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A sleek and minimalist ramen bar just behind Leicester Square.
Please note Muga is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors.
These days it seems like there’s a ramen bar on almost every central London street corner, so we weren’t surprised to stumble across another one just round the back of Leicester Square. Steaming bowls of noodles in broth have been a big hitter on the London dining scene over the last couple of years, and for good reason. Lashings of bone broth topped with roast pork and a soft-boiled egg, it's classic comfort food, and hangover heaven.
Noodle places often go down one of two routes - seriously hip or seriously simple and Muga errs towards the latter, which is no bad thing. The interior is long, light and cleanly designed, staff are stylish but friendly and the menu holds a decent range of classic and less common dishes. The ramen comes in five varieties – with shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso or tonkotsu (long-simmered pork bone) broth, and a choice of thick or thin noodles.
An attractive bowl of tonkotsu ramen was deep, earthy and complex in flavour with plenty of crunchy slices of kikurage fungus, shreds of red pickled ginger and a good drizzle of black garlic oil. The thin noodles we chose had a decent bounce too.
The characteristically lighter shio ramen was also sound and came with a flavoursome shrimp oil, but each was topped with just one slice of (tender and tasty) rolled charshu pork, which seemed a little stingy.
The lunch offers are more generous though with ramen and crisp deep-fried gyoza, or egg-fried rice for £8.90.
Despite the quibbles, it's a good spot for a little respite from the throngs on central London. We'll be back to try the tempura lotus root stuffed with minced chicken and the ice cream-filled sticky rice cakes (mochi).
Taste our homemade noodles!
5 Panton Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon–2.30pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 6pm-10pm Mon-Thur; 6pm-Midnight Fri-Sat.|
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