Say toodles to standard noodles, eat some ballin’ Ramen
Brick steps lined with black guard rails lead customers away from the busy New Brunswick street to guide them into the quaint, recently opened Ramen Nagomi. A sleek and modern dining experience, this restaurant has the power to make any college student question their tolerance for consuming microwave Ramen ever again.
Located conveniently on Bayard Street, Ramen Nagomi offers customers Assari-style ramen with their own freshly made broth, containing fresh and quality ingredients to leave all customers fully satisfied. Though the room itself is a rather confined space, this dining experience represents the perfect blend of urban contemporary meets Japanese décor to make a casual, yet classy atmosphere.
Perfect for a professional lunch date, a reunion with old friends or just the place to bring Mom and Dad as you impress them with New Brunswick’s best-kept secret, Ramen Nagomi is sure to impress. Lit by gently swinging bulbs and filled with wooden tables lined with black stools, Ramen Nagomi also allows college students to find their escape from the stress of school and enjoy a delicious meal at more than affordable prices.
I have never tried ramen — gourmet or microwaved — so at first I was overwhelmed by such a diverse menu. The menu features entrees labeled “Nagomi Shoyu Ramen,” meaning slow-simmered chicken broth, house-made dashi, shoyu tare, nori and scallions, as well as my dish called “Tori Paitan Ramen.”
This dish included Amish chicken broth, house-made dashi, shoyu tare, burnt garlic infused oil, pork belly, kikurage, corn, nori and scallions. Before you turn to Google and search “what does dashi even mean?” don’t panic, because the waitstaff here is friendly, informative and aware that they offer such a unique menu.
You can ask as many questions as your heart desires. For the record, dashi is actually a class of soup and cooking stock common to Japanese culture — who knew?
To start my meal I tried the house salad with a ginger dressing, a perfect choice since it was so light and sweet before such a filling meal to follow. The actual ramen bowl I had ordered was simply amazing. The broth was creamy and soaked up the flavor of the mushrooms as well as the piece of seaweed accompanying the bowl. Almost all ramen bowls featured on the menu are served with a soft-boiled egg, marinated with pork broth to pleasantly surprise any customer with a slightly sweetened center.
I would hardly describe myself as having an adventurous palette — I probably even fall more on the “picky-eater” side of the spectrum. I couldn’t be happier that I took a risk with my meal — it definitely was worth every bite.
There are two delectable broth options. There is a “rich-certified Amish chicken broth,” which is a much creamier, heavier consistency, or a “slow-simmered” broth, which is much lighter. If you would prefer the flavors to stand for themselves then my advice would be to choose a much lighter broth option.
Besides featuring the nine various ramen bowls, including a vegetarian option, Ramen Nagomi also offers customers the choice between genmai-cha tea or hoji-chai tea. Both options come with leaf-green tea and an extensive dessert menu. For those not fully satisfied with their bowl, or searching for a unique Japanese treat, the restaurant offers matcha ice cream made from green-tea powder, or even black sesame crème brulee, which is an infusion of the classic dessert with black sesame seeds.
I don’t normally drink green tea, but I decided to sample the matcha ice cream, which rang true to the green tea flavor. Although it had a slight mint twist, I actually enjoyed finishing my meal with such a delicious dessert — it’s definitely worth a try.
Although its grand opening was only eight months ago, there are such dynamic flavors and diverse options for customers. No wonder Ramen Nagomi has taken the New Brunswick population and Rutgers students by storm.