Tuesday, April 7, 2009

凪 (Nagi in Shibuya)


It's been a while since I've been to Nagi in Shibuya. The first time I went, I sang it's praises and it became an almost weekly trip. I loved sitting down and ordering a だれやめ set, beer with a side of grilled chashu pork and menma. The lights were dim, the staff friendly, and the ramen excellent. I taught a private lesson near this shop, so it was a match made in heaven. Teach some English, eat some ramen.

But times change. My lesson moved to another part of town, and this shop is the opposite direction. Today I made the trek, and was greeted by a surprise. 2 of the 3 things I loved about Nagi are gone!

First, the decore. It used to have bottles of shochu lined up along the walls, and toy pigs scattered throughout. It was tacky, in the way that makes a dive bar come to life. But now it's empty. The wall of booze had a curtain, and not a butta to be seen.

Second, the menu is new!


Nagi is now just a standard Hakata ramen place. Take a look at the old menu for comparison.


There were over 40 different items. The daily ramen experiment, ramen omelet, fried ramen with cheese. It was the funnest ramen I've seen in Japan. The menu was hand written in messy kanji that I could barely make out. Ordering involved chatting with the staff. It was good.

Now, it's a 1 item thing. I don't really understand why they would change things up. Maybe it's a new owner. No clue.

But, the new ramen is really good here. I can't complain at all about about the outcome. Richer than the other Hakata style I've had so far. I think they may be using the same recipe as the Nagi in Tachikawa, though it tastes... better. However, I probably won't be going back here as often as I did, which is kind of sad. Maybe I'll give it a month or so, and see how I feel then.

By the way, this review is outdated, but I've gone back to make a YouTube video. Check out!

1 comment:

Michelle Grimord Eggers said...

While I can't speak to the quality of their ramen pre-menu change, I can say that Nagi has the best gyoza I've ever had. Hands down.

They were crispy on the bottom, perfectly seasoned and chock-full of green onions on the top. (picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mgrimord/4430272675/sizes/m/)

On our way out, we saw a guy making them. From scratch. Rolling out the dough. Ah, that's the secret. :)