I went to Yaguratei, which happens to be only a few minutes from my front door, a while back. Go ahead and read my positive review of that experience, then order what everyone else in the shop was eating; the normal ramen.
But when I mentioned to some fellow ramen nuts that I went, they were quick to ask if I ate the whole bowl. The whole bowl? Of course!
No, the whole bowl if their famous ほたるラーメン. Yes, it is on fire in the above photo. More about that in a sec.
And so now that I have been back, I can say, "No. No I didn't."
The tencho looks like the kind of dude who would secretly relish in what was served.
You see, the hotaru ramen, or should I call it the firefly ramen, is dubbed the spiciest ramen in Tokyo.
The fire is courtesy of the vodka soaked butter (or is that butter soaked vodka). Coupled with a light miso base and raw, diced habanero peppers, this bowl is wonderful . . . to smell. The sweetness of the peppers, the slight mustiness of the miso, the butteriness of the, um, butter. But at the first sip, your mouth is engulfed by the heat.
I would have liked it if the chef removed the seeds, leaving only the orange flesh of one of the world's hottest peppers. Nope, seeds and all.
And this was just level 1. Five grams of habanero pepper. Feel free to kick it up to level 10 if you have something to prove. I searched on the internet, and one pepper is about five grams. If you can eat 10 habanero peppers, please let me buy you a drink.
I left the bowl as you see it, with just a couple sips and a couple bites taken. It hurt the next morning. My buddy ate it all. I heard about it the next day . . . from his girlfriend!