among the ramen places here in Manila. Ramen Nagi is now one of my top 3 ramen in the Philippines. My friends agreed as they also consider Ramen Nagi as a new favourite.
Honestly, while there were spices available at the table. I do not think you will need any of them.
The service was pretty good too! Our ramen was served within 10 minutes. Plus, the unique experience in ordering was awesome!
You have to know that you cannot bring home your leftover ramen. Ramen Nagi is pretty strict with that because they are following Japanese tradition. Conservative as they are, they do not want to sacrifice quality and taste. When we eat Ramen Nagi’s food, they want us to eat it fresh from their kitchen.
I will be going back to Ramen Nagi again because I just couldn’t stop craving for it after our visit. I will make sure that I arrive very early. Ramen Nagi’s food easily goes out of stock. While we were there, Ramen Nagi stopped accepting customers around 7:30PM because they didn’t have anything to serve anymore.
The long lines and the rapid flow of customers just proved how successful this new ramen restaurant is. Congratulations Ramen Nagi!
5/F SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, McKinley Hill, Taguig City, Philippines
Monday to Sunday, 10AM to 10PM