How do you feel about eating bugs? Would you eat cricket ramen in Tokyo? Before you click away, know that bug-focused restaurant Antcicada is not messing around!
Eating Bugs is the Future?
Restaurant Antcicada is run by Shinohara-san, a man that literally loves bugs. Furthermore, he’s devoted his life to the idea of humans eating more of them. This of course includes crickets.
Antcicada opened mid 2020. Before this, Shinohara-san was modestly peddling his cricket ramen at popups and as takeaway ramen kits.
But at this permanent restaurant space in Tokyo’s Akihabara area, the sky is now the limit. Note that Antcicada is only open from Friday to Sunday. In addition, the cricket ramen is only sold on Sundays.
Before flat out dismissing Antcicada, do bear in mind that humans have been eating insects for years and years. In fact, in many countries around the world they still eat insects.
They’re also often nutritious and packed with protein. So perhaps this cricket ramen represents a more sustainable food future.
Tokyo Cricket Ramen
Keeping this in mind, Antcicada’s cricket ramen is no joke. 100 crickets go into the soup for each bowl. Personally, I love how the earthy soup tastes. You can tell they’ve spent a lot of time and care perfecting the recipe.
Where I expected something bitter and grainy, I got something goldenly delicious. The soy sauce seasoning provides a salty and sweet undertone to what is a cricket swarm of soup. For someone that’s eaten crickets before, I honestly couldn’t tell there crickets in the soup.
The soy sauce seasoning and noodles even have crickets in them! But the most poignant reminder of what you’re actually eating has to be the deep-fried, crispy cricket topping. Raised in the restaurant, this cricket is perfectly placed in the middle of the bowl.
A Tokushima Twist
This might be for a limited time, but they’re also selling a Tokushima style ramen. They use even more crickets in the soup here! This cricket army and a saltlier seasoning produces a more concentrated, stronger flavor.
But it’s not overpowering. You won’t feel like you’re caught up in locust storm or anything.
Just like in the signature ramen, there’s a humming gentleness to the soup. But the toppings are different in this Tokushima bowl. We’ve got bigger pieces of negi (spring onions), bean sprouts, and stir-fried pork ribs. These are all the markings of Tokushima style ramen.
Just like in Tokushima, they even give you a bowl of white rice on the side and a raw egg to add to the ramen.
Cricket Beer and Things
Cricket beer is now a thing, thanks to Shinohara-san and the team. I couldn’t taste the crickets in the beer myself. But I know they’re in there!
I have yet to sample Antcicada’s bug-centered dinner courses. But I’m sure they’ll be just as delightful as the ramen.
Regardless of how you feel about bugs, you have to give cricket credit where it’s due. In a small way, Antcicada is changing the world…one bowl of cricket ramen at a time.
Shop Hours: Fri: 7 pm ~ pm // Sat: 12 pm ~ 3 pm // 7 pm ~ 10 pm // Sun: 11 am ~ 9 pm
Map Link (Closest stations: Asakusabashi, Akihabara)
Video Review Below