Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Useful Guidelines and Tips for Famous Japanese Ramen restaurant: Mutekiya 無敵家~ How to fully enjoy it even for the first-time visit?

In recent years, the famous Japanese Ramen restaurant: Mutekiya 無敵家, which is located in Ikebukuro (池袋), Tokyo (東京), Japan, has been becoming very popular even for foreign tourists. Personally, even though it is not ranked very high, for example, as Best 50 for local Japanese, it is definitely one of my favorite ramen restaurants (I suppose my own Top 5 ^^).  I like its soup, meat, egg, condiments, raw garlic, spicy takana pickles with mustard and even the jasmine tea. Now, the only thing that I do not like is that I need to queue up and wait for a very long time ><.

For me, it gets everything almost perfect! No wonder, it has won the 2015 Certificate of Excellence in the restaurant division by the world's largest travel site Trip Advisor. Mutekiya has been certified as No 1 in Toshima Ward, Tokyo. It has clarified that Mutekiya in Shinjuku, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other areas have nothing to do with it. If you want to taste the original Mutekiya Ramen, you can ONLY visit the one in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. But don't worry about that much! Although Mutekiya is an extremely popular ramen restaurant, unlike many ramen restaurants, its working hours are relatively long and it usually has its holidays only at the end of the year and in the beginning of the year throughout the year.

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First, let me state some personal main points about how to fully enjoy Mutekiya Ramen restaurant even for the first-time visit.

① If possible, please avoid visiting Mutekiya Ramen restaurant during the weekend, during the peak lunch hours and peak dinner hours. You may need to wait for more than 80 minutes. During the weekdays, you may visit it at about 11am,  4pm,  after 1am.  Then, you may escape from the long long queue.

② If you cannot read the Japanese menu, you can ask for the English menu, the Chinese menu or the Korean menu.

③ You can order the big size (大盛り oomori) without being charged extra money. Just tell the staff when you order.

④ If you are afraid that your clothes will get dirty, please feel free to ask for the paper apron (free of charge).

⑤ Before you order, please visit its official website to get the Online Coupon for an extra Free Egg. You may print out the coupon in advance. Showing the screen of the online coupon through mobile phone is also accepted.

⑥ If you want, please mix the Jasmine essence/extract with the clear water to enjoy a glass of Jasmine tea and use the tool to make your own raw garlic paste.

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Its front entrance looks like this. It has a big wok to show you the ingredients in the ramen bowl.

■Address:
東京都豊島区南池袋1-17-1
■Telephone Number:
03-3982-7656
■Working hours:
10:30 am ~ 4:00 am






Get out of the East Exit (東口) of Ikebukuro Station(池袋駅). Turn right and walk along Seibu and Starbucks.
Then, you will see Mutekiya.

While you are lining up and waiting to enter into the restaurant, you may get a closer look at the big wok and take pictures. haha~~~

While you are lining up and waiting, the staff usually comes to you and give you the menu to have a look first. If you cannot read the Japanese menu, please feel free to ask for the English menu. In addition, they have Chinese and Korean menus as well.  After some minutes, the staff will come back to you and ask what you want to order. You usually order before you enter the restaurant except the rare case that you do not need to line up and wait. haha. Here, please be noted that for the majority, you can order the normal size or the big size (大盛り oomori) at the same price. If you want to taste the don rice or dumplings (gyoza), you can choose your own set as well.

In rare cases, even after you finish the big size, you still want to have some additional noodles or you have ordered the normal size and want to have some additional noodles, you may consult the staff and ask for the kaedama 替え玉. You need to pay extra money for it.

When you are called to enter the restaurant and get your seat, you may get a little bit confused about how to use or serve yourself with the things in front of you. Next, I will try to tell you how to use them. By the way, if you are worried about that your clothes will get dirty, please feel free to ask for the paper apron.

On the right side, you can see pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, spicy oil. You can just add as much as you like to create your own favorite flavor. Personally, since the soup has already got a very delicious flavor, I seldom add these condiments. However I do eat with the raw garlic and spicy takana pickles with mustard, and drink with jasmine tea. haha.

Next, I will try to share more information about the things on the left side.


① Soy sauce for ramen
When you think your noodles do not taste salty enough, usually use when you       order the kaedama 替え玉.

② Jasmine essence/extract
When you reach your seat, you find a glass of clear water on the table. If you want to make a glass of Jasmine tea, you just need to add the Jasmine essence/extract into the clear water. Personally, I like the jasmine tea very much, especially after I eat such a thickly-tasted bowl of ramen noodles. They are a good match!!! Highly recommended~~~

③ Dried fish flakes/powder
If you want to add a fish flavor as well, you can add this kind of ingredients into your soup. Personally, I do not add this. Although it is also delicious, it may sometimes degrade the original taste of the soup since the fish flavor is quite strong (just my personal preference). You may add to create another flavor at any time you want.

④ Takana pickles with mustard
If you do not like spicy food, please try only a small amount for the first time. Later on, you can adjust the amount according to your personal preference. 
Personally, I like this very much! 

⑤ Raw Garlic
When you see the whole raw garlic, you may get confused first. However, you do have a tool to make your garlic paste. Next to the whole raw garlic, you see an iron tool, you need to put the whole raw garlic into the hole and then squeeze a bit hard. When the paste comes out, please use the small spade to take the paste. 

I usually do not mix with the soup. I try to add little by little and put onto the meat or the egg. I eat directly with the noodles, keeping the original taste of the soup. If you like, you may mix with the soup to taste the soup in another flavor as well.

Although almost everything in Mutekiya Ramen restaurant tastes quite delicious in general, personally speaking, for Mutekiya Ramen restaurant, I prefer Soup Ramen to Dipping Noodles (Tsukemen). Mutekiya Ramen restaurant offers a variety of menus to answer different needs. 

Instead of the meat etc., I care more about the soup. haha~~~
My BEST 3 are as follows (just personally):
① HONMARUMEN (本丸麺)
② KANIMISOMEN (カニみそ麺)
③ HONTOROTOKUMARUMEN (本トロ特丸麺)

For what kind of ramen you can order and what kind of caution you need to pay attention, you may check the following online English menu in advance:

Here, I am going to reveal a secret special offer which many tourists may not know. Actually, if you get access to the official Mutekiya website:

On the left side of the page, you can see オンラインクーポン. Please click it.


The following screen is shown. When you order, please show this screen to the staff.  You and your companions will get an extra free egg for everybody. Showing the screen of the online coupon by mobile phone is also accepted. You may print out the coupon in advance. 
Although the picture shows half, you can get ONE. haha~~~

In conclusion, I think Mutekiya Ramen restaurant is very delicious and no wonder it will be getting much and much popular. Compared to many other ramen restaurants, it has a variety of original elements to make it very unique. Besides that, it welcomes foreign tourists warmly as it offers menus in different foreign languages and you can see that its laver/seaweed has welcoming greetings in foreign languages. It is interesting, isn't it? haha~~~



I suppose that Mutekiya Ramen restaurant will be getting more and more popular even for foreign tourists. Therefore, I hope that the information I have shared here will be useful for those people who visit it even for the first time. Hope that you like this kind of sharing. Thanks for reading! See you~~~^^

If you would like to read this piece of information in Simplified Chinese, please refer to:

If you would like to read this piece of information in Traditional Chinese, please refer to: