Menbakaichidai めん馬鹿一代, Kyoto
Menbakaichidai is very famous for its fire ramen and if you plan a trip to Kyoto, this is one that you simply cannot miss! The small restaurant definitely mixed a lot of fun, great food and awesome atmosphere together.
It was a good one hour queue and fortunately we were under cover when it started to drizzle. We came one hour before the opening and found a couple from Canberra who sat in front of the shop already. They informed us that we should take a ticket from a small ticketing machine outside of the shop to keep our spot.
The owner and staff came about 20 minutes before the opening time to set up their restaurant and exactly at 6PM they opened the door for us (yay!).
We were asked about our country of origin after we sat down on the wooden stools and given the menu. Of course all of us were there for the fire ramen. They also had side dishes on offer such as fried chicken and gyoza. We added a plate of fried chicken to our order.
The owner took our phone and placed each on a hanging selfie stick. He set up the recording before he poured the fire into the bowl of ramen. We were given large piece of paper to cover our lap as well as apron and the staff informed us not to touch the bowl because it would be quite oily.
When he poured the fire, it was definitely hotter than what I imagined from photos and videos that I saw online. I could feel the heat from my neighbour's fire so when he poured the fire in front of me, I thought I just singed my hair and eyebrows!
The fire ramen had heaps of spring onion but I remembered seeing a flyer outside of the shop that they couldn't remove spring onions from their bowl of ramen. I thought the ramen would be quite normal but the spring onions was burnt quite well. It was so tasty when eaten together with the thin ramen noodle. Their broth was also very delicious!
Before we finished our meal, the owner asked about our plan for the rest of the night. Depending on your answer, he'd try to assist you by providing information about the bus to take, and in our case, he gave us a very professionally made travel brochure of places that we couldn't miss in Kyoto.
It was a very great experience to have especially for our first night in Kyoto. We will go back again when we visit Kyoto next time. If you want your ramen experience to be a little bit different and fun, check out this place.