Becoming Ramen Heads at Agara Ramen Bar
Oh, the weather outside is frightful … ♪ ♫
Well, it was the prospect of having ramen on a day like this that was the first and main come on, so when Ms. Mikka informed us of a media launch event at this Baguio born ramen house, X+1 were so game. #SupportLocal
Braving the storm-like conditions (I can’t believe there is no typhoon), me wearing a heavy above the knee skirt and sandals (Lesson learned from rainy blustery college days, that wearing pants, fancy boots, and trench coats is one of the best ways to run out of dry stuff to wear when you have to go out to class every day.), the noodle shop was sure a welcome sight. *contented sighs
The lights cast a cheery orange hue on every surface, even making the mural painted on the brick wall seem more vibrant, the open kitchen, the bar with seats for 14 ramen heads to sit shoulder to shoulder enjoying their meal, the industrial design that gave this ramen shop a more modern look, normalized my temp, the minute I walked through the threshold. =)
All the guests complete and seated, we were regaled with Agara Ramen Master Ray’s noodle bowl prep. (He learned all this because he’s a passionate ramenthusiast. \m/) (My favorite part was the charring of the barbecued pork slices. Burn, baby, burn! *heehaha Well, not burn, but char lang.) You see, we didn’t just come here to try a ramen bowl of our choice. Part of our first Agara experience was to sample every kind they had to offer.
Imagine my excitement, Team Costa (Mr. Ray and wife, Ms. Keith Ann) planned a progression of flavors for us. I always said (to my foodie lovies), the best way to distinguish tastes is to have them all in one sitting. And it’s so happening at this ramen restaurant. Weee!
We started with the light but still creamy rich salt based pork broth noodle soup.
Then up a notch in the taste ladder, was the soy based pork broth. =D This tickled my taste buds, waking it up from slumber.
Side Dish – Gyoza
In order to avoid the cloying (That’s umay to us, Filipinos. I recently learned that word … Doesn’t have the same ring to it as umay though. *hee) feeling savory dishes like these have, Agara gyouza offers a variation in texture, a meaty mouthful to break the creamy monotony of the soup.
This strong pork miso soup with a sprinkling of corn and sesame seeds, interestingly didn’t pack as much of a wallop in flavor compared to the shoyu. Must be the goddess ramen addition of corn *tahaha … which I got a spoonful of with the broth.
It was in the spicy pork broth soup with sesame paste that I found the perfect taste. Uncanny, no? I can’t take spicy stuff, but let me tell you, this was just right. It’s the kind of spice that gets caught in one’s throat; cough it out and you’re good to go again. ^^,
Drinks – Mugicha
Let’s pause a bit to take a sip of mugicha, a glass of cold barley tea, shall we? The concentrated porky goodness in the soup we just slurped up from the four bowls is fusing my lips together. =))
Agara Ramen’s flagship dishes were saved for last. Were they the best, you ask? To Race and me, they were.
Full on flavor, tons of umami for its mix of salty, hint of bitterness, a bit of a fishy taste, pork, chicken, mmm. Now, I’m torn between this and tantanmen.
If we thought the tantanmen was luscious, this dipping ramen is double, even triple that. Makes my mouth water again now, just thinking about it. Also, the noodles used here are thicker and thus, have more bite to offer. Tsukemen, you could say, is a must try since no other noodle store in Baguio has this. Only two restos in Manila serve it, Sir added. Whoa!
If you still have some soup left and all the noodles are gone, just ask the staff to add hot water to the thick soup, so you can down it in a sip or two. How about another serving of noodles? Or rice? *wink wink You get the idea, my foodie friends.
UPDATE 12/17/2019: LIMITED EDITION Tokusei Tsukemen (Omori “Sutairu” Style), regular and spicy versions, are available at this ramen shop.
Take note, to ensure that you get top quality dishes, they have a “no take out” policy here at Agara. Get your dishes just the way the Ramen Master and the universe meant it to be: Hot soup, perfect consistency noodles, tender charred char siu, soft boiled shoyu tamago … which they recommend you finish in less than 15 minutes.
I’m a certified potato head, but after our Agara Ramen foodievent, I’m seriously thinking about becoming a ramen head as well … more specifically, an #AgaraRamenHead. How I felt like a connoisseur, (Mr. Ray’s passion for ramen rubbing off on me), noting the subtle shifts of zinginess per dish prepared. *nasal French ho-ho-ho-ho
The weather outside is frightful … but the atmosphere and the dishes at Agara noodle shop are so delightful. Just like that, you’re warm, comfy and soothed by these simple and down to earth foodstuff. (“,) (Where will you find me in the next couple of days? There at Agara Ramen, agraramen.)
Before I go … PROMO ALERT: On their grand opening day, September 8, 2019, be one of the first 100 customers in line when the store opens at 11:00 a.m., and Team Costa will give you your ramen order at 50% off. (Terms and conditions apply.)
Ground Floor, Rancho Guillermo Building
#80 North Drive, Engineer’s Hill
Baguio City, Philippines
***It was great to finally meet you, Ms. Keith Ann. Thanks so much to you and Mr. Ray for having us over at your ramen bar. Thankies, Ms. Mikka. More power!
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X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
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