Mu Ramen

Restaurants, Japanese Long Island City
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczMu Ramen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczTotally Chicken ramen at Mu Ramen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczU & I at Mu Ramen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczSpicy miso ramen at Mu Ramen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczMu ramen at Mu Ramen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczTebasaki gyoza at Mu Ramen

Come for the ramen, stay for the foie-stuffed chicken wings.

Getting to Mu Ramen, the noodle insta-hit from husband-and-wife team Joshua and Heidy Smookler, is a trek worthy of Tolkien, one of upturned umbrellas, wrong turns and two-hour waits.

Eating at Mu Ramen, however, is considerably easier. The warmly lit, brick-walled room is a scant 22 seats, but it’s an upgrade from the couple’s pop-up days, when they doled steaming bowls out of a nearby bagel shop.

The best seats in the house are at the bar overlooking the open kitchen, where the chefs operate with sushi-bar intimacy, cracking jokes while the missus pulls golden-crisp chicken from the fryer and the mister shakes pots of just-boiled noodles as easily as a tumbler-happy bartender.

Those strands are delicate but with an al dente spring, with a different variety showcased in each bowl: The poultry-packed Totally Chicken ($15) is all thin, kinky tangles, while the tonkotsu, bobbing here with hog jowl over the typical pork belly, comes webbed with skinny, straight noodles.

Most notable, though, is the flagship bowl ($18). Built on a broth of oxtail and bone marrow, the house ramen gets some extra-meaty oomph from melting cubes of brisket, which, paired with shredded cabbage and half-sour pickles, toes Jewish deli-novelty without succumbing to kitsch. It would be the city’s best new ramen if its temperature were cranked up to a soul-warming scorch. Instead, it loses steam halfway down the bowl.

The chefs’ careful hands extend to non-noodle plates like the U&I ($16). “Get everything in one go,” a sous chef instructs, and he’s right: A chopstick of warm rice spackled with butter-soft uni, briny, bursting salmon roe and luscious spicy maguro is a supremely composed bite.

Then there’s the tebasaki gyoza ($14), a deboned chicken wing crammed dumpling-style with creamy foie gras, soft brioche and quince compote. It’s a salty-sweet, creamy-crispy food anomaly that alone is worth the trip.

By: Christina Izzo


Venue name: Mu Ramen
Address: 12-09 Jackson Ave
Cross street: between 47th Rd and 48th Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Wed 5:30–10pm; Thu–Sat 5:30–11:30pm
Transport: Subway: G to 21st St, 7 to Vernon Blvd–Jackson Ave
Price: Average ramen: $15. Cash only.
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Mu Ramen is my favorite!  Jowl is very good add on with ramen!! Also their service is very good.