We kicked off our Great New York Ramen Tour last week with a visit to the much talked about Mu Ramen! Mu Ramen started as a pop up experiment in 2013 that was such a hit they turned it into a permanent ramen destination. It's was not our first visit, nor will it be our last.
Here is Our rating out of 5:
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Mu is a bit off the beaten path in Long Island City (LIC) off of the 7 train and, with only a lantern hanging out front as a marker, it can be very easy to miss. First off, let me say, that Mu Ramen is a difficult place to go with 5 people, as many ramen places are. Mu Ramen does not take reservations and the table placement makes it immobile, but while you wait, the hostess offers you drinks while you sit on the side benches drooling watching the lucky seated patrons eat.
The Tonkotsu is such a classic bowl of ramen, and Mu really knows how to knock it out of the park. The main thing I love about their Tonkotsu is the broth. It is fantastic. It is creamy but not too salty. The only way it could be better is if it were hotter in temperature. I like my soup to be incredibly hot, so that is just a personal preference, but the soup was certainly not cold. The pork is so delicious and not fatty, yet falls a part in your mouth. The Tonkotsu comes with thin noodles that are so tasty and satisfying you forget how thin they are. Normally I am not a big fan of thin noodles, but I really enjoy these. In addition the nitamago (soft boiled egg) is exceptional and is perfectly cooked with the right amount of runniness that integrates itself into the broth. I am getting so hungry just thinking about it.
The Mu Ramen is perhaps the most original take on ramen that I've eaten and seen. The broth is a combination of oxtail and bone marrow which in itself is a unique combination that combined with Mu's practice of skimming the excess fat off all their broths makes a super light yet flavorful broth. It's served with wavy noodles and topped with an array of ingredients that take the creativity to a whole new level. The meat is not your typical chashu pork, instead they chose corned beef brisket, and other toppings include half sour pickles, cabbage, and the more typical menma, kikurage, scallions, and fish cake. Some of these ingredients may seam more appropriate for a Jewish deli than a bowl of ramen, but they work surprisingly well to create a unique and balanced bowl that, despite it's ingredients, can only be called ramen and damn good ramen at that!
We cannot recommend this place enough. What it lacks in convenience, it makes up for in taste and a really fantastic ramen!
Mu Ramen Address:
1209 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
is a New Yorker who, when she isn't day dreaming about ramen, works as a producer for film and TV. She is absolutely terrible at using chopsticks properly, but gets the job done. Her go to ramen order: Tonkotsu with thick noodles, extra corn and scallions.