Thursday, June 7, 2012

Menya Musashi @ Isetan, 1Utama

Ramen is usually the last thing I would think of when it comes to Japanese food, simply because most of the ramens served is too salty for my liking. Also because I much prefer to sink my teeth into some thick juicy sashimi cuts, heh!

So when I came across an article in The Malaysian Insider about this chain of ramen outlet from Japan, I told hubby about it and he agreed to check it out. According to some reviews, Menya Musashi is said to be “the best ramen chain in Tokyo”. OK, my knowledge about good tasting ramen from Japan is very limited, so I honestly have no idea who or what to expect from Menya Musashi. It could just be an over-priced ramen outlet for all I know, right?

Menya Musashi's signage.
Located on the top floor of Isetan 1Utama's 'Eat Paradise' (there are other eateries to choose from as well), it was pretty easy to distinguish Menya Musashi from the rest of the F&B outlets. Just look out for the many samurai graphic paintings decorating the wall, and the black pillar deco. We were there on a Sunday, and it was only 11.30am, but already a steady queue of eager patrons patiently waiting in line to have their sumptuous bowl of ramen. You know what people say, where there is a long queue the food is bound to be good!

While waiting in line, a sweet waitress gave us a menu to check out. I decided to have their signature Musashi ramen with Kuro (fried shallot and garlic oil), while hubby opted for their Chashu Men with Aka (home-made chilli oil), and 2 glasses of cold green tea. Hot ramen + cold green tea = ying & yang. As we were waiting in line, we could hear the enthusiasm coming from the kitchen, the loud cheers and positive energy flowing from the chefs and into every ramen bowl they prepare.

Chef Daisuke Yamaguchi's samurai portrait.
Overseeing the operations of the outlet was a tall sturdy looking man in black and wooden Japanese clogs,  whom I'm guessing, is the head chef from Japan. A little Googling and I discovered this man is chef Daisuke Yamaguchi, who happens to have a samurai painting of him right outside of the outlet too! Very cool looking dude, "hou yau yeng ah!" 

Samurai paintings.
At Menya Musashi, you must first pay for your food before you step in. A very straight forward concept, that way you sit down, eat, and leave. We were ushered by the head chef to our seats, and the waitress came over the double confirm our orders. Less than 2 minutes later, our piping hot bowls of ramen were served. I was quite surprised to see my bowl of Musashi Ramen's soup with a tinge of black, it must be the fried shallot and garlic oil I had asked for. Ita daki mas!

Musashi Ramen with Kuro (fried shallot and garlic oil) - RM 26
When it comes to noodles, I will always drink the soup first, to get the taste of the broth. The broth was flavourful, and rightly so as it's made from pork and chicken feet! If you're one of those who don't really favour pork all that much, then Menya Musashi's ramen may be a bit over powering for your taste buds. The ramen was springy, I LIKE SPRINGY! And the chashu portion that came with the ramen was generous, 2 huge slices of it, with meat so tender and delicious. Hubby's Chashu Men with chilli oil was delicious too, and he thoroughly enjoyed the broth as well. His ramen portion also came with huge slices of chashu, w00t!

Chashu Men with Aka (home-made chilli oil) - RM 30
Despite the high price tags on the ramen (2 ramens + 2 drinks + tax, the bill came to RM 69), Menya Musashi's ramen is by far the yummiest ramen I've had in a long time. The broth was full of rich flavour, the ramen was springy, the chashu absolutely divine, with the half boiled egg texture marinated in shoyu was pleasant. I read that some folks found the egg too cooked, but I won't comment cos I am not familiar with Menya Musashi's style of ramens, the egg that came with my ramen was just nice for me. And after slurping all the ramen and soup, what better way to end the meal with a tall refreshing glass of green tea :D


Just ask for ice water. It's FOC. :D