Coffee, fresh-baked bread, and a whole lot of curries and cakes.

Japan’s Mujirushi Ryohin, also known Mujirushi or just Muji, is a company that sells…well, pretty much everything. Furniture? Yep. Clothing? Sure. Appliances? That too, plus stationary, toiletries, and kitchenware.

But at Mujirushi’s flagship store in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, the recent renovation has put the spotlight on food.

Yep, Mujirushi sells food too. At smaller branches, their offerings mainly consist of pre-packaged snacks, seasonings, and stock mixes. The Ginza branch has all those, but also its own Muji restaurants and stands selling freshly made takeout items and eat-in meals, like at the in-store Muji Bakery, pictured above.

We stopped by on September 29, the first day the store was open to the public following the renovation. On this day, the bakery was offering four different kinds of focaccia sandwiches and two types of croissants, with all the baked goods being cooked in the attached kitchen.

▼ Stewed chicken and tomato, seafood cream stew, stewed chicken with garlic and spinach, and tiramisu focaccia sandwiches (800 yen [US$5.40] each)

▼ Whole-grain croissants and sweet red bean paste croissants (330 yen)

We decided to try the stewed chicken and tomato sandwich, paired with a cup of Muji Coffee (you can also order coffee by itself). Like Mujirushi’s furniture and fashions, the sandwich had a straightforward flavor with no unnecessary flourishes, keeping things simple but tasty. The coffee, meanwhile, had strong acidic notes, reminding us of Starbucks’ cold brew. The Ginza Muji also has a big coffee section where you can buy an assortment of different types to take home and brew yourself.

Mujirushi makes a huge variety of instant curry packets, as you might remember from that time we tried mixing 53 of them together to see what would happen. The Ginza branch has a gigantic wall of curry, making it almost look like some sort of instant curry museum.

Even though we’ve eaten plenty of these before, Muji is always adding new curries to the lineup. Our discovery this time was a premium 1,000-yen Grilled Beef Cheek Curry with Demi-Glace Sauce.

1,000 yen is more than double what most varieties of instant curry cost in Japan, but the classy aura drew us in and we picked up a pack, which is now in our taste-testing queue.

▼ If it tastes as good as it looks, we’re in for a treat.

It’s not all instant foods at Mujirushi Ginza, though, as it also has a whole slew of fresh produce.

Usually the most you’ll find in the way of fresh fruit or vegetables at a Mujirushi is maybe some apples or lemons. Here, though, were grapes, pears, and enough veggies to make several different types of salads.

For those more in the mood for dessert, the store has an amazingly extensive selection of Muji’s ultra-popular Baumkuchen cake slices.

▼ We’re quite fond of the banana Baumkuchen, ever since our 23-flavor comparison taste test.

If you want something less sweet and with more crunch, the snack section also has a variety of senbei rice crackers.

The Ginza frozen food corner is also much bigger than it usually is at other Muji locations.

▼ Mujirushi’s gimbap. Korean seaweed rolls with rice and other fillings, are big sellers these days.

There’s also a well-stocked Italian food section, with all sorts of pastas (both dry and fresh) and sauces to mix and match I your kitchen.

And if browsing through so many different foodstuffs has your stomach growling, and you want something more substantial than one of the bakery’s sandwiches? Head to the store’s Muji Diner.

During lunch, there are two multi-course set meals to choose from, a 2,200-yen one and a 2,800-yen one. We opted for the more expensive, and tacked on a desert for another 600 yen too.

We started with a kale and mushroom salad, with the kale nicely crisp and astringent. This was followed by a delicious cup of minestrone soup with the acidic and sweet notes of the tomato expertly balanced. A simple but pleasant pasta pomodoro came next, and then a pork spare rib with basil sauce, which was outstanding too. Finally, dessert was a nice mixed pasty and tiramisu plate with a cup of coffee.

At 3,400 yen, it definitely felt a little pricy, considering that part of what makes Mujirushi a popular brand is that its products are good quality and affordably priced. Still, everything was tasty, and considering that Ginza is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Tokyo, a 3,400-yen lunch in this part of town isn’t unthinkable.

Speaking of prices, there’s also a less expensive restaurant option in the building. The Mujirushi Bakery and Mujirushi Coffee stands are on the first floor, as are the other food sections, and the Muji Diner on basement level one. Floors 2 to 5 have fashion and houseware items, but the sixth floor is where the Muji Hotel is located, and its restaurant, called Wa, is open to non-hotel guests too, with Japanese-style hot pot lunches from 1,800 yen.

Having already had two meals since we arrived, we unfortunately didn’t have space in our stomach to try out Wa, so we’ll have to save that for another day, one after we try our pack of beef cheek demi-glace curry.

Store information
Mujirushi Ryohin (Ginza branch) / 無印良品(銀座店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 3-3-5
Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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