Mutekiya Ramen: My Favourite Ramen in Tokyo
Ok let me start by saying this, Mutekiya Ramen is not necessarily THE best Ramen i had in Tokyo, but there is a special bond between this restaurant and i; A First Love kinda story filled with lots of Aburi and Umami.
The first time I visited Tokyo (a few years ago already), I was staying in a cheap hostel in the lovely neighbourhood of Ikebukuro (Student travelling on a Budget). After my 12-hours flight, i landed in Tokyo and went straight to the hostel to drop my luggage and to start visiting the city. I remember walking randomly in the neighbourhood of Ikebukuro, lost in contemplation, admiring the never-ending lights and busy streets, super excited (and hungry). I was looking for a place to eat and I saw many Japanese people queuing in front of Mutekiya Ramen. I immediately thought, damn let’s follow the locals! A few minutes later I was in front of my first bowl of “Real” Ramen in Tokyo; A really rich Tonkotsu Ramen with the best Chashu pork I ever had. Needless to say that I was transported to another dimension. It was as if you have been driving an old fiat 500 your whole life and suddenly, you end up in the front seat of a Ferrari Enzo. Incomparable Sensation, It was Love at first sight. This new taste was going to be forever the taste of my first visit to Tokyo.
It is like a sentimental bond between Mutekiya Ramen and I. Every time I go to Tokyo I make sure that it is the first Ramen joint i visit. It is my Madeleine de Proust. The atmosphere and Ramen at Mutekiya always bring me back to this nostalgic feeling of my first time in Tokyo. The euphory, the cultural choc, the umami, the endless nights,…
Mutekiya Ramen 麺創房無敵家 is located just 5 minutes walking distance from the JR East Ikebukuro exit, near the big department store Seibu Ikebukuro.
Mutekiya Ramen was created in 1994 and operated under the name Kanto Ramen until 1998 when it changed for Mutekiya Ramen. The restaurant located at Ikebukuro is the original restaurant. They tried to open a franchise in Shinjuku but it did not work. Even though the restaurant in Shinjuku still use the name Mutekiya, there is no connection between Mutekiya Ramen Ikebukuro and Shinjuku (do not expect the same quality when visiting the branch in Shinjuku!).
After many years of visiting Mutekiya Ramen, I can tell that the place is getting more and more renowned and crowded. In fact, on their website they state that Mutekiya won the ““No.1 place in Toshima Ward, Tokyo” in the restaurant department for (editor’s note: Tripadvisor) Certificate of Excellence in 2017, for 3 years in a row”. Nowadays if you try to eat at Mutekiya Ramen you always have to queue for at least 20 minutes outside before being able to get in. Despite their success, the quality of their Ramen remained the same over the years.
Following their renowned, more and more foreigners are now visiting Mutekiya. Thankfully the staff is super foreigner friendly and they even translated their menu in different language such as English, Thai, French and Korean. How convenient is that?
The Chashumen Review: Heaven on earth
Mutekiya Ramen has a wide offering of Ramen as you can see on their Menu. Almost every time I go there I stick to my beloved Chashumen and some extras on the side. I have tried several of their Ramen and, in all honesty, they were all amazing. However as i have explained above, The Chashumen at Mutekiya is my beloved Madelaine de Proust. This sentimental bond is not the only reason why I go there so often. The quality of there Ramen is amazing with a rating above 86 on the renowned ramen database supleks (you know you can expect something promising!).
Let’s now dig into this Heaven of Aburi and Umami and discuss the Chashumen in more details.
A homemade bowl…
First of all what you need to know is that Muyekia Ramen put a strong emphasis on the principle of HomeMade for their Ramen, from the broth to the noodles and the Chashu.
The broth is prepared from scratch with 100% natural ingredients (no concentrated nor flavour enhancer) with pork bones cooked for at least sixteen hours. The broth is prepared 3 times a day to cover for the daily demand. Concerning the noodles, they are made with high-quality wheat from the City of Ebisu in Hokkaido.
The pork is carefully selected from local producers. It is then rigorously prepared and cooked to develop this amazing tenderness and Umami. It is the pride of the house and it gives their Ramen this particular edge that i love.
The toppings they use are all premium ingredients such as the Kujo Negi sent every day directly from Kyoto. On the counter, they also have a large selection of items (as you can see below), sesame seeds, spicy pickles or some famous Ninniku (Garlic) from Aomori.
…made of Pure Happiness:
I am confident to say that Mutekiya’s Chashumen will satisfy any Chashu addict. The rich broth is like a warm kiss in Winter, it is so satisfying and comforting. The broth is full of Aburi but it is nothing revolting, it is the perfect balance of creaminess and fat. (In comparison, their super-rich Hontorotokumarumen can be too much for certain people.)
The thick cuts of Chashu are so generous, tender and tasty that I could eat them endlessly. It is not so common to find such thick slices of Pork in a Tonkotsu. Mutekiya made the bet to offer something different and it works.
The noodles compliment perfectly the Ramen, the taste and Koshiness are wonderful. With their thickness, they impregnate the flavour of the broth perfectly. By eating such Noodles you understand their importance in a Ramen and more especially thick noodles with a good Tonkatsu.
When it comes to the toppings. I can only recommend you to order some extras,the marinated egg is wonderful, creamy and full of Umami. The menma are also a must, crunchy and tasty, simply delicious.
In addition to this wonderful Ramen, Mutekiya greets you with a super friendly staff and a nice atmosphere. I couldn’t recommend you this place enough. In fact, I shouldn’t, I don’t want you to stretch the waiting line any further, especially if I am visiting the place hungry after a 12 hours flight!
Take note: There is a recent addition to the Menu at Mutekiya that I am really excited about. Due to a high demand of their customer, probably ordering as I do, meaning a Chashumen with lots of Extra Chashu on the side; They decided to create an XXL version of the Chashumen called 1 Pound Dokamori Chashumen. It is basically a Chashumen with almost 500g of Chashu on top of it, the marinated pork paradise!
If you decide to order this little monster be sure to be starving as the original Chashumen is already quite filling. One thing for sure, it is on my To Do List the next time I visit Tokyo!
Mutekiya Ramen is one of the best Tonkotsu Ramen you could experience in Tokyo. If you are around Ikebukuro, you must try their amazing Chashumen. An Authentic experience in the kingdom of Chashu, Aburi and Umami
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10:30am – 04:00am