We’re so close to the end of November, you could almost smell the holiday season from here. Many of us are eagerly staring at our calendars, waiting for December to officially start, signalling the beginning of our year-end trips. We’re itching to start packing our suitcases and temporarily escape from our responsibilities as we evade the airport in droves. But till then, we sit at our desks, watching the clock, waiting for that fateful day to come – it’s so close yet terribly far.
If you’re starting to find the need to travel a bit too soul-consuming and you can’t seem to ignore the gnawing in your stomach, let me introduce you to Ramen Nagi – I promise it’ll satiate your desire to travel in the most delicious way possible!
For those who frequent ION Orchard, this ramen restaurant is definitely no stranger. Located in the basement of the mall, Ramen Nagi has been bringing the taste of Japan to us for the past six years. In celebration of their sixth anniversary, they are bringing their most popular dish to Singapore for a limited time only. Say hello to the rich, the mouthwatering, the ever-popular: Niboshi King (S$24.90)!
As I stepped past the norens, I felt like I was stepping straight into a ramen shop in Japan. The open kitchen was a delight and served as a direct look behind the scenes of the decadent food that would end up in our bellies. Today, it served as the stage for Ramen Masterchef: Satoshi Ikuta as he demonstrated how this delicious bowl of ramen is constructed.
For those wondering, Niboshi is dried Japanese sardines and it packs as much of a punch as you think it does. In Ramen Nagi’s rendition of this delight, they loaded up on the Niboshi in order to serve the richest dish they could produce. All the ingredients used are air-flown from Japan to ensure that they serve up the best of what Japan has to offer.
Each bowl of ramen is curated in a wildly specific way. An amazing amount of detail is put into every aspect of the dish down to even the temperature of the bowl to the quality of the ingredients. This attention to detail adds up to a rich bowl of ramen heaven.
As soon as the bowl of ramen landed on the table in front of me, I was hit in the face with the mouthwatering smell of Niboshi. But nothing would prepare me for the punch the broth packed. The first sip of the broth had me floored with just how much flavour it boasted. If you’re a fan of thick ramen broths, this is definitely up your alley. It was also just the right amount of oily – not oily enough that it left my throat hoarse but oily enough to have the soup gliding down.
I personally enjoy noodles that are chewy and this did not disappoint. Each strand of ramen was satisfyingly thick and bouncy. But hidden deep within the dish, is one strand of noodle that is thin and very flat – think lasagna noodle of sorts.
Thanks to the open kitchen concept, we could peer in on the kitchen staff as they meticulously sliced every piece of Cha Shu using a meat slicer. The meat was cooked to perfection. It melted in my mouth and was so tender. Now, in this ramen bowl, spring onions and seaweed aren’t just used as a garnish to top the meal off. In this dish, the two helped to tie all the elements together. The spring onion added a crunch to the texture of the overall dish while the seaweed soaked up the delectable broth.
From the time we walked through the curtains to the last drop of the bowl, I felt like I was in Japan, enjoying a hot bowl of ramen goodness that instantaneously filled me with warmth in the midst of the December winter cold.
If you want to feel like you’re overseas as well, you gotta quickly head down to ION Orchard today! Just like an authentic ramen stall you’ll find in Japan, Ramen Nagi often has lines that snake out the door – so make sure you get there early in order to secure your seat and one of these very limited ramen bowls, which is only available till 25 November 2023 or while stocks last!
Location: 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-54, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11 am to 9.30 pm
Photos by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team.