It’s time for a mid week lunch adventure! This week we headed to Shibuya to dine at one of Tokyo’s spiciest ramen joints.

Moko Tanmen Nakamoto started as a Mongolian restaurant when it first opened in 1968. Mr. Nakamoto created a menu unlike other shops in Japan at the time. He was inspired by Chinese flavours as well as his love of spicy dishes. The restaurant became so beloved that at one point he closed his shop due to poor health, only to re-open as a ramen chain in response to the popular demand of his best customers.

Nakamoto claims that they sell some of the spiciest ramen in Tokyo – so naturally we had to head over to the nearest branch and see what all the fuss was about.

One of the hottest dishes that Nakamoto offers is called the North Pole Ramen. The idea behind the name is that you would want to eat something spicy if you were somewhere cold. What is the coldest place out there? The North Pole. So naturally – this must be the spiciest ramen out there. It’s just math.

The architects of our destruction

The first thing we noticed about the dish was the bright red colour. Some things just LOOK spicy, and this was no exception.  The soup was almost neon, and it had a thick consistency from all the chili flakes.  The toppings were otherwise fairly standard for your regular old bowl of ramen. Namely – bean sprouts and some thinly sliced pork.

Now on to the taste. It was definitely as spicy as it looked. We had to be very careful while eating not to inhale any chili flakes, otherwise we were coughing and crying and grasping for the water. The thick noodles really picked up the chili flakes so there was really no escaping our fiery fate.

Tiny flakes of death

The large portion sizes made it extra difficult to finish this crimson noodle-monster, but we pulled through and (mostly) emptied our bowls. All of us except for Akito that is. He’s a wimp.  Feeling like spice-masters we headed back into the 37 degree Tokyo summer day feeling a little sweaty and VERY full. Perhaps it wasn’t the most ideal summer lunch – but it was definitely memorable!

Pray for us

ramen | Food