The ramen craze in Manila is still on, with the arrival of Ramen Nagi early this year (and another chain, Ippudo, soon to open in a couple of months).
Butao King is the regular variant in Ramen Nagi. I shouldn’t be comparing this to other ramen broths in other chains, but I now find it difficult to appreciate my usual shoyu broth in other ramen joints. I know shoyu has a different taste profile. Maybe the tonkotsu broth is more to my liking. The broth is too rich, and clearly unhealthy, but it’s sooooo good, especially when it’s cold outside. It also smells like balut. I wonder if any of my readers also have the same observation (a friend of my friend in Japan asked her about this too, but she couldn’t say if it’s the same in Japan because she doesn’t order tonkotsu).
The thing about Ramen Nagi is that you can customize your bowl of ramen, from the richness of the flavor, the amount of special sauce, down to the spiciness. You can also choose between the shoulder and belly part of the pork, and if you want cabbage or spring onions. I made the mistake of choosing 3Spicy the last time I was in Ramen Nagi. I can tolerate spicy food, but adding too much spice made my eyes water. That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever order Red King.
Some of my teammates ordered the “experimental” variants. The Black King, for one, doesn’t really look appetizing. It’s certainly not date-friendly. I’m not a fan of squid so this didn’t appeal to me at all.
The Green King, on the other hand, is bursting with so many flavors. I find it too creamy, probably because of the grated cheese mixing, or should I say melting into the already flavorful broth. Too much of everything, but I guess those who legitimately love pesto will opt for this in Ramen Nagi. By now, it’s obvious that I have plain preferences. Haha!
My suggestion? Get the Butao King and try the others on your next visit (because I’m pretty sure you’d be craving for this). It’s also a bit expensive, but it’s not the type of food you’d eat on a daily basis, anyway.