Tokyo ramen chain Menya Musashi’s chocolate ramen is back for Valentine’s, this time with roast duck and truffles for a savory and sweet noodle experience!

The chocolate ramen offered by Menya Musashi this time of year has become something of a seasonal specialty that we’ve come to look forward to here at SoraNews24. This is actually the tenth year the ramen chain is offering a Valentine’s chocolate menu in collaboration with confection maker Lotte, and we weren’t about to miss out on this year’s edition, which we heard involves truffles!

▼ Since chocolate and truffles were a combination we just had to try, we made our way to Menya Musashi’s Hamamatsucho branch.

The entrance showcased the silhouette of the master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, after whom the chain is named.

We bought a prepaid ticket for the “Tsuke Ghana” chocolate ramen from the vending machine at the entrance. “Tsuke” refers to tsukemen,  meaning noodles that you dip into a sauce to eat, and the “Ghana” is a reference to Lotte’s Ghana Milk Chocolate that is used in the ramen.

While we waited for our Tsuke Ghana to be prepared, we saw some delectable-looking bowls of ramen being cooked in the open kitchen area in the middle of the restaurant.

And here’s the chocolate ramen we were so anxious to try. Just look at that chocolate heart decoration on the soup!

The noodles and toppings looked highly appetizing too. Apparently, the noodles are not only lightly mixed with truffle oil, they’re also topped with shaved truffles for plenty of aroma and flavor!

The slices of duck, stewed in orange juice, Chinese-style char siu barbecue sauce and Japanese pepper, add some meaty substance to the ramen.

The toppings also include an interesting “egg ball“, made with egg yolk extracted from a frozen egg that has been marinated in konbu seaweed stock and then covered with cacao nibs, dried olives and salted seaweed bits.

Some fennel and French parsley are also added to give the ramen some green and freshness.

There are even some miniature-sized tomatoes included. Just adorable!

And here’s the dipping soup, which is also a very special creation. The main part of the soup is made from beef consommé broth and Ghana Milk Chocolate, along with vegetables such as carrots, onions and fennel. Topping off the soup is a layer of foamed milk infused with seaweed stock, decorated with a heart-shaped sprinkling of powdered frozen Ghana Milk Chocolate.

Finally, we dipped the noodles in the soup and had a taste. The flavor of chocolate was surprisingly evident.

We also tried the duck dipped in the chocolate soup. Considering that chocolate sauce and duck are a tried and established combination in western cuisine, it’s not surprising that we found the result to be pleasantly mellow.

And here’s the egg ball which we also had with the chocolate soup. The frozen egg yolk inside made for a very interesting texture although the flavor was quite salty.

Once you finish your noodles, you can add stock made with dried porcini …

… and savor the soup on its own! A very enjoyable way to finish your ramen indeed.

Our overall impression of the ramen was that you could clearly taste the sweet milk chocolate in the soup, but because of the beef consommé broth, there was not just the sweetness but also a fatty richness that we could taste at the same time. In fact, it seemed like the two different flavors almost confused our sense of taste, but in a pleasant and satisfying way.

We also have to say the flavor of the duck and the shaved truffles and truffle oil combined unbelievably well, and biting into the pieces of duck was absolutely heavenly, as good as something you might have at a nice French restaurant.

The Tsuke Ghana is available for 1,100 yen (US$10) at only the Hamamatusucho and Shinjuku branches until February 14. For chocolate fans, it should be an interesting dish worth trying, but only 20 bowls are served at each location per day, so if this sounds like your cup of tea (or ramen, in this case), you may want to get to the restaurant early in the day.

Here’s hoping the SoraNews24 reporters get to see another sweet and unique chocolate ramen again next year!

Restaurant information
Menya Musashi (Hamamatsucho branch) / 麺屋武蔵(浜松町店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsucho 1-29-6 Hamamatsucho Central Building 1F
東京都港区浜松町1-29-6 浜松町セントラルビル 1F
Open 11:15 a.m.-10:15 p.m. (closes 8pm every third Saturday of even-number months)

Related: Menya Musashi location list
Photos ©SoraNews24