Kyoto’s KARA-1 Reigning Champion’s Spicy “Tantanmen” – (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

Written by takoyakikun
1 Dec 2017
Last update :

Muko City in Kyoto is famous for its spicy foods.
Kirinen, which took 1st place in the Muko City-originated “KARA-1 Grand Prix (Competition for Japan’s Spiciest Food),” is a restaurant known for being the Holy Land for those who like spicy food.

(Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen
(Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

Menu of (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

I’m not particularly good with spicy foods, but I definitely want to try the tantanmen that won the KARA-1 Grand Prix!
Kirinen is also known for its delicious non-spicy menu as well, so it’s safe to try for those who dislike spiciness too.

Menu of (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen
Menu of (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

Tantanmen (spice level 2) 900 yen, The spice levels range from 1 to 5.

Menu of (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen
Menu of (Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

Kyoto’s KARA-1 Reigning Champion’s Spicy “Tantanmen”!

Kirinen uses four types of togarashi and doubanjiang (chili bean paste) to create its spice, but apparently, the spice level 5 version also contains plenty of ghost pepper, which is said to be ten times spicier than habaneros!

Kyoto’s KARA-1 Reigning Champion’s Spicy “Tantanmen”!
Kyoto’s KARA-1 Reigning Champion’s Spicy “Tantanmen”!

The toppings are niku miso, bok-choy, sliced green onion, and ito togarashi (strands of dried chili).
I didn’t feel too much of the spice while eating the soup, but a few moments after, the spiciness overwhelmed me so much that I thought I might faint! The level 2 spice is this spicy?!

The toppings are niku miso, bok-choy, sliced green onion, and ito togarashi (strands of dried chili)
The toppings are niku miso, bok-choy, sliced green onion, and ito togarashi (strands of dried chili)

Still, there was sweetness, richness, and umami within the spiciness. The broth was chicken stock based, and it was a refined and gentle soup despite the spiciness.
It’s a type of deliciousness you’ll want to try more of right after eating it!
I kept going back for more despite the overwhelming spiciness.

The medium-thickness crinkly noodles
The medium-thickness crinkly noodles

The medium-thickness crinkly noodles went very well with the soup.

the soup

The plentiful niku miso is incredibly rich and full of umami. Delicious!
The heat warmed me up, and partway through eating I started to sweat a little bit.

The mascot of Muko City’s “Extremely Spicy Street,” Karakki
The mascot of Muko City’s “Extremely Spicy Street,” Karakki

By the way, if and only if you order the 5th level of spiciness, you can take a commemorative photograph with the mascot of Muko City’s “Extremely Spicy Street,” Karakki. If you aren’t afraid of the heat, you should try it!
This is Karakki. You can see him in front of JR Mukomachi Station!

Basic information on (Authentic) Chinese Food - Kirinen

(Authentic) Chinese Food, Kirinen

Address
5-54 Higashitanakase, Teradocho, Muko City, Kyoto
Access
5 minutes on foot from JR Mukomachi Station or Higashi-Muko Station
Hours
11:30-14:00 / 16:30-23:00 (L.O.22:30)
Closed
Tuesdays
Tel
075-933-1370
URL(Japanese)
http://kirinen.com/