One can’t visit Tokyo without having a bowl of Ramen especially when it is ordered from a little vending machine. In view of the high calorie and sodium intake, us girls decided to make it count and find a bowl not found in Singapore. My research showed a chain specializing in fish-broth ramen: Ramen Nagi. In Singapore, we have pork and chicken-based ramen but a fish or beef-broth? Hard to come by so we set out to find Nagi. Ramen Nagi is famed for its’ niboshi broth where vast quantities of dried anchovies simmered for over 12 hours combined with chicken to come up with a heady broth. It was also a great choice on the cold rainy afternoon in Tokyo. On that fateful day, It rained the entire day. I did not even know Tokyo had it in her to pour so much but the hot broth soothed us immensely.
At the Shibuya East branch we visited, it was a tiny space packed with about 10 bar stools along a narrow ramen bar: COSY. Orders were placed and payments made using the small vending machine outside. On the vending machine, there were no English words but two big buttons we took to mean only two types of ramen offered. I got the Special Ramen at 900 yen. My girlfriends got the original bowl. Once we got our tickets, we went inside to find three seats at the counter. Then we were presented with a chart and asked for our preference for noodle and richness of stock. GUYS, THE BEST PART WAS THE SPICY LEVEL REQUEST which ranged from 0 to 100. Like seriously… my brain can only cope with 0 to 10 but to 100… I can’t even imagine the intensity. I played safe and chose level 1.
The chilli powder must be famous because one can purchase packets of it.
Shortly thereafter my Special Ramen was served. It consisted of a bowl of ramen and a plate of protein. The bowl of ramen contained two types of noodles, char siu scallions, crunchy strands of bamboo, and seaweed. The separate plate contained a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg with a gooey golden yolk, more slices of pork char siu, dried seaweed, and freshly chopped scallions. So it seems Special Ramen means more protein! Oh yeah, just what I needed for more shopping 🙂 🙂 🙂
Another unique feature of Nagi is the two types of noodles served together. Thick, fat and chewy noodles with a flatter wide one resembling Kway Chap noodles. I have no idea why their ramen requires two types of noodles but I sure loved the variety! Nagi’s thick fat chew noodles were amazing – they held up against the unmistakable strong smoky umami broth and had more surface area to grasp even more of the velvety creamy broth. We slurped our hearts outs! Tokyo, I love you!!
At Nagi, I learnt something important about ramen. To cut the richness of the broth which tends to leave me quit with half a bowl to go: SPICY! Level 1 was barely spicy for me so I requested to top up to level 4 (at no extra cost). They were so gracious about it. Returned to me was a dollop of fiery red chili pepper with oil on top.
The heat cut right through the richness of the broth. Umami, creamy, and spicy. Every scoop was umami first then a spicy kick. SHIOK TO THE MAX! I went back for another scoop. Again and again till the end when I saw these words…
I have no idea what they mean but I’m sure they appreciated my greediness. I told my gf, the next time I have this, I’m gonna order level 10 spiciness! Go hot or go home. Nagi was easily my favorite savory in Tokyo.
Nagi 凪 has several locations. I hit up the Shibuya East branch. Other locations can be found on their website. Look out for the 凪 logo in a circle. We visited this branch after seeing a poster with clear directions in Shibuya Station.
Address: 1F 3-7-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon-Sat 11: 00-1: 00 (LO 1:00)