Ramen reigns

Japanese cuisine is all about the attention to delicate details and, as a modern Japanese resto, Ramen Nagi achieves this.

To mark its 10th anniversary, Ramen Nagi Philippines is presenting “Limited King Ramens,” a series of limited-edition, specially concocted ramens every month in collaboration with popular ramen shops from Tokyo, Japan. This is ongoing until December 2023, and founders of the ramen shops from Tokyo recently flew to Manila to personally create a one-of-a-kind, hearty and flavorful ramen just for Ramen Nagi patrons.

The first featured special ramen is an exclusive culinary masterpiece of ramen virtuosos — chef Ikuta-san of Ramen Nagi Tokyo and chef Masa-san of Tokyo’s Ramen No. 11. Their noodle soup collaboration, simply dubbed Ramen Nagi x Ramen No. 11, will be available nationwide starting this month until 10 November.

‘Ramen is not just food; it’s an experience, a work of art.’

The Ramen Nagi x Ramen No. 11 is a hefty bowl of homemade noodles topped with an overflowing array of ingredients — cabbage, bean sprouts, quail eggs, garlic and buta (or the tender, meaty braised pork belly that’s super rich in flavor). It is served steaming hot with the unmistakable naruto topping — the iconic Japanese fishcake with a distinctive pink swirl in the middle and jagged edges floating atop every bowl of ramen.

The award-winning chefs presided over the counter during their recent visit to ensure the ingredients are prepared fresh that makes the noodle dish such a multi-sensory pleasure. They place great emphasis on having the proper, traditional texture and taste of ramen. Freshness is definitely the order of the day.

Masa-san was trained in Jiro-style ramen restaurants before putting up Ramen No. 11, an award-winning ramen shop in Japan.

Chef Masa-san, Ramen No. 11 founder, and chef Nishio-San, Ramen Nagi vice president.

Of course, a great ramen experience hinges on the quality of the soup. The refreshing broth is crafted through the meticulous simmering of bones, pork and aromatic vegetables, resulting in a well-balanced, flavorful and clean-tasting soup.

The noodles, on the other hand, provide a contrast and textural interest. The 300-gram wheat noodles are firm, chewy and able to stand up to the rich flavors of the broth. Together, the noodles and the broth create a harmonious interplay of flavors and textures.

Ramen Nagi has currently 55 stores worldwide.

“In the last 10 years, the iconic red Ramen Nagi bowl saw many unique ramen experiences, but always the same last scenario: an empty bowl and smiling faces,” said businessman Erickson Farillas, who brought Ramen Nagi to the Philippines. “I believe we got here because we understand that ramen is not just food; it’s an experience, a work of art. It must celebrate tradition and also push boundaries. Do this, then you will go far.”