Readers who saw our story about the chocolate ramen we tried last month were probably able to tell that we were quite impressed with the unusual noodle creation. So when we heard that the very same ramen shop Menya Musashi had come out with yet another singular ramen dish, you can bet our interest was piqued. This time, the ramen involved fruit — yes, we were ready to make another visit to their shop in Shinjuku to try their … strawberry ramen!

But do berries and ramen mix well? We were about to find out!

 ▼Here we are, back again at Menya Musashi! If they keep coming up with these interesting ramen ideas, we’re sure to become regular customers.


They apparently only serve ten bowls of the strawberry ramen each day, and since we didn’t want them to sell out, we got to the shop shortly after noon on a Saturday.

▼ Even so, the shop was almost full when we got there.


▼ First, we had to buy a ticket for the ramen from the vending machine. The strawberry ramen  (ichigo tsukemen) was priced at 1,000 yen (US$8.26), and we saw that it was a tsukemen type ramen, where the noodles and soup are served separately and you dip the noodles in the soup.


▼ When we were seated, we had a lovely green placemat set up in front of us, which is apparently something they do only for the strawberry ramen. Even the glass in which our water was served was pink, which we thought was a cute touch!


▼ Ahh, and here comes our strawberry tsukemen!


▼ The dish of noodles was presented quite beautifully, the red strawberries and green salad leaves adding some nice colors to the dish.


▼ Yes, those are strawberries on the noodles, all right. To create this dish, a specific type of strawberry called “Heart and Berry”, grown in Tochigi Prefecture, was used.


▼ And just look at the bright pink color of the soup! The soup is made from konbu seaweed, dried tomatoes, dried prosciutto and blended strawberries, and each bowl apparently contains about 100g (3.5 oz) of strawberries.


▼ When we tasted the soup on its own, we found it was not a sweet strawberry juice but a refreshing stock with just a hint of the sour flavor of berries. We could also taste the blended spices on top quite strongly, particularly what we’re fairly certain was oregano.


▼ The noodles were actually more like pasta to better compliment the strawberry soup.


▼The “Heart and Berry” strawberry cut into a lovely heart shape:


▼ The chicken had been boiled and mixed with mint oil.


▼ There were also pieces of prosciutto, which added a nice bit of salty flavor.


▼ And of course, we’ve got to have our greens, right?


▼ Okay, now it was time to put noodle to soup. Yes, we were going to have a “pink” feast!


▼ Naturally, the chicken was dipped pink too!


And how did we find the noodles with the strawberry soup? The smooth, pasta-like noodles went very well with the light, tangy soup. We did, however, think the flavor of the spices topping the soup was quite strong and perhaps did not exactly blend together with the rest of the soup. It was overall a refreshing dish, though, and definitely a change from the high grease content we’ve come to expect from ramen.

And to our delight, this ramen came with a bonus at the end. They gave us a sweetened milk sauce to add to the strawberry soup to create a kind of “dessert soup” to finish the meal!

▼ We added the sweet milk sauce to what was left of our strawberry soup …


▼ … and we had a nice, strawberry-milk dessert soup! Once we put the milk sauce in, the flavor of the spices in the strawberry soup didn’t seem as strong, and it made for a pleasant, sweet drink.


As unconventional as it was, we have to say we quite enjoyed the unexpected strawberry-milk soup. We never expected to end a ramen meal with something that felt like dessert! Now, if we’re completely honest, we think we have to say that we preferred the chocolate ramen in terms of flavor, but that’s not to say the strawberry tsukemen wasn’t enjoyable. We particularly liked the texture of the pasta-like noodles, which we felt added refinement to the dish. Also, since the noodles and soup were both served cold, it may have tasted even better during warmer weather.

The strawberry ramen is available at Menya Musashi’s Shinjuku shop until March 15, and the 10 bowls served daily are likely to sell out quite quickly, so if you do plan on trying the berry-infused noodles, you’ll want to get there early in the day.

Well, as always, we appreciate the creative culinary efforts of the people at Menya Musashi, and we hope they continue surprising us with interesting noodles. Hopefully, we’ll have a reason to come back before long!

Shop Details
Menya Musashi Shinjuku Shop
Address: 7-2-6 Nishishinjuku, K1 Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, Tokyo
(4 mins from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit)
Business Hours: Open every day  11:00~22:30
Tel: +81 3-3363-4634

Reference: Entabe (Japanese)
Photos © RocketNews24