Spicy ramen doesn’t get better than Kikanbo (鬼金棒). Their devilishly hot miso ramen is the textbook definition of “umakara” (savory and spicy). It’s life-changing.
Tokyo’s Premier Spicy Ramen: Ingredients
I remember the first time I ate at Kikanbo. I was blown away. Their spicy ramen is simply one-of-a-kind. For the seasoning, they use Shinshu miso that’s been fermented in wooden barrels. They then mix this with selected cheese, peanut paste, fish sauce and various spices.
Now on to the soup. It’s an elaborate blend of pork and chicken bones and several types of vegetables. The finishing touch is six kinds of red peppers, various herbs and spices. Furthermore, they add Sichuan flower (numbing) pepper heated at a low temperature.
Hellishy Hot but Delicious
All these ingredients make for insanely delicious ramen. It’s not just spicy – every bite is a volcanic explosion of flavors. You feel it from head to toe.
There’s a nutty miso flavor, a tingling sensation from the Sichuan peppers in your cheeks, the umami meatiness of the broth, and thick noodles to slurp it all up. This might sound like a love letter and that’s because it is.
Choose 1-5 for both spice (kara) and numbing pepper levels. Choosing 5 for both will bring you to Oni (Devil) Mashi Level. Proceed with caution.
An Interior to Match
Kikanbo maintains a fun theme that resembles a Japanese version of hell. There’s dramatic drum music, scary masks, and most importantly, hanging kikanbo. These are metal clubs carried by mythological Japanese ogres.
All of this adds to the experience.
It’s very easy to throw in spices and call it spicy ramen. Kikanbo on the other hand has perfected this genre of ramen. The spiciness in their ramen doesn’t take away from the flavor. In fact, it elevates it.
Kikanbo has two branches in Tokyo - Kanda and Ikebukuro.
Kikanbo Kanda Shop:
Kikanbo Ikebukuro Shop: