mugu ramen November 06

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LONDON EATERIES – MUGA, SERIOUSLY AUTHENTIC RAMEN

MUGA – Seriously authentic Ramen

If you’re a total Ramen addict like I am, the only advise that I can give you is get to this place – quickly- now! A pretty bold opening statement I know, but for an authentic Ramen experience where you will leave stuffed and satisfied on then this is the place for you!

MUGA is tucked neatly into a spot between Piccadilly and The Mall, and can only be described as a is a Japanese gem. As we entered we were greeted with the traditional Japanese welcome of “Irasshaimase” – which means come in – making us immediately feel like we were in for an genuine Japanese experience. My accomplice and I took a seat at the counter where we could watch the chefs work, feverishly making their in house noodles, broths and elaborate garnishes. The restaurant was already filled with a number of patrons hungrily slurping up the silky noodles and wholesome broths.

Muga-1The restaurant is set out as I imagine a traditional ramen house would look in Tokyo, pretty minimal, lots of counter space and an open kitchen. We were greeted by the manager, a really friendly fellow who showed us to our seats at the counter and presented us with the menu for the evening. It was suggested we start with cocktails – some of which had a Japanese influence which really made the menu stand out.  My partner went for a Mary the Geisha which was a Japanese twist on a Bloody Mary, using amongst other things Ginshiro Rise Spirits and Wasabi. I had a Gin and Tea, which employed green tea as the “tea” element. The Mary was really good – more refreshing than a standard Bloody Mary, and the Gin and Tea was very, very easy to drink.

We ordered a few starters to get us in the mood for ramen – and largely because we’re greedy. We opted for the Tofu salad with sesame dressing which was simply silky and gorgeous, and some padron peppers which were thankfully not too greasy and well cooked and sprinkled with cracked salt. They have a very decent amount of Japanese starters on there from Gyoka to Agadashi Tofu (a personal favourite of mine) to more exotic things like Takoyaki or octopus balls as we know them.

As I said its very authentic – definitely no California rolls here. So for the ramen, the part of the meal that myself and my partner had been having dreams about since we decided to check this place out. Muga prides itself on the authenticity of its offering and offers all types of Ramen here, that being; shio ‘salt based broth’, shoyu ‘soya sauce based broth ’, tonkotsu (pork bone based broth) or miso (well… miso based broth!). both my partner and I had only ever really eaten the tonkotsu ramen so although he decided to stick to that, whilst I branched out and had the miso broth. He opted for the char sui and I for the seafood. Muga also offer extra toppings which Is almost like ‘pimping up your ramen’ so we both went for those – as I said both being ambassadors of greed.

Muga-2

We hungrily waited watching the chef cook the home made noodles and pour the broths in and then add a MOUNTAIN of toppings onto each bowl.. and I mean something that would be the culinary example of two mount Fuji’s! Mine was a seafood Fuji and my partners a Char Sui Fuji – and both I have to say were so very, very tasty. The miso broth was rich with a deep flavour, holding silky noodles, and loads of them! The seafood toppings included octopus balls, and very, very lightly battered squid. The char sui topping was the star though with generous helpings of blow torched pork nestled with tempura vegetables in the incredibly tasty tonkotsu broth. Soooo completely satisfying, warming and wholly delightful.

We were too full for a dessert – we simply couldn’t finish our mains! In essesnce for a generous, authentic delicious Japanese experience – this is the place for you. Something to warm you through the cold months and take you well into summer. The staff are truly as delightful as the food, if anything the atmosphere was a little lacking and we would have like to see more Japanese themed cocktails, but hey who needs the cocktails when you can drink that hearty broth. If you’ve never had ramen before and you want the true experience without the gimmicks then this is the place for you.

We will be back.

For more information on MUGA, please visit

https://twitter.com/ramenmuga

Atmosphere – 3
Drinks – 3
Service – 4
Food – 4
Venue – 4

Emma, Heart London Magazine

Emma Woo

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