[Tokyo] The Michelin Guide inspectors in Tokyo seems to have a penchant for lighter clam or chicken based ramen, with Tsuta 蔦 (clams), Nakiryu (Dan Dan noodles cooked with oysters and chicken), and Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu (hamaguri clam) getting 1 Michelin star each.
Other Michelin Bib Gourmand ramen eateries awardees include Mugi to Olive, Ichifuku, Gottsu, Menson Rage, Yamaguchi, Shinohara, and Kagari.
Pronounced “moo-gee toh oh-ree-boo”, Mugi to Olive is a ramen specialty restaurant that’s one of the busiest in the Ginza area.
It was recognised by Michelin Guide Tokyo as one of the Bib Gourmand restaurants with best value for under 5,000 Yen.
You can reach it via a 5-minute walk from Higashi Ginza Station or Exit A4 of Ginza Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza, Marunouchi, or Hibiya lines. Find it behind GINZA SIX Shopping Complex.
This small café-style ramen place doesn’t accept reservation nor does it offer any outdoor seating. Be ready to queue like a local.
But don’t worry –turnover is quick so lines don’t last that long. You could be in line for about 10-15 minutes.
Menu is quite limited. You get Chicken Soba (880 Yen), Clam Ramen (980 Yen), Triple Soba with Chicken, Clam and Dried Small Sardines (980), and Maze Soba (840 Yen).
The only slight confusing thing is while there is an English menu board outside and inside the store, the vending machine which you need to order from is all in Japanese.
For tourists who come during busy hours, I would suggest you try to recognize some of the kanji characters such as 雞 (chicken), 蛤 (clams), and 特製 (special).
Locals often line up for the signature dish, Hamaguri Soba (1180 Yen, SGD14.80 or USD10.90), a ramen dish with soba noodles in a shoyu broth with a variety of Asian hard clams called Hamaguri.
You can taste the malty notes from the soy sauce, which is made from an old brewery in Kagawa.
If you are used to tonkotsu styles of soup broths, then this comes quite completely different. The soup was brimming with clam flavours (in a good way), with delicate-sweetness and depth all at the same time.
The moment when the soup slides down your throat, was very satisfying.
If you’re wondering if they use and serve olive oil at Mugi & Olive, well yes. And you can season your ramen with it – highly recommended.
The soba noodles (made from 20 types of wheat!) have a good texture with quite a firm bite, that doesn’t turn soggy too fast.
A couple of variations include the Tori Soba and Tariple Soba. Tori Soba presents a shoyu-chicken broth topped with sous-vide chicken, nori, fried nagaimo (mountain yam) sticks, and fried fishcake with a twist.
The broth is made extra flavourful with the chicken fat, mitsuba (wild Japanese parsley), and fried scallions.
The Tariple Soba features a trio of toppings, chicken, hamaguri, and niboshi (dried sardine).
On hot days, you’d probably want to try mazemen, a dry ramen with no broth. Mix the soba with the egg yolk from ajitsuke tamago, splash some olive oil, and then slurp.
Mugi to Olive むぎとオリーブ 銀座本店
6 Chome-12-12 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
6-12-12, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061
〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座6-12-12 銀座テラスビル1F
Tel: +81 3-3571 2123
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 9pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Mugi to Olive