Nagomi Ramen: Best in Hongdae
When it comes to Japanese ramen, Nagomi Ramen (나고미라멘) stands above the rest as far as I am concerned.
Of my almost 10 years in Korea, eight and a half of them have been spent living in the near vicinity of Hongdae. As luck would have it, Hongdae offers a smorgasbord of restaurants including many many ramen shops. Back when Nagomi Ramen was a block from where it sits now, I became a fan and when they shut their doors my dreams of ever having them again were dashed… until my husband told me they were just moving around the bend (whew!).
Japanese ramen comes in three varieties: miso ramen, shoyu ramen made with soy sauce and tonkotsu ramen made with porkbone stock. I’m a fan of the tonkotsu variety and that’s one reason Nagomi is my go to hole in the wall.
While Nagomi Ramen has never been packed when we’ve entered, don’t let that fool you or keep you away, they are worth a visit in their little back alley shop. If you want to wait in a line to eat ramen, there are plenty of other ramen shops in Hongdae that will fit the bill. Nagomi is just a bit off the beaten path and out of the way, but once you find it, trust me you’ll want to go back again and again. The interior of the shop features planks of wood on the walls and the ceiling that make you feel as if you’re slurping up your noodles as you float in the hull of a ship. There’s a large table lit from below in the center that you can sit at if you’re going solo and want to perhaps meet some other solo-eating ramen fanatics and tables along the sides if you mosey in with a group.
The lights are lowered for a cozy romantic feel that only Haruki Murakami would be able to accurately describe in a way to make it sound as enticing as it is.
Nagomi Ramen (W7,000): They start with porkbone broth and add chicken/vegetable broth in a style that became popular by the Yamagoya Japanese ramen chain. The noodles are thin and float in the fatty goodness of the pork-smelling broth with large slices of pork and an egg that’s been boiled in soy sauce that tastes so good I could probably happily eat five of them in one go if they let me.
This soup is filling in the deep down in the belly when I stand up to walk I’ll be happy and ready for a nap sort of way.
서울특별시 마포구 서교동 370-24 지하 1층
Mapo-gu Seoggyo-dong 370-24 B1, Seoul
Hours: 11:30am ~ 9:00pm
Days: Open every day except Seollal and Chuseok
Amenities: parking, bathroom
Prices: W6,000 – W8,000 per bowl of ramen
Directions: Hongik Subway Station, exit 9 and walk straight. Turn left at the third street and then right at the second alley and the shop will be on your right. Or, Hapjeong subway station exit 3. Walk straight to the 7th street and turn right and walk to the second alley and turn right and the shop will be on your right.