Slurping is a Requirement!
Ramen Connoisseurs, Menya Musashi has made its first mark in Malaysia at One Utama! Open in 1996 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, the samurai themed ramen restaurant is the latest gossip in town. The latest ramen player together with another ramen king, Gantetsu, is open at Eat Paradise in Isetan, One Utama recently and I had gotten a whiff of this from an infamous blogger. A ramen fanatic, I headed out the very day of the news to slurp up the latest newbie!
The iconic Menya Musashi Samurai greeted me at the entrance of the restaurant.
The restaurant named is derived from the swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi san wrote a book on kenjitsu and the martial arts, The Book of 5 Rings Gorin no Syo, thus inspiring the birth of the 5 ramen principles of CHI – basic, SUI – idea, HI – reason, KAZE – analysis, KU – truthness building the platform for Menya Musashi to always aim to create and serve the perfect bowl of ramen!
Located at 2nd Floor of the middle section between the old and new wing of One Utama, Menya Musashi was nicely parked at a well spaced lot. Boldly decorated in Japanese inspired décor with dark brown wood panels and furniture, Menya Musashi attracted my attention right away. Based on the Japanese warrior, the whole restaurant was plastered with samurai art by Dragon76, a Japanese artist. Emphasizing the theme was also a collection of enigma sword inspired lamp art. A long bar set against the open kitchen replicates the infamous Japanese dining scene in the Land of the Rising Sun!
Menya Musashi is helmed by Master Chef Daisuke Yamaguchi. The chef exuded a strong and charismatic character just like the theme and one would rather think that he has the face of an artist in entertainment industry rather than in the kitchen!
Upon arrival, I was immediately educated by the friendly and sweet wait staff that one has to order and pay upfront before entering the restaurant for a seat. The ordering system replicates Japanese dining system for an additional touch of authenticity. First point to note, read the menu from right to left.
Ordering works this way…
Step 1 Choose the Oil
· Shiro (Onion Flavored Oil/Original) – white ramen
· Kuro (Special Oil of Fried Shallot & Garlic) – black ramen
· Aka (Homemade Musashi Chili Oil) – red ramen
Step 2 Choose the Type of Ramen and Ingredients
· Musashi Ramen – 2 pieces of Chashu, Menima, Ajitama and Negi
· Ramen – 1 piece Chashu, Menima and Negi
· Ajitama Ramen – 1 piece Chashu, Ajitama, Menima and Negi
· Chashu Men – 3 pieces Chashu, Menima and Negi
Step 3 Choose Ramen Served in Broth or Tsukemen (Broth on the side)
· If you choose Tsukemen, you get an option to select your ramen noodles size from 1 serving to 2.5 serving at no extra charge.
· Ramen in broth comes only in one noodle size.
· Feeling fetish? Add on additional Chasu, Ajitama, Menima or Negi at extra charge.
At Menya Musashi, sidekicks come in the form of Gyoza, Chashu Gohan and Takana Gohan.
As there was only two of us plus a little one, we decided to try one ramen with broth, one Tsukemen with broth on the side and a sidekick of dumplings. When orders locked in and paid, we adjourned to a table as the ramen will be served by the wait staff.
Highly aromatic is the Homemade Musashi Chili Oil which really pumps up the flavor of the original ramen broth. Whole mixed peppercorns are also available for a heat of flavors!
Cold Green Tea was really good as the flavor of the green tea is refreshing and full in green tea flavors. I was told that only cold drinks are available since the selection of ramen is served hot.
First up, my Shiro Musashi Ramen. The pieces of pork Chashu was so big, it practically covered my noodles…a good sign for this happy ramen fan! I simply adored the pork Chasu at Menya Musashi because the tender meat is layered with lean and slightly fatty bits. If you are a meat lover, 3 pieces is a must!! Braised bamboo shoots was tinted in soy flavors and had a nice crunch factor in the ramen while the egg was less impressive since I have had better ones at another favorite ramen place of mine!
Loved the ramen texture! The noodles have a good density in texture, lending a good chewy bite. Fairly medium thick, both of us and the little one had a good kick at slurping and chewing on the borrow phrase of ‘al dente’ ramen. The sweet wait staff told me that the ramen is imported from Japan.
Noted as the ‘White Ramen’, the milky broth is quite oily and thick in meaty flavors. I could literally feel the sinful broth sticking to my lips after the first mouthful depicting that the broth was amped up with chicken feet collagen and other porky delights. The original savory broth also had a good distinctive onion flavor as stated in the menu. Flavor wise was on a saltier edge, since most ramen derives its Umami flavors from salt. I concurred that the broth is lovely when savored in small portions and warm!
The finale of my Ramen!
Here’s a 101 lesson on how to enjoy Tsukemen!
My next dish of Musashi Tsukemen arrived with its 2 serving size noodles! We were quickly advised that this ramen is not seasoned and thus, the side broth has a deeper level of salt content to balance up the ramen when it is dipped in it. Apparently, the side broth is not meant to be consumed like a broth because of its salt level.
My verdict? Moreish but I would still go for the first one with the ramen in the broth. I tend to enjoy sipping the precious broth after all the effort and ingredients it takes to sum up the authentic ramen experience. J
Gyoza was bursting with minced pork filling and seared well. Flavors are decent but I personally felt the texture was a bit too mushy and soft for my taste bud. The dumplings did not required the soy sauce on the side but be my guest if you need to have a dipping sauce!
Basically, one is reminded of the theme throughout the experience since the ramen bowls features the warriors imprinted on it!
Here is what you can expect to come in the further months at EAT PARADISE, Isetan, One Utama!
Master Chef Daisuke… a warrior chef in the ramen kitchen? You Bet!! J
Menya Musashi, a Tokyo style ramen, is definitely up there with the big ramen players! The concept is pretty cool as one can definitely relate the authentic and characteristic samurai warrior to the bold authentic ramen served up by Master Chef Daisuke san. As taste is a personal preference, I think Menya Musashi has great potentials with its highly signature chewy ramen and pork Chashu! Yes, prices are steep for a bowl of noodles here but that is what one pays to have good quality Umami ramen. A hint of thirst was detected after the meal. With that said, I would return again to try the other two types of black and red ramen… and that delectable Chashu of course!!
Total Damaged: RM 74.25 (inclusive of 15% service and Gov tax)
Isetan One Utama
Lot G102, F101 & S101
1Utama Shopping Centre
Bandar Utama City Centre
47800 Petaling Jaya
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