In 2018 I went to Kinkanbo Ramen and tried their fiery devil ramen. This is the true story of what happened to me.
Kikanbo's Devil Ramen
Fellow appreciators of Japanese culture, let me weave you a tale of woe that this gaijin (me) experienced the first time I made my pilgrimage to Nippon.
The year was 2018, a year that would go down in history for me. A couple of friends and I were staying in Tokyo and doing all the tourist things. One of my close friends suggested one day that we go and try Kikanbo Ramen, as we had seen a Facebook post saying it was among the spiciest ramens available in Japan.
“Surely these claims are naught but heresay,” I convinced myself as I am quite confident with spicy foods. After tackling Australia’s hottest pizza (the widow maker) and handling it with ease I thought there wouldn’t be much in this realm that could make me greasy with sweat.
We jumped in the line together and the chef asked me how much of each chilli I would like in my ramen. “Max,” I simply told the gent. His eyes widened and he looked at me bewildered, “Are you sure?” He stammered. I scoffed and met his gaze with a ferocious intensity and nodded. The man simply shook his head in disbelief and acknowledged my request.
At first I thought he might have been impressed with my will of iron and steel resolve. I know now that he simply felt sorry for me. He was going to watch someone visit hell on earth.
We sat down and finally the bowl of ramen comes out. Before me is a bowl full of broth that looked redder than the blood of a daedra. There was obviously meats and other toppings but what really appealed to me was the broth. The more I stared at it the more it spoke to me and whispered to me like Smeagol coveting the ring of power. In my gut I knew evil was afoot but I had been romanced by seductive wiles of ramen.
I scooped a heavy heaping in my ladle and puckered my sweaty lips in anticipation to receive greatness, what happened next was not pretty. Without hesitation I took the biggest mouthful I could muster and swallowed.
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The room around me fell away as I found myself falling deep into the Eighth Realm of Torment and Agony. My tongue grew in heat so much that it felt like someone had thrown it from space and it was burning up as it re-entered earth's atmosphere. Like lava igniting Pompeii as it slowly made its way down the mountain, so too did the broth do to my esophagus.
My senses were dulled as the only sensation available to me was fiery wrath of the Balrog Gandalf, himself, was unable to defeat. Soon enough the ability to feel anything was lost to me as the capsicum literally melted away the nerves in my sines system like alien blood burning away everything it touches.
At this point I had realised that I had severely underestimated my opponent's final form. This broth was hotter than the flames used to forge the legendary sword Dragvandil and its bite was sharper. My eyes widened as if I had gazed upon the great Cthulhu and my mind was maddening with knowledge.
With what little control I had I asked my friend where the amenities were stationed and he motioned toward the back. I made a hasty dash towards the door as I could feel my body preparing to purge itself of the netherspawn I had consumed.
I finally got into the toilet cubicle, opened my mouth over the bowl and like Smaug incinerating the dwarven home of Erebor so too did I spew dragon fire.
Fortunately for me the damage had been done, the ash was already falling. I could not taste or smell any bile because of the numbness in my mouth and nose. I came back to my seat and looked at the ramen. It stared back at me, mocking me, laughing at me. Maybe I found some courage or maybe to heat had melted a part of my sanity away as I took another bite, a smaller one this time. A little sip like I was savouring a small wine.
Unfortunately this only added to my woeful misery and before I took any more I got the attention of my friends. Through tears I told them that I could not go on—so we left. I left a broken shell of a man, who, even after years of rehab and therapy still wake up in cold sweats over the Supreme Lord of Wrathfulness that destroyed me that day.
Kikanbo Is Definitely the Spiciest Ramen!
In closing let me just say that my friends also had the ramen without maxing out their chilli and absolutely loved it. I would definitely say that if you're an avid spice addict then Kikanbo is a must-try if you find yourself in Tokyo.
I've included the address for anyone who is keen to give it a bash. If you do and you go the max spice then I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment or send me a message.