It started out as a rustic hole-in-the-wall joint in Shinjuku, Tokyo, in 2006 (its original store still boasts daily queues).
But Ramen Nagi is now a slick noodle empire with 22 outlets in its native Japan and 28 overseas franchised branches in countries such as Hongkong and the Philippines.
Next month (Oct 12), Singapore gets its own Nagi ramen shop. It’s brought in by the same folks who set up the Filipino franchise. The brand is known for its tonkotsu-based ‘4 Kings’ range of modern ramen flavours, like the Black King (garlic and squid ink, $15.90; above pic) and Green King (basil and cheese, $15.90).
While its outlets in Japan also offer other types of broth like a bonito version, there is only a tonkotsu (pork bone) one offered for the Singapore outpost, though we’re told that the shop plans to introduce new types of broth “every three months” or so.
There is also only one kind of noodle available, made in a local central kitchen, as opposed to two varieties offered in Japan. But there are plans to roll out more noodles in future “according to customers’ feedback”.
As with most other ramen joints, you can customise your bowl here too, such as the intensity of your soup, and type of pork (would you like shoulder or belly?). Side dishes such as Chicken Karaage ($9) and a petite Chashu Rice ($5) with roasted pork drizzled with soy sauce and mayo are also available.
For its opening week, Nagi’s Japanese chef-founder Ikuta Satoshi will be in town to fire up the stove.
#01-512/513 Suntec City Tower II, S038989. Open daily 11am-10pm. www.facebook.com/ramennagisingapore