Kikanbou Ramen

This post is part of a collection on Tokyo Restaurants. Click here for a map to this location.

鬼金棒ラーメン / Kikanbou Ramen specializes in kara-shibi ramen. The main shop is actually two shops next door to each other in Kanda, and there's also a branch in Ikebukuro as well as two in Taiwan.

Ramen with extra baby corn.

"Kara" means spicy and "shibi" means tingly, and you can specify how much of each you'd like in your ramen on a scale from 1-5. The tingliness comes from sanshou / Japanese pepper, which floats like black powder in the oily soup. It's a classic flavor combination but an unusual look for ramen.

Besides their regular food menu, they also have their own oni-style Kintarou-ame (a kind of hard candy) and they sell their kara-shibi powder for you to take home.

Over Golden Week I went and gave it a shot, sticking with the standard kara-shibi levels. The soup was rich and satisfying, and I actually didn't think it was that hot - next time I'll probably keep the shibi normal and ask for it spicier. I'm used to having noodles that are hotter and shibi-er on occasion, but the balance of the default serving at Kikanbou performs the remarkable feat of drawing out the flavor of the soup rather than being merely intense. Definitely worth another visit. Ψ