Menya Musashi Kodou @ Ion Orchard

Aug 21, 13 Menya Musashi Kodou @ Ion Orchard

Judging by the number of joints that has popped up in the recent years, it seems Ramen has seem to found a sweet spot in Singapore. As much as most people might say that it is essentially Japanese instant noodles, the essence is actually in the tender cha shu and the tasteful broth.

I was out with a friend around Ion Orchard, and having seen and heard about the insane queues at the Menya Musashi Raffles City branch, and the apparent lack of queue at the Ion Orchard branch at 7pm on a weekday evening, there’s very little consideration before we found ourselves in the Tiger’s cave.

The Menya Musashi branch at Ion Orchard is called the Kodou, or also known as the Tiger’s Cave(Den). I guess Singaporeans typically dig atmosphere and will pay good money for nice theming. In a way, it’s actually a good thing, as it does create the effect of a different restaurant, as compared to say Ajisen, which has the same concept and theming across all their outlets.

On a side note, Ion is actually a very nice mall to go to on weekdays. Per entry car park, quite a number of food choices, and very little crowds in my opinion.

Menya Musashi basically features a creamier broth than most other ramen joints that I have tried. Almost gravy like I would say, yet not over the top.

MenyaMusashiMenu

Essentially the menu is what you see in a lot of ramen joints. You have a the typical white base, which is just the pork bone broth, the black base, where they would add soy sauce, and red which is the spicy version. Usually there’s also the miso base, which would be your more seafood/seaweed type. Interestingly, there was also a tomato and curry base.

Since it’s the first visit, it only makes sense to try the standard stuff first. The tomato and curry base would have to wait.

MenyamusashiMisoChaShu

I had the┬áMiso Cha Shu Ramen 4pcs($17.90) which came with 4 pcs of cha shu instead of the typical 2. As expected, the soup base was really thick and tasteful. The Cha Shu was pretty decent. A little soft in my opinion, but that’s just nit picking. The egg was perfectly cooked. Nice and runny. Overall, a pretty nicely done bowl of ramen.

IMG-20130821-WA0001

We also had the Red Tsukemen($14.90), which is quite an interesting idea. They would serve the noodles and condiments on a flat bowl, and a small bowl of broth in another. You actually can choose up to 5x the serving amount for the noodle at no extra cost, and you can add additional bowls of soup base too, but that one would cost a bit of money. I suppose it is an interesting way to sample.

The basic idea is that you would take some of the noodles, dip it in the thick gravy like broth, then put the whole lot in your mouth. While I cannot figure how that’s different from just eating the noodles together with the broth in a single bowl, I suppose it does prevent the noodles from being soggy, and allows you to sample different broth if you so desire.

My friend did find the broth a little too thick though. This is probably because of the broth being for dipping, and not for drinking. But still good to go overall.

Interestingly, Menya Musashi is a franchise brought in by Japan Food Holdings, listed on the Singapore Exchange. For those who didn’t know, they also run many other brands such as Botejyu, Fruit Paradise, Japanese Gourmet Town and Ajisen. It’s really quite a smart concept actually. To have different marketing strategy and price points to target different market segments. It’s probably a good idea, since the restaurants do serve a rather distinct product, even though it’s all Japanese cuisine.

 

Atmosphere : Very nice! Small and cosy, Might be a bit noisy in the peak periods I imagine, given how close the tables were.

Food quality : Definitely of good quality. Noodles were decent, no complaints. Broth was as thick and savoury as expected, and the Cha Shu was a nice size.

Price levels : Not pricey. Typical mid level dining of $15-25 per pax.

Overall : Worth trying!

Menya Musashi Kodou
ION ORCHARD
2 Orchard Turn, #B3-25, Singapore 238801
Tel: 6509 9394

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