Fire ramen has the potential to singe your eyebrows but that’s all part of the appeal.
From Michelin-starred ramen to varieties that look like mud, our Japanese-language reporters have been known to travel far and wide in the pursuit of unusual noodles. But for all the weird and wonderful restaurants they’ve visited, there’s one place that sticks out in their mind, and it turns out it’s now a huge hit with foreign tourists.
Located in Kyoto, this unusual restaurant is called Menbakaichidai, but it’s better known as the “Fire Ramen” restaurant, due to their crazy signature dish. And while you might think the noodles here get their fiery name for being spicy, that’s not the case at all – it’s because they contain real fire.
Check out these diners going crazy for the unusual dining experience:
The restaurant is so popular with foreign tourists that its entire website is written in English, complete with safety guidelines for enjoying Fire Ramen, which include the following points:
- Fire Ramen shall be consumed at the counter seat.
- Guests without a Fire Ramen order shall be seated separately.
- Please order one bowl per person. Guests may not share a bowl.
- For safety, children under 110 centimetres (3 feet 7 inches) shall not order Fire Ramen. They may order and enjoy other meals at the table accompanied by adults
With sparks flying around like this, it’s easy to see why they need safety guidelines!
Additional guidelines include:
- Please do not take pictures when oil is being poured.
- Stay seated no matter what.
- Do not touch the bowl, as it’s covered with oil and may stain your clothes.
- Please keep apron on while you eat to avoid staining your clothes.
While children under 110 centimetres in height aren’t allowed at the table, it doesn’t mean they can’t be hidden behind their parents for safety!
Elementary school students over the height of 110 centimetres can try the “Fire Ramen Challenge” and get a cute badge, provided they abide by the following conditions:
- Order a full bowl.
- Don’t cry.
- Don’t run away.
Given the reaction of grown adults to the dish, this will certainly be a challenge for younger customers!
Officially called green onion ramen, this dish contains a soy sauce-based soup made from chicken, pork, and fish. The essential ingredients creating the fiery combustion in front of customers are green onions, which sit atop the ramen, and burning oil, which the chef pours onto the dish.
While the fire that’s created is spectacular, it’s also said to slightly char the onions and the chashu pork pieces beneath, to bring out a slightly smoky flavour.
As further evidence of their commitment to catering for the needs of foreign guests, Menbakaichidai also makes Fire Ramen with a vegetable soup base for their vegetarian, vegan and muslim customers.
🍲 Fire ramen from Kyoto, where the chef pours hot flaming oil onto the ramen and sends up a spurt of flame! 👌 sounds like a tourist trap but it genuinely imparts real unique flavour to the noodles and spring onions! 😍 Not had anything like this and was genuinely one of the best bowls of ramen I've had! 👍 . They sit you down and tell you you can't move from your seat, give you a special apron, and are told to keep hands behind your back. 😂
Fire Ramen costs 1,250 yen (US$11.36) per bowl, and they also offer up a special “Fire Ramen Set” which contains one bowl of their signature noodles along with fried chicken, gyoza pot stickers, fried rice, and a very cool pin badge for 2,150 yen.
Have you been to the Fire Ramen restaurant or are you keen to check it out? Let us know in the comments section below!
Menbakaichidai / めん馬鹿 一代
Address:Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi,Kamigyo-ku, Minamiiseyacho 757-2
京都府 京都市上京区 南伊勢屋町 757-2
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.