The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Let me sin again: Ramen Nagi’s Butao King

Ramen Nagi Butao King

Ramen Nagi is a lot of people’s favorite from the ramen joints out there. It’s one of the more interactive ones, where you pick the richness of the broth, the garlic strength, noodle firmness, and individually pick add ons from the menu. I’ve heard about the place a long time, and I only had the time to go there last week, with a friend I haven’t hung out with in forever.

I picked the most basic broth, the Original King (P390, with P50 for add ons like egg or mushrooms), as I have heard that the spicy Red King was a burn on the mouth. While I like a bit of spice, I was not in the mood for a bowl of pain, as I was still nursing a cold, cough and a slight fever that day. The pesto green butao was interesting, but as I learned from my experience with the Double Cheese Tsukemen at Mitsuyado Sei-Men, and another time at Nomama and their green curry ramen, I really am more a traditional ramen girl.

The innocuous looking photo lies about the richness of this bowl. The umami of the fat really sings through the broth with every bite, and as I discovered, chopped up bits of fat were in it as well. Now I know why people love this, we Filipinos have an affinity with fat in our broth, and if you don’t agree, I suggest you check out any pork sinigang broth and the fat chunks in that.

I had the pork belly, but I think I’m better off with the cheek next time as I left most of the belly in my bowl as I am not a fan of soft fat in broth, while my sister really couldn’t get through much of her meal. She found it too much, and left more than half the bowl untouched. Our friend, who had the green butao, found it good, but not amazing, she just thought it would be greener than what she had, there were tinges of green in her bowl rather than the overall green in the photos advertised. Also untraditional, so if you love pesto and want a fresh twist on your ramen, try the Green King.

Would I go back? Definitely. I would need a pot of hot tea to melt all that fat down the system though.

Ramen Nagi is in SM North Edsa’s Main Floor next to Jollibee near the grocery, and if you need to call them, 3740503 is the number to use.



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