February 3, 2023

Noodles are the modern food. They are quick to prepare and have soup, vegetables, and protein in one bowl. Everything is tender and as spicy as one prefers. In the world, it is Japan that takes much pride in the handcrafted noodles by noodle masters. We checked out Ramen Nagi at Techno Hub and got noodles, the Japanese way.
There are four original soup flavors to choose from: Butao king, black king, red king, and green king. The differences lie in the soup base: pork-bone soup in butao king, butao soup with squid ink in black king, miso based spicy soup in red king, and green king is the Japanese – Italian fusion with olive oil, basil and cheese. With the preference of the soup base, one can add other ingredients to the basic vegetables and meat to customize one’s own ramen to savor all one’s favorites in one bowl.
Japanese food isn’t filling but satisfying. There was just enough meat, shrimp, and vegetables in the shrimp king and red king that we tried based on the chef’s recommendation. This actually meant that for first timers like us, we left the basics of putting the noodle bowl to the chef. The soup was tasty with the light special sauce and light garlic. We got pork shoulder for the topping and had green onions instead of cabbage. We could have had fire sauce but preferred no spice. But did you know that one could choose from a range of one – 10 spicy sauce? Noodles too can be thick or thin with a texture range of hard, normal, soft and extra soft. We got the normal noodles.
If one wants more ingredients in his/her bowl of noodles, there is extra charge for an egg, more thin noodles, more pork shoulder or belly, seaweeds, green onions, cabbage, or kikurage (mushroom). This is when big eaters get more of their favorite things in their noodle bowl.
We added an order of gyoza or dumplings and chicken karaage to share. The gyoza had five vegetable dumplings on a bed of sprouted mongo beans topped with green onions and a light vinegar sauce. As a starter, it was enough for four to enjoy a dumpling each. The blend of textures and flavors of dumpling and crisp sprouts with a sour dash was good to bridge the hunger. Then the roasted chicken chopped in tiny cubes on top of rice with green onions and squeezed with Japanese mayo was another kind of experience. They gave us some pickled sprouts too as a side dish to add to our meal. There was a bowl of spicy pickled mustard too.
The soup in the noodles is almost soothing, if I may describe it as such. The same basic pork bone soup base in the shrimp king and red king was already satisfying. The flavor of the earth and sea meet in shrimp king. The miso added in the red king soup base made it even more gratifying to the palate with enough spice to make you sweat. The thin noodles chosen for us were cooked normal or just enough to chew and not to slide down the throat. As we shared the bowl among three light eaters, it was a perfect amount.
Exploring the Japanese condiments, we had fun with the roasted sesame seeds crusher. Sesame seeds are common to Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The scent and flavor of the seeds give the delightful aromatic Asian touch to the food. What I was looking for as a Pinoy eater was the typical soy sauce for those with a saltier preference but none was available. Respect to the chef and his food art and junk my bad habits.
This was a new adventure for the three of us who take noodles for granted. The next time I go to Ramen Nagi, I will ask them to customize my bowl of Japanese noodles. The green king and black king sound delish too. You must try this adventure too.