Ramen, Please.

As an avid anime fan, I’m always jealous of the noodle dishes anime characters eat. From cup ramen, to fancy three course ramen, anime just makes everything look so DAMN GOOD.

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Anyway, I had the chance to visit a newly established ramen shop in New Brunswick, NJ. Ramen Nagomi is a hidden gem that sits near the corner of a main street. Walking by, the exterior caught my eye and I immediately put it on my list of places to visit. During one of these wintery days, I visited the shop with some friends.

Before I get more into my experience, I just wanted to mention a great article by Lucky Peach on the different types of Ramen according to region in Japan. I enjoyed reading this article and thought it would be appropriate to share here.

Ramen Nagomi specializes in the Assari style of Ramen. Assari is a lighter, more refreshing type of ramen. At Ramen Nagomi, everything from the noodles, the broth, and components of the dishes are made in-house.

The ambiance of the shop is akin to a modern take on traditional Japanese elements. Overall, the atmosphere is very welcoming and warm. After being seated, I ordered some fried vegetable gyoza as an appetizer. Water was served to us from a carafe and in quaint glasses. Did I mention I love carafes?

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The gyoza was light and crispy. The vegetable edamame filling inside was flavorful. The dipping sauce also made a perfect accompaniment. Overall, I was very happy with this appetizer.

While enjoying the gyoza, I ordered Vegetarian Spicy Miso Ramen. The dish consists of a house vegetarian dashi, soy milk, awase miso tare, tofu, hanjuko tamago, kikurage, nori, and scallions.

For anyone that doesn’t understand what half those terms are:

  • Dashi- A word for stock or a soup basel it’s usually made from fish or kelp
  • Awase Miso Tare-Miso is a Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans together with salt, rice, and other ingredients. Awase Miso is just a combination of two or more different types of miso blended together. Tare is also a type of seasoning and defines what type of ramen is being served.
  • Hanjuko Tamago-A ramen egg marinated in a soy sauce mix. It’s soft-boiled and oh, so, yummy.
  • Kikurage-A type of mushroom; known as a Wood Ear Mushroom in English
  • Nori-Edible seaweed

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Look at that glorious bowl. It was huge! I loved the presentation as well. The noodles were soft and chewy and absolutely delicious. What I loved most about this dish was the broth. I’ve never had soy milk broth before but it complimented the spices in the dish perfectly. I remember after I finished eating, I was so content. My stomach had this warm feeling of home. This is a ramen dish that you kind of fall in love with. I know I have.

Now if there’s something you should know about me, it’s that I love dessert. I can’t complete a meal without some aspect of dessert being incorporated at the end. Ramen Nagomi has a list of desserts to choose from. They have mochi, ice cream, and sorbet. However, the black sesame crème brûlée caught my eye. I’m a fan of crème brûlée, it’s rich, sweet, and just wonderful. I’d never had a black sesame one though, so I decided to order it.

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The crème brûlée was tiny and cute. It was topped with sesame seeds. Upon breaking the sugar crust, I was met with a dark grey custard. Even though the dessert was rich, it had just a lightness to it. The roasted flavor of black sesame was unexpectedly magical. Unfortunately, my friends and I had to attend something after we ate so I couldn’t order another one. But if we had stayed longer, I would have gotten about two more. It was just that good.

Overall, I loved my experience at Ramen Nagomi. And here’s to the first of many.

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