Ten years ago, in 2009, there was a municipality that began to revitalize the city with the theme of “hot and spicy”…
Muko City, Kyoto Prefecture, is a bedroom community located about 15 minutes by train southwest of central Kyoto. This city, the third smallest in Japan, has called itself the “Capital of Hot and Spicy” and invited restaurants serving hot and spicy menus to participate.
In March 2012, the city and restaurants united to promote Muko City by holding the KARA-1 Grand Prix to determine the best “hot and delicious” spicy food in Japan. As a result, there are now more than 70 restaurants registered in the city’s hot and spicy shopping district, and the KARA-1 Grand Prix has grown into a big event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each time.
In the 10-year history of the city’s “kara-1” shopping district, one restaurant that should not be missed is Kirin-en, introduced here. It is known as the restaurant that serves the “super spicy Dandan noodles,” which won first place in Japan at the first KARA-1 Grand Prix.
Kirin-en｜Long-established Chinese restaurant with a full menu, leading Muko City with its super-spicy Dandan noodles.
Founded in 1966, this restaurant has 5-6 counter seats and tables for 4 on the first floor and round tables with sunken kotatsu on the second floor, and can accommodate one person, families, and small parties. In addition to the hot and spicy menu, the restaurant offers a wide range of dishes from ramen noodles to lunch sets and authentic Cantonese cuisine, making it a convenient place to go when you are in the mood for Chinese food.
Now, let us introduce you to the super spicy dan dan noodle, which won the first KARA-1 Grand Prix in Japan…
The noodles are made with special frizzy noodles, reddish soup, meat miso, green onions, Chinese cabbage… There are shredded chili peppers at the top, but it looks just like ordinary dan dan noodles. There are five levels of spiciness from 1 to 5 (there is an additional charge for 3 to 5 spiciness), and in the past, members of nmb48 and Chidori’s Nobu-san have also tried this very spicy one.
This time, I will try the 2-spicy version, which was the winner of the KARA-1 Grand Prix.
The spiciness of this double spicy dan dan noodles…….each person has his/her own sensitivity to spiciness, but personally, it is just at the limit of spiciness that I can eat while thinking “Yum! I felt that I could eat this spicy noodle with a sip of soup. I took a sip of the soup and thought, “I can handle this much…” But as I continued eating, my lips began to tingle and I started to cry… I could have stopped eating at that point, but why?
I could have stopped eating at that point, but for some reason, the delicious flavor of the broth compelled me to take a sip of water and eat it again. It is a noodle soup with a mysterious charm. In the end, I finished the whole bowl, including the soup. I felt sick for a while after finishing it and regretted it a little. If you are not a fan of spicy food, please be careful.
And now that I’ve said that…
To Kirin-en, which offers a wide variety of super spicy dishes in addition to dan dan noodles, walk 4 minutes from JR Mukoicho Station.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant.
Address: 5-54 Higashida Nakase, Terado-cho, Muko-city, Kyoto, Japan
Phone number: 075-933-1370
Business hours: 11:30-13:40 LO, 16:30-22:30 LO
If you are using the Hankyu Kyoto Line, get off at Higashi Mukoichi Station and walk south for 6 minutes. If you are driving, there are several pay parking lots around JR Mukocho Station.
Finally, in addition to dan dan noodles, Kirin-en’s spicy menu also includes several other dishes such as mapo tofu, tantan gomoku soba, tantan nabe (hot pot?), shrimp chili, and shrimp chili. (hot pot?), shrimp chili, and several other dishes. For those who love spicy food, this Chinese restaurant is a reason to come back again and again.
P.S. How about chilled dan dan noodles here on a hot midsummer day?