I was mourning the loss of the Ramen Shop in the basement of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Picadilly. They used to serve the most authentic and best ramen in town. I’m so glad to say that there is a new contender, Muga.
This little shop opened without the fanfare like those new ramen places in Soho and has not had much social media hype. They are in the heart of the West End, just off Haymarket and is a great place for a really tasty pre theatre meal. The shop is quite minimalist, long and narrow with bar seating along one wall or around the kitchen area. There is a separate dining room in the basement.
They have a simple menu, a short list of starters, a few choices of ramen with different choices of soup and toppings. We started with some Takoyaki, Octopus balls. These are really popular Japanese street food snacks. Here they do it well, with a nice topping of umami rich bonito flakes and kewpie mayonnaise.
Besides the food menu, they have a good selection of sakes too. You can see the selection of bottles lined up as your come into the restaurant.
I can’t resist tempura when it’s on a menu, we had a plate of mix tempura with a few prawns and some vegetables, lightly battered and well seasoned.
On the regular ramen menu are 4 meaty soup bases, Shio, Shoyu, Tonkotsu and Miso and one vegetarian. You get a choice of thick or thin noodles.
Besides the regular ramen menu, they offer the Chef’s recommendations, 3 options of “Max” bowls with added toppings. My friend ordered the Charsu Max Tonkotsu Ramen which is a meaty Tonkotsu ramen with Aburi Charsu, garlic chips, leek, mixed vegetables and an ajitama soft boiled egg.
The soup has a nice deep meaty flavour from being cooked for a long while, without being overly porky or too strong. At Muga, they serve real man sized portions, perfect if you are cold and hungry. I like that it has a lot of vegetables too as it gives makes this a bit more of a balanced meal.
I ordered their Miso Ramen with spicy vegetables and Kara-age. This came with a lot of vegetables, a very generous portion of Kara-age fried chicken and the ajitama soft boiled egg too.
The ramen is springy and had a good bite. Loved the miso soup which was rich and had a slight kick from the spicy vegetables. Again a really hearty serving but just so comforting. I personally prefer this soup base to the Tonkotsu but everyone has their own preference.
For dessert, we shared a Dorayaki Japanese Pancake filled with red bean paste and served with green tea ice cream. Don’t miss their Yuzu ice cream, a subtle yuzu enhanced ice cream, very refreshing.
Muga is owned and run by Japanese people and while we were there, several Japanese salary men came and sat at the bar and slurped their ramen. This is a sure sign that what they are serving here is up to scratch. Am so thrilled that there is a new favourite place that serves authentic miso ramen and so accessible. If you want a bowl of Ramen without the hype or queues, head on to Muga.
5 Panton Street
London SW1Y 4DL
EatCookExplore was guest of Muga.