Nagi Golden Gai | ラーメン凪 煮干王 新宿ゴールデン街店本館
Style: Niboshi Shoyu
Bowl to Crush: Tokusei Niboshi Ramen | 特製煮干ラーメン
Master Ikuta-san's flagship shop sits hidden down a narrow alley in Golden Gai, the famously well-preserved section of Shinjuku where over 200 tiny nomiya and bars are packed into the space of a single city block.
In the early days, Ikuta-san was only able to offer his ramen one day a week, selling it from the back of a Golden Gai bar that he rented on Tuesdays. He later won a ramen competition that awarded him the space to operate his own shop in Tachikawa for a limited time. He soon managed to parlay his growing popularity into his first permanent shop in Shibuya. Eventually, he returned to Golden Gai, where his ramen career got its humble start. Today, Ikuta-san owns and operates over a dozen ramen shops across Japan and overseas, in locations such as Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He's even launched his own noodle factory in the Shinjuku area.
Our favorite Nagi shop of them all, naturally, is the O.G. Golden Gai spot. It's open 24/7/365. There's almost always a line out front, and when a seat becomes available the staff yell down a plastic pipe from the second floor, where the shop sits. Like almost all the bars and restaurants in Golden Gai, the shop is exiguous and oozing cool atmosphere. Just ten seats.
The soup is a heavy, almost bitter niboshi shoyu (dried baby sardines). It packs a potent punch but retains a smoothness that makes it totally drinkable. The noodles are thick cut, handmade — a highlight of the dish. The bowl comes with onions and other choice toppings.
One of the best heavy niboshi shops in Tokyo and a can’t miss late-night spot.
Opening Hours: 24/7/365
Days Closed: Never
1-1-10 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo