Kinkatsu (金蠍) serves deliciously modern tantanmen (ramen) in Kamiyacho. Kinkatsu translates to "Gold Scorpion" - a name right out of an 80s adventure movie!
They’ve got fantastic variety and you even get to customize spice levels.
Kinkatsu - Tantanmen with Soup
You have to start with their signature tantanmen. It’s the perfect balance of gold sesame goodness and tingly spiciness.
Choose your spice level, from 1-3. Level 3 is very manageable – you’ll just taste more of the sansho numbing pepper.
The fairly oily broth has a shrimp accent too – a more recent addition. Relatively thin noodles round out this dish.
The soupless tantanmen is a totally different experience. It might be my favorite – the El Dorado gold.
It’s more more nutty and creamy than the version with soup. Fatter noodles help you mop up the oil.
You again get to choose 1-3 for your spice level. I go over the menu options in the video below.
Shall we separate the broth from the soup? Why not? Note that you’ll have to wait a bit longer for them to prepare the thicker and fatter tsukemen (dipping ramen) noodles.
The broth is very similar to the first entry, the tantanmen. So you’re essentially just getting less broth with this one. The spice level is 2 by default.
Dry Style – Spice Level 5!
Last but not least is their spiciest dish. Despite the dramatic exclamation mark above, it’s really not that spicy.
This dry dish is inspired by the Chinese city of Chengdu, where tantanmen is originally from.
The noodles are quite thin and chewy. The overall feel is definitely more dry, with the sansho numbing pepper really taking over. Perhaps this is best consumed on a humid summer day.
There are only 8 counter seats at Kinkatsu’s Kamiyacho shop. Their R2-D2 sized ticket machine is cute too.
But they’ve recently opened up a shop in Tokyo Tower…and it has 37 seats!
Kinkatsu might have the best tantanmen in all of Minato City.