Homemade Ramen Muginae (Homemade Ramen 麦苗) is one of Tokyo's premier ramen shops. Their acclaimed ramen is MSG and chemical seasoning free too.
Homemade Ramen Muginae - Top of Tokyo
Muginae has a plethora of awards. They've been on Tabelog's Tokyo Top 100 Ramen List since 2017. On Tabelog, Japan's version of Yelp, they're also one of the top ranked restaurants in all of Japan.
They're even listed on Michelin's Tokyo Bib Gourmand Guide.
At most Tokyo ramen restaurants, you simply line up and wait. At Muginae, it's a little different. You'll need to show up in person to reserve a time for later in the day. They tart taking these reservations at 9 am.
For example, let's say you show up at 10 am. They might ask you to come back at 11:30 am or 1:15 pm, when are open slots (see sheet below).
You simply write down your name for that particular time slot. In addition, one person can reserve for a group (you don't all need to visit in the morning). They're located near Omori station (Shinagawa City, South Tokyo).
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's dive into the ramen!
Warm Up Shio Ramen
I say "warm up" because this smaller, minimalist bowl is something you can order as an appetizer before the main bowl. The shio (salt) base is in between salty and soft.
The warm chicken flavors in the soup playfully mingle with subtle fish flavors from the katsuobushi (bonito fish flakes) on top. The crisp red raw onions and negi (spring onions) provide sharp bursts of taste.
The noodles are delicate; a proper match to the delicate soup.
Main Course Shoyu Ramen
But the undisputed star is the shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. There's an impeccable level of execution in it. They use multiple types of shoyu to carry the chicken-leaning soup (made up of chickens from Yamagata). The soup also uses beef, pork and seafood.
All together, the shoyu seasoning is on the lighter side and it gives the bowl a hint of sourness. The chicken flavors are most dominant in the soup. They're only heightened by the chicken oil glistening on top of it.
The toppings are superb, from the dumplings to the soft chicken and pork chashu slices.
The noodles in this one are flatter. But they're similarly delicate.
In summary, Homemade Ramen Muginae puts a tremendous amount of heart and soul into the ramen they serve. There's a certain freshness to everything too, as they're not using MSG or any chemical seasoning.
The style of ramen, shoyu ramen with a strong emphasis on chicken, is extremely popular in Tokyo. Some may even say the style is overdone.
Regardless, Muginae undoubtedly does one of the best versions of this style. Credit needs to given where credit is due.