You won’t find ramen like this anywhere else.

If you like ramen, chances are high that you also like char siu pork, or “chashu” as it’s simply known in Japan. For many, these slices of braised pork belly are an essential ingredient for adding extra flavour to a bowl of noodles, but at one branch of Menya Musashi in Tokyo, they’ve taken things to extreme levels, giving you much more than just a slice of pork in what they’re calling the MEGA Roast Pork Tsukemen.

▼ Menya Musashi was founded in 1996 and currently has 14 stores in Tokyo, but the one with the MEGA pork is the Bukotsu Soden branch in Ueno.

Our reporter P.K. Sanjun has visited this branch several times, and it was known for its “black”, “white,” and “red” broths. In recent times, however, the store has been focussing on its pork, roasting it slowly using steam convection to create something that’s more akin to roast pork than chashu.

▼ One of its most popular dishes is its Roast Pork Tsukemen (dipping ramen).

The pork here has a unique flavour compared to other ramen joints, and diners have been raving about how well it pairs with tsukemen, which is a specialty of the chain. Another thing diners have been raving about is the MEGA Roast Pork Tsukemen, which contains a chunk of meat so mega it deserves capitalisation.

Where other ramen chains aim for balance in their meals, Menya Musashi has thrown that idea out the window, giving people what they really want, with 800 grams (28 ounces) of roast pork piled onto the noodles.

This was a meal P.K. absolutely had to try, in spite of the relatively high price tag of 3,850 yen (US$25.83). After ordering it, he was surprised when the waiter immediately returned with a chopping board, a fork and a steak knife, making him feel like he was in a steakhouse rather than a noodle joint.

A few minutes later, his noodles appeared…well they would’ve appeared but they were largely hidden underneath this huge chunk of meat.

▼ Behold, the MEGA Roast Pork Tsukemen!

This was crazy to look at, let alone eat, and the word “huge” didn’t even come close to conveying its size, which was totally disproportionate to the noodles.

▼ The noodles were more like a side dish, similar to the amount of shredded cabbage you get alongside a fried cutlet when eating tonkatsu.

Resisting the urge to pick the meat up with his hands and bite chunks off it like a heathen, P.K. lifted the pork onto the chopping plate and sliced into it. It was amazingly tender and easy to slice, and he loved the fact that he could cut it to his desired thickness.

Pouring a little sauce over the meat, he found it was supple, moist and incredibly delicious.

Of course, the meat is designed to be eaten with the noodles, and he was able to dip both the noodles and the pork into the dipping sauce for mouthfuls of intense, delicious flavour.

▼ The sauce seemed slightly richer than usual to stand up to the heavy presence of the meat, and the balance here was perfect.

It was a filling meal, but thankfully staff were happy to pack the leftover meat into a takeout container, which meant nothing went to waste.

P.K. is happy to say that when he returned home and enjoyed the pork with a bowl of rice for dinner, the meat was still tender and delicious.

He’s eaten a lot of meat-heavy ramen dishes in his time, but P.K. says none have ever been as mountainous as the Mega Roast Pork Tsukemen. So if you like meaty ramen, he highly recommends giving this a try, as it’s another triumph from the chain that’s previously given us noodles with fried mochi ice cream!

Restaurant information
Menya Musashi Bukotsu Soden / 麵屋武蔵 武骨相傳
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno 6-11-15 
Open 11:00 a.m.-10:15 p.m.

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