Eating a meal and posing the question ‘If you could die any way, how would you do it?’ may not sound like the best lunch conversation but it was the question I posed Meg, todays lunch companion at Mugi to Olive located off the main road in ritzy Ginza.
‘I dunno… old?’ She answers with hesitation. ‘How about you?’
‘I would lower my head into this bowl of ramen and drown myself.’ I respond with little to no hesitation.
I’m not saying Mugi to Olive is the best ramen I’ve had. It’s just that like my donut obsession… well… it’s an obsession. Having said that however, Mugi to Olive is an innovative concept run by a french chef that seems to be unlike any ramen shop I’ve been too but at the same time being oddly familiar. The shopfront is no more than a dozen feet across but if you have trouble finding it it’s probably because a line of people are blocking it.
So, just look for that line.
Listed in the Michelin guide for 2015, this is it’s original location that opened in early 2014 and a second location has recently opened up in Manseibashi. Service is efficient with no chit chat and the interior is aluminium and industrial white wash in the kitchen with spattering of timber on the dining counter.
‘You get the Clam and I’ll get the Chicken…’ I propose as we look at the traditional ramen ticket machine with the idea to swap halfway through.
‘…then we’ll swap halfway through’ she says.
Man… she read my mind.
The ramen is the best I’ve had in Tokyo to date but not the best I’ve ever had. That honour belongs to the holy trinity of ramen shops in my Japanese hometown of Nagasaki. I’ll get into that another day.
All dishes come with the best and yolkiest boiled egg I’ve ever eaten as well as three extra pieces of freshly cooked Chasu. The Clam Ramen (¥1130) is a little salty but possess a unique flavour that packs a little bit of a punch but is still refined enough to be fresh. The clams sent it over the top as a tasty as fuck dish.
The Chicken Ramen (¥1030) is just as good, actually probably better. The broth is dark and rich with taste and holds own against the competition around Ginza enough for me to want to go back. I actually was a little disappointed they crammed so much stuff in the broth that it decreased available mass for the broth.
If either of us were more game and not comfortably sitting middle tier on the ramen scale we would have tempted fate and ordered The Three Soup Ramen which combines the Clam, the Chicken and strangely enough, dried sardines.
That’s it. No witty ending this time. Just if you want delicious ramen drown yourself in a bowl at Mugi to Olive.
Mugi to Olive is located at:
+81 3 3571 2123
© 2018 Carey Ciuro