Menya Musashi, The Star Vista

The famed Tokyo-based ramen import Menya Musashi has sprouted yet another outlet, this time at The Star Vista

The low-frills Japanese izakaya-esque eatery, with its utilitarian style, stark fluorescent lighting, poor ventilation, and squeezy booth seats is one of those places to dine-and-go (not dine-and-dash). Evidently, lingering isn't encouraged. It didn't help that the air-conditioning was leaky, and we walked out with our hair and clothes reeking of the kitchen.

But, the long line of folks are here for the food, and Menya Musashi's style of ramen is rich, but subtle and layered, which sets it apart from the robust oomph of some of the other popular ramen joints.

The pick of the litter, their Black Cha Shu Ramen ($14.90), which stock boasts rounded charred accents of roasted garlic and fermented onions, is unforgettably flavourful and unique. The pork belly was meltingly tender, boiled egg well done, while black fungus added a lovely crunch. A most awesomesauce ramen, and one that guarantees a return visit. If I had a grouse, it'd be the bamboo shoots, as these had a jarringly raw quality that didn't quite gel with the rest of the components.

The Red Cha Shu Ramen ($14.90) with chilli oil turned out deceptively mild. This had a muted spiced element that married well with the mellow creaminess of the pork bone broth. A more than decent bowl of ramen but it'd likely fade into the sea of mediocrity if stacked up against other spicy ramen heavyweights like Ippudo's spicy miso tonkotsu, or Come-in-Hokkaido's spicy miso.

Menya Musashi
1 Vista Exchange Green
The Star Vista B1-08
Tel: 6694 2515
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm
Website: www.menyamusashi.com.sg

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