Menya Musashi – one of the most popular ramen chains in Japan – has recently hit our sunny shores, opening up at Raffles City.
As with most new things in Singapore, there’s a ridiculously long queue to get a seat, but we were lucky enough to get a seat for lunch one Saturday and ordered from the limited menu, which I always love because it makes me think if they are that popular with so few items, then they’re going to be really very good.
How you select your ramen (Subway sandwich style):
1) soup or dipping sauce (tsukemen) ?
2) white, red or black ? (white = white miso, red miso, explained to me as “spicy”, black = with garlic)
3) 1/2/3 servings of noodles ?
4) type of pork – standard or chashu
I absolutely love tsukemen, which is traditionally cold noodles with a rich dipping sauce – eaten during the steaming hot summers in Japan. At Menya Musashi, the noodles (which are wonderfully chewy) are hot, as is the dipping sauce, but in airconditioning, it’s all good.
The stock for the standard ramen is miso-based, yet has the thickness that I associate with the much richer tonkotsu–based soups. Tonkotsu is pork based, where pork hocks are stewed for hours on end, giving a stock rich in flavour and thick consistency from the bones (including the gelatinous marrow). Menya Musashi’s stock was understandably much lighter in flavour than a tonkotsu-based one. I have tried the white, red and black, though, and while I expect a milder flavour from the white miso stock, the red and black were to me, just different coloured. I didn’t taste any spice in the red, and only a mild flavour of garlic in the black. (Perhaps it’s because one of our favourite ramen joints in Singapore is Nansuttei which has pretty full-on fragrant garlic oil).
I’m hoping that that eagerness to try the new kid on the block will die down. Then again, I just saw a billboard for Ramen Champion, a place where you can try several different types of ramen, so Menya has more competition than Ippudo or Nansuttei…
Menya Musashi Ramen
252 North Bridge Road
#01-16 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6336 6500
Open: Mon-Sun 11.30am – 9.30pm