Eat at Aun (阿吽) for tasty tantanmen in Asakusa. Their creamy white sesame tantanmen and peppery black sesame tantanmen are among Tokyo’s best.
At Aun, Customize your Tantanmen
Tantanmen is a spicy style of ramen derived from Chinese dan dan noodles. At Aun, choose white or black sesame / with or without soup. From here, decide on the below:
Spice Level (1-6)
Numbing Pepper (Shibire) Level (1-6)
White Sesame Tantanmen with Soup
If you’re not sure where to start, the white sesame tantanmen with soup will leave you more than satisfied. The soup is a red and white river gushing with flavor.
There’s balance between the creamy white sesame and the bright red raiyu chili oil. This chili oil is complex, with 9+ ingredients.
Relatively thin, straight noodles nicely soak up that river. Getting back to the spice and sansho (numbing pepper) levels, know that Level 4 or higher is quite intense.
Black Sesame Tantanmen without Soup
The black sesame tantanmen is wonderful in a different way. The black sesame base is more peppery and smoky. This one without soup is most popular. The noodles are fittingly thicker and flatter.
More on the ingredients – bear with me, as it gets a little geeky. Their tianmian (sweet bean) sauce includes Hatcho miso (dark miso from Nagoya). Their doubanjiang (broad bean chili paste) comes directly from Pidu in Chengdu, China.
In other words, Aun is not messing around. This is as good as high-quality tantanmen gets.
Aun does seasonal specials too, like the miso tantanmen with soup below. The red miso is a glorious addition to the white sesame foundation.
Just like in their main tantanmen, the toppings include mizuna, dried baby shrimp, and heaps of minced pork. In the miso tantanmen, the noodles are thicker too.
Below is a maze soba (soupless) beef tantanmen, complete with slices of beef. The sauce brims with juicy beef flavors. Outside of the regular toppings, the raw red onions and a slice of lemon add zing against the rich base.
Below is another maze soba, but this time with corned beef as a topping. This is the first time I've ever seen corned beef in a ramen. In this one, the beef flavors are more subdued, with the chili and Sichuan peppercorns taking center stage.
Aun has three locations in Tokyo – Yushima (their main branch), Asaksusa, and one near Tokyo station.
Yushima has 17 counter seats and Asakusa, 8 counter seats. At either shop, you’re in for a real treat.
They serve the finest tantanmen in Asakusa and Yushima and of the finest in Tokyo.