For me, it gets everything almost perfect! No wonder, it has won the 2015 Certificate of Excellence in the restaurant division by the world's largest travel site Trip Advisor. Mutekiya has been certified as No 1 in Toshima Ward, Tokyo. It has clarified that Mutekiya in Shinjuku, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other areas have nothing to do with it. If you want to taste the original Mutekiya Ramen, you can ONLY visit the one in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. But don't worry about that much! Although Mutekiya is an extremely popular ramen restaurant, unlike many ramen restaurants, its working hours are relatively long and it usually has its holidays only at the end of the year and in the beginning of the year throughout the year.
First, let me state some personal main points about how to fully enjoy Mutekiya Ramen restaurant even for the first-time visit.
① If possible, please avoid visiting Mutekiya Ramen restaurant during the weekend, during the peak lunch hours and peak dinner hours. You may need to wait for more than 80 minutes. During the weekdays, you may visit it at about 11am, 4pm, after 1am. Then, you may escape from the long long queue.
② If you cannot read the Japanese menu, you can ask for the English menu, the Chinese menu or the Korean menu.
③ You can order the big size (大盛り oomori) without being charged extra money. Just tell the staff when you order.
④ If you are afraid that your clothes will get dirty, please feel free to ask for the paper apron (free of charge).
⑤ Before you order, please visit its official website to get the Online Coupon for an extra Free Egg. You may print out the coupon in advance. Showing the screen of the online coupon through mobile phone is also accepted.
⑥ If you want, please mix the Jasmine essence/extract with the clear water to enjoy a glass of Jasmine tea and use the tool to make your own raw garlic paste.
10:30 am ~ 4:00 am
Get out of the East Exit (東口) of Ikebukuro Station(池袋駅). Turn right and walk along Seibu and Starbucks.
Then, you will see Mutekiya.
While you are lining up and waiting to enter into the restaurant, you may get a closer look at the big wok and take pictures. haha~~~
While you are lining up and waiting, the staff usually comes to you and give you the menu to have a look first. If you cannot read the Japanese menu, please feel free to ask for the English menu. In addition, they have Chinese and Korean menus as well. After some minutes, the staff will come back to you and ask what you want to order. You usually order before you enter the restaurant except the rare case that you do not need to line up and wait. haha. Here, please be noted that for the majority, you can order the normal size or the big size (大盛り oomori) at the same price. If you want to taste the don rice or dumplings (gyoza), you can choose your own set as well.
In rare cases, even after you finish the big size, you still want to have some additional noodles or you have ordered the normal size and want to have some additional noodles, you may consult the staff and ask for the kaedama 替え玉. You need to pay extra money for it.
When you are called to enter the restaurant and get your seat, you may get a little bit confused about how to use or serve yourself with the things in front of you. Next, I will try to tell you how to use them. By the way, if you are worried about that your clothes will get dirty, please feel free to ask for the paper apron.
On the right side, you can see pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, spicy oil. You can just add as much as you like to create your own favorite flavor. Personally, since the soup has already got a very delicious flavor, I seldom add these condiments. However I do eat with the raw garlic and spicy takana pickles with mustard, and drink with jasmine tea. haha.
Next, I will try to share more information about the things on the left side.