Last night, I attended the preview of Ramen Nagi which officially opens today (12 Oct 2017). A young brand founded by Chef Ikuta Satoshi in 2006, Ramen Nagi amazingly already have 22 outlets in Japan and 28 around the Asia Pacific. The outlet at Suntec City Tower 2 is Ramen Nagi's first Singapore outpost.
As a ramen enthusiast, I am curious about the secrets behind Ramen Nagi and Chef Ikuta's amazing success and almost cult following. (I will cover this in a separate post on my conversation with Chef Ikuta.)
I have never been to any Ramen Nagi before, so I can't really compare. Ramen Nagi's Suntec City outlet is quite compact. It has two sections, seating about 60+ people altogether.
This section faces the open kitchen and we can see the crew in frenetic action. This side also has the two entrance / exit, and the crew greets every customer with gusto as they enter or leave.
Add in the chatter and banter of customers, the atmosphere here is quite alive with lots of buzz i.e. noisy 😝 which I like.
There is a very slightly quieter section inside. But, most times, I am unable to resist watching the kitchen action - I am the incurably kaypoh type (busybody) 😂
In between taking 315 photos, speaking with Chef Ikuta, catching up with buddies, and meeting new friends, I tasted all four of Ramen Nagi's ramen - yes at the moment, there are only four ramen in the menu.
So, here are just overall general impressions. But, I like Ramen Nagi enough to be back say 3 months later as a bona fide customer and write a more in depth review.
First things first.
Ramen Nagi's ORIGINAL KING (Butao) - the
Made with fresh pork (head, feet, I better stop here 😂 ), the unapologetic tonkotsu broth is thick, rich, slick and creamy. I
The medium gauge house made noodles stood up well to my obsessive photo taking - in the mouth, they had a bit of weight and still had a nice soft bounce despite soaking in the broth for many minutes (my fault).
Easy to slurp up as the strands are coated with clingy slick grease from the broth.
I have a soft spot for pork belly, especially soft, thick, fat and juicy, savoury sweet ones.
This chashu hits the soft spot for me. Yum yum 😋 Straight into my soft belly (told you I have a soft spot).
And, the other Kings in the Ramen Nagi royal court.
The RED KING draped in a grand coat of bright lipstick red chili oil, and cayenne pepper. Adds a bit of hot spice to the underlying classic Ramen Nagi tonkotsu broth.
"Flaming hot sauce" the menu says... 😱
Doesn't burn leh... but don't take my word for it. I have been eating raw chili like they are fries since I was two years old. (Quite a few of us in Singapore and Malaysia are like that. My daughter included.)
If RED is too hot or too mainstream, check out BLACK.
Not very spicy but really nice. Not all the black comes from black pepper. There's black garlic, black sesame and squid ink. So, this one has a lot of savoury layers on top of the layers from the original tonkotsu broth.
This hot number is not hot... I mean not spicy 😝
The RED KING and BLACK KING come with this minced pork balls with Nagi's house blended spices and miso. Mainly salty, savoury in flavour. The minced ball breaks rather quickly into a bits of meat and sink into the broth, thickening it (which is already very thick).
The jealous king. I mean the GREEN KING.
This is new to me. Original tonkotsu broth laced with basil pesto, olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. Great idea.
The basil gave the rich creamy tonkotsu a bit of green, zesty lift and tricked me into eating more. I like it 😄
Makes ORIGINAL, RED and BLACK jealous.
👉 I like Ramen Nagi. The tonkotsu broth is solid - so creamy, rich and full of savoury depth. The add ons are nice especially the pork belly chashu. I will be back as a bona fide customer as I especially like the classic tonkotsu broth (ORIGINAL KING) and GREEN KING. Prices are very competitive given its convenient, financial district location.
ORIGINAL KING - S$13.90+
RED KING - S$15.90+
BLACK KING - S$15.90+
GREEN KING - S$15.90+
Worth it. Especially, ORIGINAL KING, which is already swee liao (great) without keh liaw (add ons).
Disclosure: Please note that this was a media preview.
Restaurant name: Ramen Nagi
Address: Suntec City Tower II, #01-512/513, Singapore (5 minutes walk from Promenade MRT station)
GPS: 1°17'44.2"N 103°51'33.1"E 1.295599, 103.859191
Tel: +65 6821 1601
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Date visited: 11 Oct 2017
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