One potential issue with Ramen Adventures is that I don't re-post about shops I have already been to. So while a shop like Kikanbo is probably in my Top 5 list, the Kikanbo pages are a bit dated. You can see them here and here. I revisit these shops constantly, but in the interests of keeping things fresh, don't post.
But when they open a new shop across town, now that's another story!
Ikebukuro has the image of a rough part of town. This is, of course, rough by Japanese standards. The shopping is a bit more gaudy, most people walking around are from Saitama, the much less cool prefecture to the north, and the *ahem* red light district is known for being one of the most affordable on the Yamanote Line. Welcome to Ikebukuro.
Kikanbo's third shop keeps to their roots, but tweaks things just a bit. All the spices are there. As usual, choose your levels. Go for futsu - regular - to be safe, and mashi - more - to be bold. Of course, onimashi, the devil-size addition of spice, is only for those who know what they are in for. Me? I go with futsu-mashi. A regular helping of hot spice and a large helping of numbing sansho pepper.
The Ikebukuro version differs slightly in the soup. 100% pork for this one. A bit more intense, and a bit more creamy. So how does it compare?
I have to say, I dug this one even more than the original! It has a bit more in-your-face impact, and a nice fatty aftertaste. Sorry East Side, the western bits of Tokyo just lapped you, again.
Love the atmosphere, as always.
No days off, and a solid 11am to 10pm schedule makes this one a must-hit shop.
Official Site Here
Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-13-14
Closest station: Ikebukuro