La-Show-Han | 担々麺本舗辣椒漢
Bowl to Crush: Premium Masamune Tantanmen - Shirunashi (プレミアム正宗担担麺 - 汁なし・漢源花椒使用)
La-Show-Han serves some of the best tantanmen in Tokyo. Tantanmen is a popular style of ramen across Japan, derived from Sichuan China's dan dan mian, a spicy noodle soup dish including preserved vegetables, minced pork, scallions, Sichuan pepper and chili oil. Over the generations, dan dan mian morphed with local ramen culture to become a Sichuan-inflected Japanese specialty. There are now dozens of sub-varieties of tantanmen served across Japan. La-Show-Han is a Tokyo champ.
Master Okada-san lived in Hong Kong for years and speaks fluent Chinese (already a very good sign). He has studied the spices and flavors used in traditional dan dan mien, along with other Asian cooking traditions. He serves several tantanmen variations at his shop, from a standard Chinese-derived tantanmen to a bowl that uses Thai chilies for a Southeast Asian influence and kick. He even serves a classic shoyu ramen. But if you ask Okada-san for his personal recommendation, he will invariably suggest 'premium shiru-nashi-tantanmen.'
The dish is served without soup — just choice noodles over a bed of heavily spiced ground pork, with a thick sauce of chilies, sesame, Szechuan peppercorns, peanuts and several other ingredients we've yet to identify. This is a bowl you eat maze-style by mixing up all of the ingredients at the outset like you're saucing a pasta.
La-Show-Han usually closes when the noodles run out, suggesting that Okada-san and his team prepare them in-house. Either way, they have a chewy, handmade feel. But the vibrant, complex flavors are what make this shop a star.
Hot tip: We usually ask for an extra spoonful of the signature dried chili powder, which Okada-san keeps behind the counter. It's bright red, so it looks like pure heat, but it's a surprisingly subtle, complex blend (and yes, hot as hell too).
Final tip: the serving size here isn't huge, so big eaters are advised to order extra noodles (just tell the staff 'omori' when you're entering your order at the ticket machine).
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-8pm; Sat: 11am-2pm
Days Closed: Sunday & National Holidays
東京都千代田区神田錦町1-4-8 ブロケードビル 1F
1-4-8 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo