- Name: Menbaka Ichidai めん馬鹿一代
- Cuisine: Ramen
- Soup base
- Thin/light あっさり
- Medium straight
- Soup base
- Cost: ¥ (~¥1,000)
- Bargain: Pricey (for ramen)
- Payment: Cash
- Size: Small; counter seats
- Wait: People usually finish eating ramen within 15 minutes
- Area: Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto City, Japan
I saw Mebaka Ichidai on the internet and decided to go try it. What’s unique about Mebaka Ichidai is that they pour super hot oil over their ramen causing a fiery inferno to spew up from the bowl.
The place is very tourist friendly. The owner and staff were very friendly and speak some English. They also have an English menu. They also have a vegetarian soup base available. I got the A-set which was the fire ramen + small fried rice for ¥1480.
After ordering, they gave me an apron/bib for my body and my lap. They then showed me an oversized card with various warnings. Don’t touch the bowl (because it’s hot), don’t lean forward, put your hands behind your back, don’t record video, etc.
I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to take any pictures and video because of safety protocols. However, I was soon pleased to know that they record video on our cellphones for us. They asked me for my cell and then they strapped it on the various selfie sticks they have hanging in the kitchen.
I was worried that they forgot to press the record button but they assured me not to worry.
The owner heated a pan of oil? over the stove. He then poured the superheated oil over my bowl of ramen. The toppings then caught on fire causing a huge pillar of fire for a few seconds. And just like that, the show was over.
“Don’t touch the bowl,” they warned me again. The waiters then quickly cleaned the counter to degrease all the splattered oil. Before giving back my cell, the owner told me to pose and how to pose with the noodles as he took a photo of me with the ramen.
I was fortunate that some customers came in after so I was able to take pictures and video of the actual show. So everything turned out well. With no customers, I was able to put my camera bag in the next seat and take my time swapping out the lenses. And then the new customers gave me the chance to take pictures of the inferno.
Food-wise, the ramen was meh. Nothing special. Go for the spectacle but not the food. It’s also pretty pricey for just a simple bowl of ramen. The price is basically for the show and cleanup. However, the staff, like I said earlier, are very friendly. The owner ask where I was from and where I was going after. He then gave directions on which bus to take get back to the station.
TL;DR: Fire ramen ― good spectacle, mediocre ramen.
Address: 京都府 京都市 上京区南伊勢屋町757-2 佐々木ビル