Ramen Champion at Iluma bid sayonara to Menya Iroha, Aoyama and, more disappointingly, Taishoken, the place that first introduced us to tsukemen. In their place are 3 new contenders - Buta God, with a slightly sweet tonkotsu broth and shabu-style sliced pork rather than chashu, and the two that we tried - Muso, and Menban Yamagishi Kazuo.
Menban Yamagishi Kazuo offers the lone tsukemen offering amongst the 6 current stalls. Unfortunately it's not as good as its predecessor Taishoken. Yes, they're very generous with the chunks of pork in their dipping sauce, and the sauce itself is duly complex with lots of bonito flavour coming through. But somehow it just lacks oomph. I'd rather go to Menya Musashi for tsukemen.
Muso serves the Jiro-style ramen found in Tokyo - characterised by a rich broth, lots of garlic and mounds of vegetables like beansprouts and cabbage. Previously Bario was the only stall here to serve it. So is Muso a worthy competitor?
Unfortunately not. To me, it doesn't even come close to Bario. The broth is simply salty, and doesn't have the depth nor the subtle sweetness of Bario's broth. I happen to like Bario's thicker noodles because I think they go well with the strong flavour of the garlicky broth. And both the beansprouts and the pork at Muso aren't particularly memorable either. I'm definitely staying true to Bario.
For a laugh, I thought I'd share the above photo. This is what happens when A's friend's pretty wife moseys over to Bario, flashes them a smile and asks for "more beansprouts". Heh.
Meh, my two favourite stalls are gone. And the new ones aren't really doing it for me. Unless I'm going with a big group that wants variety, I'd rather go to Menya Musahi for my tsukemen-style ramen.