Some times I don’t make the smartest decisions when it comes to my culinary explorations. There was that one time in Tokyo when I tried the chicken sashimi and repeatedly after a night at the bar I find myself drawn to the danger dog cart. Some of my hacker friends make something called Habeñero rum which is incredibly spicy and I’ve had it a few times, but it didn’t prepare me for the Special 2 Spice Level Orochon Ramen.
Orochon serves ramen with 7 different spice levels and then there are 2 “special” levels of ultra-painful-for-days ramen. If you are
dumb tough enough to finish a bowl of the level 2 within 30 minutes you get the “honor” of having your photo taken and placed on the wall of idiocy bravery. I personally enjoy spicy food so I decided to give it a shot.
The fiance and I made our way to Weller Court and took the elevator up to the third level where we saw the Orochon sign. We parted the noren and made our way inside to partake in some serious spiciness. I ordered the Special 2 with extra pork and Penelope ordered the Osae Orochon 5. I ordered some Calpico to help ease the burning and waited for my bowl of pain.
When the bowl of orange death arrived I began my quest for bowel discomfort. At first I didn’t think I was going to make it, the glowing orange broth was almost pure chili paste and the only thing I could taste was the pork. The onions, noodles and kelp had no flavor I could detect above the burning spice of the broth. I am pretty sure I ordered miso broth, but there was no hint of miso above the spice.
I went through 2 cans of Calpico and about 20 napkins that I emptied my nose into. I was keeping track of the time on my cell phone and when I have a few minutes left and there was still a good cup of broth left I lifted the massive bowl to my lips and chugged. I felt pretty close to losing the whole meal the way it came in, but I steadied myself and kept it down.
The chef checked his timer and I barely made it at 29 minutes so my photo was taken and placed on the wall of bravery:
As it turns out eating the meal wasn’t the hard part. For the next 10 hours I was in a world of hurt. I have never actually felt a spicy burn in my stomach before. For some reason it hurt less going in than it did coming out. Finally a day or two later everything was back to normal. I plan on going back, but I don’t think I will ever eat the Special 2 again, in fact next time I am there I will have the mildest ramen they make.