Many of you who have followed Honorable Rat through the ups and downs of it's long history will know that I am a lover of spicy food. I love spicy food so much that I will suffer from depression, if I don't get my daily dose of it. I will crawl to the corner of my sewer and sulk. Just kneel down and pull my hair out. I'll be crying like a baby while pulling out this beautiful locks of black that God has bestowed upon me. Spicy food to me, is like marijuana to Snoop Dogg. I have to have it everyday. For this blog post, we will be traveling out of the vicinity of Tokyo Disney Resort to visit the Spicy Emperor Ninja, who has fixed me up so many times before, Nakamoto Moukotanmen.
If you ever walk around Tokyo and see the handsome chap from the picture above, give him a kiss for me. If you see a poster of him, much like the one above, forget everything that you are doing and enter the establishment. Nakamoto Moukotanmen can be found in many places in Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa. You can find Nakamoto Moukotanmen in Kami Itabashi, Nishi Ikebukuro, Higashi Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Meguro, Shinagawa, Okachimachi, Takadanobaba, Kichijoji, Machida, Omiya, Kawasaki, Kameido, Akitsu and Souka. If you ever find yourself on an excursion away from Tokyo Disney Resort and happen to be at one of those places mentioned, look out for the color red. Everything about this ramen store is red. Wanna make a guess as to why?
I often visit the one closest to my neck of the sewers in Omiya. Upon entering Nakamoto Moukotanmen, you will see a ticket machine. This is not uncommon in Japan. In most ramen shops in Japan, you don't have to communicate with no one to get your food. How do you order your food then? Well, allow me to enlighten you. This is the Honorable Rat way. First, you should look at the menu and decide on what you want.
Next, memorize the Japanese characters, insert your money into the slot, find the same exact characters on the machine and booyashaka! Ain't I a genius?! This kinda intuitive genius and street smarts cannot be taught in school, Ratketeer. It took me many many years in the hood of the sewers to foster this kinda street I.Q. If you find this process a little too difficult and complicated, it's okay. I understand that not every rat can do what I do. You could always ask for help from a spice ninja working the store. I understand that every rat is built different and have different talents. Maybe, this kinda hardcore street brilliance is just not your thing.
If you are a rat who loves super spicy food, you have to go with the Hokkyoku Ramen. This baby is not for the faint of heart. If you like eating till you sweat, like I do, this one's for you. For now, let's practice the ticket machine skill that I taught you before. Look at the Japanese characters in the picture below, the characters below the bowl of ramen. See how it coincides with the second button from the right, on the top row of the ticket machine? That's the button you wanna push. Push it, collect your ticket, take a seat and pass that ticket to a spice ninja. Now, all you need to do is wait. Not bad, Ratketeer. You are a fast learner. You just boosted your street cred by 125 points. I'm impressed.
Finally, you receive your bowl of Hokkyoku Ramen. You look at it and go, "Wow, I've never seen anything so red in my life?" You start to wonder how this is even possible? From what I've heard, they toss about 400 grams of dried Chinese chilies into the broth. That's a lot of chilies. Hokkyoku Ramen also contains bean sprouts, noodles and sliced pork. All of which come together in that super spicy, miso based soup that you see below. B-E-A-YUTIFUL!
As I said before, this is definitely not for the fainthearted. If you are not used to spicy food, I recommend trying something else. This is one of the spiciest things that I have ever tasted and I am from South-East Asia! You will feel your lips burn! With that being said, if you enjoy spicy food, this bowl of red molten lava is brilliant. If you enjoy that burning sensation on your lips, if you enjoy sweating while you eat, if the spiciness of chili peppers makes you feel alive, you will love this.
All in all, this is the spiciest ramen that I've encountered in Japan. The spiciness and sweetness of the dried Chinese chili peppers, along with the saltiness of the miso creates this addictive flavor. I never thought that something this spicy could be so flavorful. I thought that I was only gonna get heat from this, but I was wrong. Also, the noodles used at Nakamoto Moukotanmen are unique when it comes to dining in Japan. I've never seen these type of noodles being used in any other ramen store, in Japan before. These egg noodles bring back memories from my time in Singapore. It's the same kind of noodles that you can find in a lot of noodle dishes in South-East Asia. Dishes like Laksa and Fishball Mee come to mind. Add slices of pork, a handful of bean sprouts and you've got yourself one hell of a dish, no pun intended. Spicy, salty, sweet, flavorful, addictive, DELICIOUS!
PS: Once again, this bowl of ramen is spicy. If you are not good with spicy food, try something else on the menu. This will definitely set your mouth on fire. This is only for those trained in the art of devouring spicy food. You have been warned.
Honorable Rating: Lick That Plate, and I have. (5/5)