My friends are fully aware of my love affair with gyoza. It almost reaches the height of oysters on my food radar, so when I hear about a new gyoza bar in Mermaid, the antenna are waving. Full steam ahead!
Muso Ramen Noodle and Gyoza Bar serves two dishes: ramen and gyoza in a few varieties – specialty dishes done well. I accept that ramen has a cult following, but I’m a recent convert, still learning to appreciate the ‘soul and depth’ of the dish. Great gyoza? Now that’s another matter…
Of course, both of these dishes were originally Chinese, appropriated by Japanese within the past century. Originally known as ‘shina sobe’ (or China soba), ramen grew into a Japanese regional specialty with a culture all its own. Muso serves four variations, each one including a choice of miso or soy base, thick or thin noodles, as well as two types each of gyoza and rice bowl.
Muso is usually packed with Japanese diners and deservedly so. It’s spotlessly clean and you’ve got to love that everything is made from scratch by Chef Akira Takagi: noodles made in house using a machine especially imported from Japan, ‘Tokotsu’ pork stock cooked for hours to develop the rich flavour, even bamboo shoots made in the traditional way! There’s pretty laid back music filling the airwaves and the service is cheery – a nice change!
We dine under the mouth of ‘Muso’, a giant mural by illustrator Go Suga. As ‘Muso’ splatters his soup across the wall, we carefully slurp up a bowl of Muso Tonkotsu original with miso, the noodles perfectly cooked, the marrow broth glutinous in consistency and so tasty it must be good for us. Of course, we feed our true addiction with a plate of pan-fried gyoza as well, the dumplings tender and sweet, served with a spicy chilli oil. Is one plate of six gyoza ever enough?
There’s been fair debate about which restaurant serves the best ramen on the Gold Coast. We’ll leave that squabble to the experts, but it’s interesting to note that ‘Muso’ means ‘The Only One’, or ‘Without Equal’. What do you think?
Shop 2B/2484 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach Ph: 07 5679 3779
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