Restaurant Review: Ramen Nagi at SM Aura

Published on March 31, 2014

After a medical appointment, hubby and I decided to have lunch at SM Aura. Since it was just our second time there (see our first time here), we didn't really know where to start looking for a place to eat. Thank God for SM Aura’s electronic map, we were able to browse some restaurants. One did ring a bell as I have already heard of Ramen Nagi from my friend, Joie. She said that I must try it the next time I go to SM Aura. We arrived around 11 AM, but I was surprised that the place was already packed! But luck was on our side because we were able to score the last available table inside.

The first thing I noticed with Ramen Nagi is their very limited menu. They only offer a few kinds of ramen and a couple of side dishes. Sounds bad, right? No! I learned something from Kris Aquino during one of her KrisTV episodes. She said that in Japan, most of the good restaurants are those with very limited choices in their menu. That is because they only serve their specialty dishes. Meaning, malamang walang tonkatsu sa sushi house at walang tempura sa ramen house. So that’s why you’ll never find ramen in Yabu or Saboten. Harharhar!!!

Anyway, after a waiter handed us the menu, he gave us this.

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At Ramen Nagi, guests have the option to customize their ramen. During our first visit, Boyet and I decided to just share a bowl of ramen. He knows that my appetite is at its worst after a medical appointment. After scrutinizing the menu, we agreed to have Original King (Butao).

DSC_1430 Original King (Butao) PHP390

We opted to have pork belly to go with our ramen. We set everything else to NORMAL and the spiciness level to 5. We initially thought that 5 is the safest level, but we were wrong! I really have high tolerance with spicy food, but the 5 was already too spicy for my taste buds. I may sound like I’m complaining, but I am not. I actually loved it! I loved everything about it – the aromatic and piquant broth, the tender meat, the freshness of the noodles, and the crunch from those thread-like strips which I believe are mushrooms. It’s like every sip and bite lets you unravel another layer of delightful flavor. It’s rich but not overpowering.

Aside from the ramen, we also got to try their Nagi Karaage. I am so used to getting bite-size karaage that’s why I was so surprised with Nagi Karaage. Parang Chickenjoy sa laki! =))

DSC_1437 Nagi Karaage PHP200

The chicken is very crispy on the outside yet very moist inside. I could feel all the juices oozing from the chicken as I bite into it. Although it’s very juicy, it was surprisingly not oily. It’s served with mayo and cabbage. The cabbage actually helped me clear my palates from all the spicy food I ingested. Hihihi!

A couple of weeks after our first visit, we met Joie after work. We then went back to Ramen Nagi because she wants Jeff to try it. Because we enjoyed our first visit, there wasn’t really a need to convince us to go back. We arrived around 6 PM on a Thursday night, and the place was packed beyond belief. We were put to a waiting list. We actually didn’t mind as we were still waiting for Jeff to arrive.

We all decided to get Red King (Akao). I once again shared a bowl with my husband. Same thing goes with Jeff and Joie. We skipped the spiciness rating and just opted to have the “chef recommendation” because below the text “Red King (Akao)” in the menu reads “The ultimate in savory spiciness.” Medyo scary. :p

DSC_0445Red King (Akao) PHP410

The menu wasn’t lying when it says that this bowl contains “a striking blend of garlic, chili oil and cayenne pepper” because it is very spicy. Again, I am not complaining because I love anything spicy. :p

Just like the Original King, Red King is very rich but not overpowering. But I have to warn you because this is not for the weak-hearted. I learned to appreciate their house tea because it contains magical powers that can wash out all the spiciness in your mouth. Hihi.

To be honest with you, more than the ramen, I came back to Ramen Nagi because I was dying to try their gyoza.

DSC_0440Gyoza PHP190

Five pieces of gyoza rest on a bed of bean sprouts. It was served with two kinds of dip. The first one is spicy while the other has a hint of sweetness. I want to put this on record. This is by far my favorite gyoza! The filling is not dry and doesn’t fall from the wrap even if juices ooze from it as you bite. Every bite just brings happiness to my taste buds.

Aside from the very good food, another thing noticeable with Ramen Nagi is their staff members. They are definitely not undermanned. You raise your hand and there will be at least one staff member who will attend to you right away. We asked for a lot of things ranging from extra bowls, extra glasses, more water, and all of these came in an instant. =)


Ramen Nagi
Level 5 SM Aura Premier
McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City

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