2/F One Bonifacio High Street, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) Ramen Nagi continues to wow their regulars and expand their borders, but it really seems that the sky’s the limit with them. While they’re already known for coming up with and rotating unique, limited-edition ramen flavors from season to season, they’re not about to let a little thing like risk keep them from going further.
Their latest branch at One Bonifacio High Street may look different—drastically different, even, with its brighter lights, upscale touches, and softer colors—but that doesn’t make them an outlier in the least. In fact, it’s Ramen Nagi’s first-ever concept shop, meaning this is basically going to be the mothership for new flavors, and perhaps new dishes, from here on out. We’ve learned to expect nothing less from Chef Satoshi Ikuta and those he trains.
And speaking of expecting nothing less: The Truffle King Ramen (P700) is back, and exclusive to this branch until the end of the year. If you’re anything like us, you’re sitting there thinking, “But aren’t truffles over? Canceled? Overrated?” In most other cases, you’d be right. The whole point of this fancy fungus is to add a little je ne sais quoi to a dish, rather than to smother absolutely everything it can reach within the plate. And too many places seem to think it’s the more, the merrier with supposedly exotic flavors, but, again, they’re sorely mistaken. Sorely because it hurts us and our taste buds, too.
However, Ramen Nagi has built a reputation around taking the seemingly outrageous, ostentatious, and sometimes downright odd, and turning it into something you’ll find yourself thinking about late at night when all the world is sleeping. The Truffle King Ramen is no exception, other than the fact that every spoonful of it will probably be the most umami thing your palate has ever met.
It has all the same elements you’ve come to expect—and naturally love—about good ramen: Firm but springy noodles, rich but entirely slurp-able broth, and good ingredients. The Truffle King just sports a truckload more aroma, and actual, honest-to-goodness slices of black truffle that will send any food lover worth his salt (ha!) reeling.
But just as in fashion, food is about the little accents you add to make it your own. The Gyoza (P220) is a standby we and everyone’s dads seem to be unwilling to give up, given that it’s perfectly soft and bursting with that familiar, comforting savoriness. No one, however, does Chicken Karaage (P250) like Ramen Nagi. They come in different flavors, but the Original hits the spot already, especially if you’re having it with the Truffle King.
Kids and kids at heart love the dip factor of the Curry Spring Rolls (P170), but apart from that, they’re crunchy and gorgeous and provide a good textural contrast to the rich ramen. The Nagi Star Salad (P280) is for when you want something light, but the two kinds of crisp brought to you by the greens and the fried noodles just make it a little more fun than salad tends to be.
But the queen of these side chicks has got to be the Aurora Shrimp (P370), as some of you may already know. This may be a counterintuitive point, but we only ever want to tell you the truth: Just pair the shrimp with the Chashu Rice (P190) and you can walk out of the restaurant a happier person than when you walked in.
Beyond sides, though, is dessert. If you haven’t topped off your ramen experience with the Nagi Vanilla Ice Cream (P150), served with two droppers of white rum and Baileys Irish Cream, and a big handful of crushed, almost cake-like biscuits, then you simply haven’t lived.
Can you foresee your calendar being too full for any fun until Christmas? Two words: “LOL, same.” Chin up, though, because the Truffle King will be available in other Ramen Nagi branches by early next year! But you have to be honest and ask yourself: Do you really want to wait that long?
Photos by Ian Santos