Yeah, you’ve had cup ramen before, but have you ever tried shaking it?

Japan sure loves shaking things. You may have heard of or tried McDonald’s Shaka Shaka fries or Shaka Chicken, or maybe you’ve seen DyDo’s drinkable strawberry shortcake that you can shake to your preferred consistency. Well, here’s another thing for you to shake and enjoy!

Along with a ton of electronics and anime stores, Akihabara has a good collection of decent food. One restaurant in the neighborhood has stood out lately for their unconventional way of serving ramen in a tapioca drink cup. This “Furufuru Men” (or “shaken ramen”) is available at Hyaku-nen Honpo ramen shop, right next to Suehirocho Station, and our Japanese language reporter Ayaka Idate decided to try it out.

▼ Here’s what the shop looks like from the front.

It’s intended to be a takeout item, hence the cup. Just go up to their takeout window and get the attention of a staff member. It’s pretty easy to spot since there’s a model of the shaken ramen next to it.

▼ Like the sign says, one cup goes for 650 yen (US$6.10)

Since this is a very non-traditional way to serve ramen (like, they actually want people to shake it??), Ayaka was suspicious. But she went ahead and started the ordering process using a checklist. Warning: this will be a bit tricky unless you have a translating app or already speak Japanese!

▼ As you can see, it’s all in Japanese.

You can choose from three different soup bases, warm or cold noodles, and a bunch of different toppings (the first two are free of charge!). You can even ask them to make it with bean sprouts instead of noodles! Ayaka chose a soy sauce base for her warm noodles and got roast pork and a soft-boiled egg for toppings. After waiting for about five minutes, this is what came out.

▼ The hole in the tapioca cup is the perfect size for a pair of wooden chopsticks.

Ayaka quickly found that it was less of a soupy ramen and more of a mixed soba type of ramen, so there wasn’t a ton of liquid. That makes it perfect for shaking!

▼ Without further ado, she started shaking it like a Polaroid (is that reference too old?).

Ayaka found it difficult to hold the lid and chopsticks in place while shaking it vigorously, but not a drop spilled out. After shaking it for a while, though, she did realize that it meant her chopsticks would be soaked in sauce

▼ Well, this is awkward.

Luckily, she had a wet tissue on her, so she used that to wipe off the chopsticks. Doesn’t seem very convenient, does it?

▼ Don’t end up like this.

This is around the time Ayaka realized that the heart-shaped decoration on the cup wasn’t a decoration; it was meant to plug the hole of the cup. This is way more convenient to plug the hole instead of trying to keep the chopsticks from flying out.

▼ It’s placed in the middle of the lid, so just pop it out and move it to cover the hole.

▼ Waaay less messy.

It was finally time to try out the shaken ramen. Since Ayaka ordered a soft-boiled egg, the yolk mixed with the soy sauce base to create a creamy, delicious-looking coating for the thick noodles.

▼ The pork pieces don’t look half bad, either.

You wouldn’t be able to get a sauce texture like this unless you shook it up, which is what makes it so special. Ayaka thought it was delicious with the egg mixed in so well.

▼ Come on, this looks way better than typical cup ramen.

By the way, this whole idea was actually inspired by the coronavirus outbreak in part. Hyakunen Honpo had originally planned on selling bubble tea and went as far as ordering the cups for it, but they didn’t go through with it. They wanted to use up the cups while helping others to socially distance themselves, so they decided to package ramen in the bubble tea cups.

▼ Makes it so much easier to walk around and eat!

So next time you’re shopping in Akihabara and find yourself craving something a bit more filling than the taiyaki treats at Sega Taiyaki, make a quick stop at Hyakunen Honpo. Trust us – it’s worth it.

P.S. Just for the record, we wouldn’t recommend shaking traditional cup ramen. That would probably burn you. A lot.

Restaurant information
Hyakunen Honpo/百年本舗
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 3-8-9 Shotoku Bldg 1F
東京都千代田区外神田3-8-9 昌徳ビル1F
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]