When I noted down Menya Musashi as one of the ramen places to go while planning my itinerary for this trip to Japan, I knew it sounded WAY too familiar for someone with minimal knowledge about Japan or their brands. Ah, I finally found out why when we were walking towards this ramen stall.. They not only have (a lot of) outlets in Singapore, I have even been there once!
If you’re wondering where their stores in Singapore are located at, they are as follows: Bedok Mall, Bugis Junction, Raffles City Shopping Mall, Tampines Mall, Star Vista, Vivo City (I went here), Waterway Point and Westgate!
Our experience in Singapore way really underwhelming. However, we decided to give this outlet in Japan a go since it is afterall one of the MOST popular ramen joints to go to, and it is even touted as the MUST TRY place in Shinjuku. Crazy, I know. So we had to check it out!
Located at a good 10-minutes away from Shinjuku station (West Exit), lies Menya Musashi, tucked away in a quiet corner on the street. I was surprised to find no lines outside the store after seeing how crazy the queues can get from the other reviews, and we were there during lunch time! We even thought we arrived at the wrong store!
It’s quite an experience pushing through the curtains into the stall, because it was pretty dark inside and we were greeted with this scene:
A pretty small joint, like most ramen places, and the seats were all occupied! A short queue of 3 people were in front of us.We really liked how we could watch the masters at work, preparing our ramen and working in unison! Quite a sight!
Honestly, we felt pretty lost when we walked in and were greeted with so many people in such a cramped seating. After a little panic attack, we realized that OH, we should order our ramens through the vending machine.
Then we panicked further when we saw that the options on the machine were all in Japanese. OH NO. When in doubt, just select the one with the arrow there that seems to be recommending it. So yes, we pressed on the first button.
I wanted to try something different hence I went for what looked like a Tsukemen – which is basically just ramen, but with a separate bowl of dipping soup! This was my first time having a Tsukemen and boy, I was so excited!
You’ll soon realize that the entire joint is filled with samurai-ish posters and samurai wielding double-handed-swords like these, and that’s because Menya Musashi is named after a famous samurai! The more you know!
As we didn’t know what we ordered, I’m just gonna… Guess. And try to figure out their names.
What differentiates this from the rest of the ramens we’ve had is possibly the broth! Instead of the usual tonkotsu broth we are used to, the broth used in Menya Musashi’s had a light shoyu taste together with a distinct taste of dried fish and to me, a lot of yuzu. My mum couldn’t quite taste it, but I’m not a fan of yuzu and that was why I was really sensitive to it! The broth was refreshing and most definitely different! But I still prefer my full tonkotsu broth, especially that of Ichiran! This broth from Menya Musashi can get quite salty though!
The pork in both their ramen and Tsukemen was AMAZING though. It was so tender and chunky… Unlike that thinly sliced ones from Singapore. Wow. Definitely worth the price JUST FOR THE PORK ITSELF!
Tsukemen: ¥1150, S$13.95, USD$10.10 I’m sorry but my tastebuds ain’t too sensitive and smart to find out what’s in the broth, but this was different from the ramen, in that it didn’t have the yuzu taste, and it has a deeper tonkotsu flavor. I like!
Besides the pork that we loved, the next best thing about the Tsukemen was the NOODLES. It was thick, chewy and everything yummy. Possibly the best noodles I’ve had ever. And since this was my first time having a Tsukemen, I thought the cold noodles tasted incredibly good after dipping it into the broth, like even better than having it together in a bowl of ramen! Damn. I was thrilled when I tried halving the egg, only to find the yolk flowing out from the cracks. Gosh, WHAT WAS I THINKING. I AM IN JAPAN, OF COURSE THERE’S A PERFECT AJITAMAGO IN RAMEN. LOOK. HERE’S A CLOSER LOOK. CRAZY. I KNOW.
The standard of Menya Musashi at Shinjuku was miles away from the one I had in Singapore. I never thought I’d actually say this, because before heading to Menya Musashi (Shinjuku), I was still lamenting about how different could the ones in Japan get from Singapore’s. After the meal, I’ve got the answer: VERY.
The noodles were already a WIN. SO bouncy and delicious. And that pork belly and ajitamago was also on point. It’s crazy. The only thing I didn’t quite like was the broth because of the saltiness. We wish it was less salty, otherwise the flavor was a refreshing change! I’m glad I’ve been to Menya Musashi because it was definitely one of the best ramen experiences I’ve had so far!
How to get there?
Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 7-2-6, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 3.30pm, 4.30pm to 9.30pm
Sunday: 11.30am to 7pm