HOME > Chowhound > Japan >

Where to find the spiciest noodles in Tokyo?

hello_liza Jan 22, 2010 09:58 PM

Hi everybody,

I've been lurking for awhile and have a pressing question. I want to find a giant bowl of noodles in Tokyo that's so spicy that my lips burn, my face turns red, and I beg for mercy as tears stream down my face. I'm thinking something similar to the bowls of laksa in the food courts in Sydney, or like a really spicy tom yung kung would do. Or ramen I suppose. I've been living in Tokyo for 3 years now and just can't get anything spicy enough. I ask them to kick it up, but usually they sort of throw more of the bland chilis in there, which sort of makes it spicier but not like.. tasty spicy. Am not too keen on Japanese curry although I know that can be done pretty spicy. One time I had a soup that was nicely spiced (still not hot enough though) at a Thai restaurant in a basement in Kabukicho, but I was kinda tanked (as one often is in Kabukicho) and haven't been able to figure out where I was.

Any ideas? Much appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. kamiosaki RE: hello_liza Jan 22, 2010 11:21 PM

    Mouku Tan Men Nakamoto is generally held to serve the spiciest or one of the spiciest ramens in the city, I went once but couldn't finish it. Several branches.


    In the ramen/ramen-like area, toshomen places and tan-tan men places are where you want to look.

    11 Replies
    1. re: kamiosaki
      lost squirrel RE: kamiosaki Jan 25, 2010 09:13 PM

      Two of the spiciest things I've had in Japan:
      1 - The hot salsa at Frijoles in Azabu-juban
      2 - Okinawan koregusu - it's hot peppers floating in awamori -- I think the alcohol makes it feel hotter

      Maybe you should carry some of that in your pocket! They do sell Frank's Red Hot [Extra Hot] variety at some foreign grocery stores. It's not that hot really, but quite yummy.

      1. re: lost squirrel
        hello_liza RE: lost squirrel Jan 25, 2010 09:55 PM

        That salsa at Frijoles wasn't even a challenge for me!! I think I'm doomed. But I'm definitely interested in koregusu, I've never heard of it before. Awamori packs its own punch!

        I like Frank's Red Hot! I found Blair's Sudden Death sauce (along with the regular Death Sauce, which is tastier but not overly spicy) at the Ginza Don Quixote so maybe I should start carrying that around!

        1. re: hello_liza
          lost squirrel RE: hello_liza Jan 26, 2010 06:34 PM

          I agree, it wasn't challenging but it was in my top 5 spiciest moments in Japan.
          Actually, the first time I went it was completely mild but the second time it seemed much hotter. I wonder if the second guy was a bit heavy-handed...

        2. re: lost squirrel
          Uncle Yabai RE: lost squirrel Jan 26, 2010 12:54 AM

          How is that Frijoles place? Or a more fitting question is, what is that Frijoles place? I walked by it when it was closed, and there was no sense of what it was.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai
            kamiosaki RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 26, 2010 02:45 AM

            Burritos. Pretty good too. Sort of like Qdoba or Baja Fresh in the US (east coast).

            1. re: Uncle Yabai
              lost squirrel RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 26, 2010 06:35 PM

              It's a direct copy/rip-off of Chipotle in the US. They even have the same decorations on the bags of chips, same old website, etc..

              Burritos, tacos and guacamole along with a small beer selection. If you want try, let me know.

              1. re: Uncle Yabai
                gkanai RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 26, 2010 09:10 PM

                I live in Azabu so I swing by maybe 2 times a month. It's good for Mexican in Japan (I've looked around for authentic Mexican in Tokyo and it's been depressing) except the tacos come in flour tortillas (not corn.) Flour tortillas for burritos I can accept. For tacos though, I'd prefer corn. I've tried all 3- steak, chicken and the carnitas and I like the carnitas the best although I'm partial to pork in the first place.

                1. re: gkanai
                  Uncle Yabai RE: gkanai Jan 27, 2010 04:57 PM

                  Well, that stuff ain't authentic Mexican either. The only decent Mexican I can think of is La Fonda de la Madrugada in Harajuku. La Colina in Midtown tries really hard but it just way overshoots, too precious (and expensive) by half.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai
                    Robb S RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 31, 2010 10:28 PM

                    I'd say Frijoles is striving to be authentic Tex-Mex rather than authentic Mexican, and they seem to do well enough for me, although I'm no expert (growing up with a burrito-deprived existence in New York).

                    I've had decent regional Mexican dishes from the specials blackboard at Junkadelic, and some good food at Salsita and El Quixico. I won't go to La Fonda or their sister shop La Colina.

                2. re: Uncle Yabai
                  hello_liza RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 31, 2010 06:33 PM

                  I like Frijoles well enough; good for what it is and cheap too (by Tokyo standards): about 1,000 yen for a massive burrito. Well worth checking out. However I'm pretty sure they use Japanese rice in the burritos which ruins the taste a bit for me.
                  I've become discouraged in my hunt for good Mexican in Tokyo so I order stuff from Costco and freeze it so I always have tortillas and beans on hand. Can't find anywhere to buy proper chilis though so the quest continues... maybe this should be another thread?

                  1. re: hello_liza
                    gkanai RE: hello_liza Jan 31, 2010 08:07 PM

                    If they did use Japanese rice, that would be a disappointment. I just had a Frijoles burrito for lunch today. With the rice. I didn't think it was hakumai but I could be mistaken. I'll try to find out next time.

                    They def. do not have corn tortillas however. That's a minus for the tacos at least.

            2. o
              onegirlarmy RE: hello_liza Jan 29, 2010 03:14 PM

              I have been living in Dublin last 2 years (after migrating from Oz where my Chinese/Malaysian mum burnt our tastebuds off) and I'm totally craving something spicy too!

