Ramen is an extremely versatile food, and you’d be hard pressed to find a flavor and topping combination that doesn’t please the tongue. Many people enjoy putting this all-purpose dish to the test, adding increasingly more unconventional ingredients to see how the taste holds up. One such novel ramen dish has recently caught our attention: ice-cream cone ramen.
What’s more, this isn’t ramen made by some chump who threw in an ice-cream cone and called it a day, oh no. This is ramen made at an actual ramen shop by a trained professional who threw in an ice-cream cone and called it a day.
We made our way to the shop, Kikuya, to see for ourselves if this experimental ramen is a frosty delight, or a sloppy mess. The shop is about a 15 minute walk from the JR Kitasenju station, tucked away in a quiet residential area with very little pedestrian traffic. Accordingly, the majority of the customers are from around the neighborhood.
Upon entering the store, we noticed that a good portion of the ramen menu is made up of strange items: cocoa ramen, coffee milk ramen, alkali battery ramen…ah, so perhaps Kikuya is trying to make up for its inconvenient location by luring in customers with their ramen menagerie!
We put in our order for the ice cream ramen and were served exactly what you see in the picture: a bowl of standard soy sauce ramen loaded with two halves of an ice-cream cone, garnished lavishly with aonori—literally, “blue seaweed”—and, in a superb display of symmetry, topped with a halved boiled egg.
Not wanting to tempt time, we quickly plunged our chopsticks in to take the first bite and the verdict was in: ice cream ramen is amazing. We immediately noticed that the noodles were also chilled to keep the ice cream from melting too fast. When the ice cream did start melting it looked like a landscape portrait of Hell, but the rich, creamy flavor of the soup tasted just like Heaven.
According to the shopkeeper, the choice of using the cheap, store-bought cone was decided upon after rigorous trial-and-error. Whether or not Häagen-Dazs was included in the screening is unclear, but we understand if not everyone can afford luxury ice cream in their ramen during these tough economic times.
So, why make ice cream ramen in the first place? “The kids around here asked me to make it, so I made it.”
Truly, a shining example of customer service.
Store Name: Kikuya
Address: 10-3 Senjuookawa-cho, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: 11:00-15:00, 17:00-20:00
Holiday: Monday (and the occasional Thursday)