Wednesday, December 18, 2013

やぐら亭のほたる (Habanero+ Ramen at Yaguratei)

やぐら亭

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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.

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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!

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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.

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And so now that I have been back, I can say, "No. No I didn't."

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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.

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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.

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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!