              Leaving for Tokyo in 7 hrs - the two recs I got were
              - Mouku Tan Men Nakamoto
              - Magic Spice - http://www.magicspice.net/framepage11...

              I am heading to both as soon as I can...you're welcome to come along!

              5 Replies
              1. re: onegirlarmy
                lost squirrel RE: onegirlarmy Jan 31, 2010 05:30 PM

                I saw something on TV this weekend called Pora Ramen (sp?) in Toyocho maybe. It looked incredibly spicy, I was shocked at the amount of red pepper/chile that went into each bowl. I looked online, but couldn't find anything about it. Maybe someone with better Japanese searching skills will do a better job.

                1. re: lost squirrel
                  jem589 RE: lost squirrel Feb 1, 2010 12:55 AM

                  I'm going to go with 'Magokoro Chu-bou' (written as a circle for maru and then kokoro, heart), in Toyocho (closer to Kiba).
                  They have a ridiculous-looking chili tsukemen (despite not souding at all like 'Pora'). Picture here:

                  Coincidentally, only a block from Menya Kissou. Make a day of it.

                  1. re: jem589
                    lost squirrel RE: jem589 Feb 1, 2010 06:14 PM

                    That looks like the place. I was a bit tipsy when it came on, and I asked my companion "what was the name of that place?"
                    She wasn't sober either. Glad somebody found it, thanks Jem

                2. re: onegirlarmy
                  hello_liza RE: onegirlarmy Jan 31, 2010 06:40 PM

                  Ooooh thanks for the recommendations, haven't heard of those..... am down for a trip! Have my suspicions about something being genuinely spicy in Shimo but Ikebukuro has potential!

                  1. re: hello_liza
                    onegirlarmy RE: hello_liza Feb 2, 2010 05:11 AM

                    I'm not super hopeful after ordering something in another restaurant today and picking the hottest chilli rating (6 stars and extra 50 yen to boot) only to have it not even cause a sniffle...

                    Am still holding out hope though, if you do head down to ikebukuro and you wouldn't mind a fellow spice buddy let me know! - email is in my profile.

                3. l
                  lost squirrel RE: hello_liza Feb 3, 2010 05:38 PM

                  Recently, the Korean chain BBQ Chicken opened a branch in Akasaka-mitsuke.
                  I went to a different branch a long long time ago when they first came to Japan and I remembered their spicy chicken as being quite spicy.
                  It's not noodles, but I think it'll provide some burn.

                  They deliver as well :-)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lost squirrel
                    lost squirrel RE: lost squirrel Feb 16, 2010 06:14 PM

                    I went to the Akasaka location last week, the spicy chicken really is HOT. It didn't have much flavor, just heat. Still, if you are dying for burn - then this could help.

                  2. o
                    onegirlarmy RE: hello_liza Feb 5, 2010 11:44 PM

                    Made it to Mouko Tanmen today - accidentally ordered the largest size because I didn't know what I was doing!

                    The good news is it is very spicy....not quite enough to make me cry, but there were definitely a lot of people sweating it out. Definitely a good enough burn...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: onegirlarmy
                      lost squirrel RE: onegirlarmy Feb 21, 2010 04:21 PM

                      I don't know how hot, but this just showed up on my brother's Google buzz.


                      Looks spicy and good.

                      1. re: lost squirrel
                        Jrim RE: lost squirrel Feb 21, 2010 05:08 PM

                        That's actually the same place. The full name is Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto. You have permission to be confused.

                    2. j
                      jem589 RE: hello_liza Jun 24, 2010 12:44 AM

                      Hey, I had some really spicy noodles this week (by Japan standards). Kikanbou in Kanda starts with a spicy soup and then lets you choose how much red pepper and sansho to add (sansho being the thing in Chinese food like mabo tofu that makes your tongue numb). I got the 'lots' level of each and found it scary on the first bite, but perfect once I settled down. There's also a 'demon spicy' level that might suit you better.
                      Additionally, it's a really good ramen place - noodles, pork and eggs are all top-notch.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jem589
                        kugasho RE: jem589 Jul 6, 2010 09:46 AM

                        Jigoku Ramen in Ebisu. BY far the hottest noodles in town

                        1. re: kugasho
                          kamiosaki RE: kugasho Jul 6, 2010 04:54 PM

                          I haven't walked down that street (around the corner from the tabehodai Thai place) in a while, but if memory serves that place is long gone.... yes it was pretty spicy though.

                          1. re: kamiosaki
                            kamiosaki RE: kamiosaki Jul 6, 2010 04:56 PM

                            Forgot to mention Chomoranma:


                            Dan dan men, dan dan tsukemen, shiru nashi dan dan men, mapo tofu etc. with sansho. Spicy but with real flavor on top too.

                      2. h
                        happecamper RE: hello_liza Jul 22, 2010 08:51 PM

                        The spiciest noodles I've had are at a small Chinese place in Azabujuban. Sorry, don't know the name. The noodles were buried in hot chilis and the soup was barely drinkable. I could only just finish the noodles.

                        If you're at the main intersection (shin ichi no hashi), under the freeway facing Tokyo Tower, go left and up the street towards Roppongi Itchome. Domino's pizza will be on your right. The Chinese place will be on your left. It has a yellow awning and is about 50m from the intersection with big photos of their menu outside.

                        1. wekabeka RE: hello_liza Jul 23, 2010 08:46 AM

                          the latest edition of meshitomo has a ranking of the spiciest ramen, mabotofu and curries in town.
                          top of their list for spicy ramen is tantanmen hoozuki in nakano.
                          but my co-workers swear that moukotanmen nakamoto is the spiciest by far. there's even a video on youtube of one punter's fiery experience.

                          Show Hidden Posts