Food & Dining

In Focus: At 20, Restaurateur Nash Aguas Opens His First Original Chicken Inasal Concept

In Focus: At 20, Restaurateur Nash Aguas Opens His First Original Chicken Inasal Concept

Great opportunities don't come every day, But when it does, actor Nash Aguas tries to seize and make the most out of it. Take it from him who joined a talent search competition on TV at just 5 years old. Fifteen years later, the lad has become a showbiz mainstay, having starred in various iconic, multifaceted roles. (We're pretty sure Doble Kara, Luv U, Bagito, and, of course, Goin' Bulilit still ring a bell!)

There was this one time when Nash had a chance to try a ramen joint in Tomas Morato—and that was when his Carpe diem mantra once again kicked in. He discovered ramen that he thought wasn't as expensive as the rest but still retained flavor and quality—Muramen. In 2017, he would eventually find himself venturing as an entrepreneur via Muramen franchise. "Nung nakakain kami, sabi ko, 'may potential 'to.' Lalo na kung mura 'tapos hindi sya nalalayo doon sa P400 na ramen," he tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. 

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Nash becoming a businessman then, he reveals, was unplanned. "Actually, aksidente lang na napadpad ako dito, eh. Kasi ako, as long as may opportunity, go lang ako," he shares. After all, he was a stranger to the idea, if not for his business partners who guided him through the process. "By fire ako nun, eh. Wala din ako gaanong alam sa business, lalo na sa food business. Lalo nang hindi ako marunong magluto. Kasi, yung part na 'yon, kela Kuya Pando (his business partner), doon sa food aspect. Pero sa pag-bi-business, in a way, noong nagkaroon ako ng sariling branch, unti-unti kong inaral tapos nagbasa ako ng books, nanood ng YouTube videos. So 'yun, natuto naman."

Recently, and now at 20, Nash opened Grillest in Pasig City—his first original concept and already his second restaurant. "Ang ramen kasi, kinakain mo kasi nag-ke-crave ka. Pero hindi sya yung everyday mong kakainin, di ba? Napansin namin sa Muramen, sobrang nag-spike din yung sales nung Chicken Karaage. Eh, rice bowl 'yun. So, yung Pinoy talaga, gusto nila ng chicken at ng rice. Eh mahilig din kasi kami sa inasal. So, sabi namin, try namin 'to," he discusses birthing the business, which is short for "illest (colloquial for "best") grill in town." "Nag-search kami ng recipes. Si Kuya Pando nag-experiment, lahat ng klase ng chicken ginawa nya. 'Tapos nakabuo sya ng recipe na, in a way, legit Bacolod inasal. 'Pag tinikman niyo sya, iba talaga sya sa current (offerings) na nasa market and sa competitors."

True, it seems easy for creative (and well to do) millennials to come up with their own businesses especially in the food genre. But Nash knows too well about the struggles. Yet, he's optimistic at inviting his fellow youngblood. "Wag ma-intimidate, wag matakot agad. Lahat naman ng bagay, natututunan. And maraming failures, maraming mistakes, pero okey lang 'yun. Ang mahalaga, natuto ka. Wala naman nag-bi-business at first, maganda agad. Kahit kami, may times na may setbacks. Pero mahalaga kung pano mo ma-o-overcome yon."

ALSO READ: #ABSCBNLifestyle Inspo Robi Domingo: How Traveling Helped Heal My Heart And Lift My Spirits

Photos by Vyn Radovan and taken from



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