Since 1999, Konami’s Silent Hill horror series has been spooking gamers with its mysterious, reality-bending setting and plotlines, not to mention its collection of grotesque, otherworldly creatures like the appropriately-named Pyramid Head, a giant with a large, triangular head who stalks the game’s protagonist while carrying an enormous blade.
Konami has recently formed a partnership with a number of ramen restaurants across Japan to serve Silent Hill ramen. But just what exactly happens when you use a horror story that’s dripping with gore as the inspiration for food? We headed to Hajime, a Tokyo restaurant that offers the terrifying noodles, to find out.
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Sitting down inside the restaurant, we plucked up our courage and ordered the 900 yen (US$9.30) Silent Hill ramen. “It’s pretty filling,” the cook mentioned while we waited the few minutes it took to prepare our food. Our stomach already like a walnut due to excitement, we began to worry.
But we were a little confused when they brought the bowl to our seat. We could have sworn we asked for ramen, but what we got was a devil.
Is devil a bit harsh? Okay, then a monster. A zombie. Whatever it is, there’s no mistaking the sinister intent of that bloody-looking tomato plopped atop a mass of inky noodles.
The Silent Hill ramen is served without broth. Instead, the noodles are covered in oil. We couldn’t come to a consensus on whether it looks more like a bloodshot eyeball or a mass of brains, but our first impulse was to attack that organ-like tomato as though we were going after a video game boss’s glowing red weak point.
Our professional acumen won out though, and we started our taste test from the thick, firm noodles. Their distinct coloring comes from a sharp miso paste that’s powerfully salty but stops just barely short of being overly so.
Unable to resist any longer, we tore into the tomato with our chopsticks. Like any good tale of horror, though, waiting for us inside was a shocking twist.
Like a wounded entity form another dimension, the ruptured tomato disgorged a pile of ground meat.
Feeling like we had blood on our hands, we couldn’t let it go to waste, so we mixed all of the ingredients together once again. With the entire cast of characters present but distributed throughout the bowl, the flavors became les overbearing, so we definitely recommend cracking open that tomato and stirring thoroughly before digging in.
Even still, make no mistake, the Silent Hill ramen is an intense experience, both to look at and to eat. If you have a delicate stomach this is definitely not the dish for you.
▼ Every night, we check under the bed for this
Hajime / 元
Address: Tokyo, Kita Ward, Kamji Jujo 2-30-9
One minute by foot from JR Jujo Station / 十条駅
Hours: Weekdays 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. / Weekends 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]