Menya Musashi 麺屋武蔵 (Hong Kong)

Menya Musashi is a Japanese ramen chain that hasn’t entered the Canadian landscape. Widely known in Tokyo, it started in Shinjuku and have won various awards since. While it’s a relatively new entrant compared to a host of other noodle shops in Japan, Menya Musashi was one of the first to offer customization options adapting their offering based on local tastes – using the same soup base in white (plain), red (spicy), and black (scallion oil) versions. Yes, it may seem like something that’s done widely now, but before the turn of the century, when it opened in 1996, stores had little choice.

To try the original base, you’ll want the shiro bukotsu ($78) that leaves the soup plain. It’ll allow you to truly taste the creamy tonkotsu broth, which combines pork bones, chicken, and bonito into a rich flavourful soup. Oh yes, I could taste the pork, but despite being thicker, Menya Mushahi’s broth is not oily and didn’t taste heavy.

Meanwhile, for a bit more flavour, the kuro bukotsu ramen ($78) adds a scallion, onion, and garlic oil into the broth. While I was a bit self-conscious that the black particles would be all over my teeth, it still didn’t stop me from finishing the fragrant soup.

Indeed, Menya’s soup base steals the show, but the other elements are good too: their noodles thick enough to have a soft chewiness and the half egg a lovely soft boil. I would prefer the pork to be thicker as it becomes lost in all the other toppings (green onions, spinach stems, and a sheet of nori).

Compared to the strong creamy ramen, the Musashi dumplings ($38) are delicate; the pork and cabbage filling lightly bound together so there’s an airy quality to the gyozas. They’re good, compared to the typical frozen variety.

With a host of Japanese ramen chains making their way into North America, it’s just a matter of time before Menya Mushashi joins the group. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try their signature tonkotsu broth without the lines.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
 Address: 30 Harbour Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!