MUGA, London

11.26.2015

The day is getting shorter, the weather is getting colder. Days like these are when you want to be slurping a bowl of hot sizzling ramen. For me, ramen is not a seasonality food. I like it through out the year whether it's in the summer or winter, it is a comfy food.

I am no expert in ramen but I do know what I like in ramen and am able to spot a good bowl of it. MUGA, just off Piccadilly in the heart of theatres land is a Japanese ramen bar. It's particularly pleasing seeing that there is no queue. No queue for a ramen, that is questionable.... Well, who would want to queue up in the cold weather?

Toyo Bijin Junmai Ginjo Sake

I started to learn about sake (Japanese rice wine) this year, before that I always thought sake was a strong spirit drink. I was totally wrong and now becoming a sake enthusiast ever since my first sake tasting. Reading the sake list, I still get seriously confused like being in a unknown territory. We went for a half bottle of Toyo Bijin Junmai Ginjo sake. Aroma is rice, koji and fruity citrus with flavour of sweet rice and alcohol. Finish is sweet and lightly boozy. Nice but not great.

Agedashi Tofu

Takoyaki

Sometime I feel sceptical that somethings that are supposed to be street food snacks appearing on a restaurant menu. For instance, I find it weird whenever seeing takoyaki on a menu. You are supposed to be standing on the street munching it and not seated in a restaurant with cutlery. Decent takoyaki, ball shaped batter usually filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and Spring onion; then brushed with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. I definitely had octopus, not too sure whatelse was in my takoyaki and very generous in the dried bonito flakes. The agedashi tofu was tasty, lightly dusted silken tofu deep fried and served in a dashi with grated daikon and bonito flakes. A simple classic Japanese dish that is light in flavour.

Seafood Delight Ramen in Shio Based Broth

Charshu Max Ramen in Tonkotsu Based Broth

The ramen menu at MUGA is different compared to other ramen joints. Here, it involves pick the soup base, spicing it up (going large essentially) or adding additional toppings. There is always a lesson that I never learn and neither does Mr. T. Greed is never good and it is damn to be wasting food. 

We both spiced up our ramen, meaning the toppings of our ramen was beaming to the edge. The waiter recommended one of us to try the shio based broth as MUGA is the only ramen joint in London that does it. Shio means salt and this is traditionally the way ramen soup is flavoured. The salt doesn't affect the appearance of the broth and therefore shio soup tends to be light in colour and the flavour can be a tad saltier. It is usually made with chicken broth then seasoned with salt, in this case I'm not actually too sure but it is not as salty as you would expect. Spiced up with a seafood delight toppings, a mixture of seafood and vegetables. I can never seem to opt away from tonkotsu. The broth is of great standard, rich in taste but light in heart (still not comparable to my favourite Kanada-ya). It was a mistake to spice it up with the chashu max topping, so much chashu and vegetables. Good flavour chashu and not too lean, but the vegetables was a bit oily and we both prefered our noodles being hard (or al dente).

Green Tea Ice Cream

Dorayaki with Sesame Ice Cream

Not that we wanted to stuff our face, how can you resist desserts when it is offered to you? Mr. T had the green tea ice cream and I had the dorayaki (two pancakes sandwiched with azuki bean paste) with sesame ice cream. Decent green tea ice cream, given any day I would prefer sipping matcha than having green tea/matcha flavour dessert. Dorayaki is my childhood snack, made famous by the anime/manga Doraemon. To me dorayaki is a snack (traditionally Japanese sweet confectionary), not a dessert so even with a sesame ice cream it does not work as a dessert. The sesame ice cream was good, I think it can be more nuttier the flavour. We could barely move by this point, just overly too much food that we had.

I am not sure how I bypassed MUGA beforehand, it is pretty unknown to the foodie world. Is it more or less authentic to the other ramen joints? I have no idea. If offers a good solid ramen selection and the noodles are made onsite. They have a selection of sake with decent price to accompany the food. Price is very friendly too with all ramen being under a tenner, unless you spice it up to a super size bowl. What I also like too, there's no queue. That plays a huge factor for me, whether I want to try a place or not. This is a place that I will sure come by if the queue is too long at my all time favourite ramen joint (kanada-ya, no one can beat you yet).

Score: 3.5/5
Price: £10-15/head

I was invited to review.

Muga Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

http://bloom-dining-London.com

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