★★★ 麺屋武蔵 (Musashi) - Tokyo
Musashi has been one of the top ranking ramen shops in Japan for quite some time. Located to the north of JR Shinjuku station, there are often long lines of people outside the shop. Expect at least waiting times of 20-30 minutes even during off peak hours.
The Soup - has very little oil in it and was a bit on the salty side. The stock is a blend of dried mackerel, bonito, and chicken stock, though with the saltiness I couldn't really taste all the ingredients. The flavor resembled the soup commonly used for soba noodles. The soup also had a hint of yuzu that gives it a distinct Japanese flair.
The Noodles - were very delicious. Thicker than your average ramen noodles, the texture was very firm and a joy to eat.
The Toppings - were the standard cha-shu pork, menma bamboo, green onions and dried seaweed. All were good but not outstanding that it takes any attention away from the noodles.
Overall - Musashi is a straight forward ramen that doesn't rely on any gimmicks. No special sauce, no exotic toppings, no excess fat to try to add flavor. Simply an above average soup and great noodles that matches up perfectly. Worth another visit... if there weren't the long lines.