Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo – Philstar.com
January 29, 2024 | 1:44pm
MANILA, Philippines — To say that Filipinos “ai” (love) Japan is an understatement.
Just recently, Filipinos voted the “Land of the Rising Sun” as their top destinations for the upcoming Chinese New Year and whole-year round.
At the recent 10th anniversary in the Philippines of Ramen Nagi, it was revealed that the Philippines also has the most stores of the Japanese ramen chain, with 37 branches throughout Metro Manila and Luzon, and more to open in Visayas and Mindanao.
In contrast, the brand only has five restaurants in its home country Japan, and 15 in other countries (five in USA, three in China, five in Taiwan, one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore).
Indeed, Japan and ramen are so popular among Filipinos that Ramen Nagi claimed to have served more than 10 million bowls of ramen across its 37 branches throughout Metro Manila and Luzon.
When asked by Philstar.com for his recommendation of where to taste the best ramen in Japan, Ramen Nagi founder, Ramen Master Chef Satoshi Ikuta, suggested their branch in Shibuya, located in the Golden Community.
“So even today, there is a lot of queuing and visits there, not only for the local people, but also those from Hong Kong, Italians and Americans,” he said via an interpreter.
From a tiny ramen house in Fukuoka, Ikuta gained international recognition and awards for personalizing every ramen bowl for every customer. Every day, he only made 200 bowls of ramen, and every day without fail, all of these sold out.
“What we’re most proud of is when we opened our first shop in (SM) Aura,” he recalled his top achievement in the past 10 years in the Philippines.
“It took a lot of effort initially so that we can really introduce the authentic and original taste of the ramen here. So we’re very happy to have successfully brought our ramen to the Philippines.”