Mugen Ramen Bar
11 Bligh Place
+61 3 9620 3646
My first post in 2014 starts with some marvellous news. Fakebooo, bless his dear heart, has now a partner. He shall be known as Fakebooobooo (or FBB) in my blog because he is Fakebooo’s boo. Aww…
The four of us ventured to Mugen Ramen sometime before Christmas. We had made a booking and were seated underground. It was dark and somewhat stoney, lightened by the beautiful art pieces on the wall and a large screen, flashing a black and white samurai film.
While Japanese alcoholic drinks are available, it was slightly unusual that Japanese green tea (or o-cha) wasn’t. FBB and I had a delightfully refreshing yuzu liquer while Fakebooo unwound with a Japanese beer. The Coedo Beniaka is a sweet potato lager and is quite fruity and enjoyable.
While we waited for our mains to come, we nibbled on deep fried chicken wings. Coated with a glaze of honey and sesame, these wings had an intoxicating fragrance, moreishly juicy and absolutely delicious.
Mugen specializes in ramen. The noodles are handmade on site and a comic instructs on the eating of their signature dish, tsukemen. Our waitress also re-iterated the steps and advised not to drink the dipping broth that accompanies it.
FBB and I each had a serve of tsukemen. The noodles are wider than that of ramen, and resemble “mee pok”. The texture is perfect with each noodle full of bounce, bite and Q. The flavour of bonito in the dipping broth is strong and not overwhelming. The charshu is served cold and just a tad firm. I like charshu to fall apart and melt away. We added a slow-cooked egg for an additional $2, it was well-cooked with a gentle seasoning of soy. As soon as we had slurped up the last noodle, hot konbu stock was poured into the dipping broth, uplifting and transforming it into a delightful soup.
The Angmoh and Fakebooo felt soupy that evening and had wafu ramen, with my man getting a “rarge” serve. Once again, the noodles were perfectly chewy. The soup was fresh and the 2 boys had no complaints.
Wafu ramen (large) – soy sauce and dashi broth cooked over 48 hours, house made thin noodles served with slow cooked pork (chashu), bamboo shoots and seaweed $17
Mugen’s ramen is the best I’ve come across in Melbourne. The texture of the noodles are simply exquisite. The menu is expanding to include more entrees (or “Japas”), and I do hope a couple of desserts might be thrown into the mix. Mugen is conveniently located across from Robot Sushi Bar, so knock back a couple of drinks after work then hop over for a satisfying noodle-slurping experience.