I just returned from an awesome trip to Japan, home of sakura blossoms, crazy vending machines, maid cafes, kawaii adorableness, Pocky and ramen--so much ramen. I slurped my weight in noodly goodness. Oh, pork broth and soft-boiled soy sauce egg, how I love thee.
The most unique ramen experience I had was at a tiny joint in Kyoto called Men Baka Ichidai. It's known for its fire ramen--ramen that's literally set on fire.
My husband and I sat down and ordered two negi ramen specials. The chef placed wet towels over objects on the counter and instructed us via English cue cards to keep our hands behind our backs and not scream or run away. I tied my hair up and suddenly wondered if my medical insurance card is valid in Japan.
He then placed our bowls of ramen in front of us and poured in the burning oil. Here's a video of me freaking out at the resulting fireball. Hot stuff!
Luckily, my eyebrows remained intact.
The ramen itself was solid. Perfectly al dente noodles, flavorful shoyu broth. I was expecting it to be spicy, but it wasn't.