For a while I've held a bias against chains, perhaps unwarranted, and a love for tantanmen. What happens when these two combine? Well, I was walking home from work late having not eaten dinner, and passed by a chain I'd seen before and been curious about: Benitoraken. I'd never seen a branch outside of the one in Shinsaibashi, so I was interested.
Like many tantanmen shops, this shop was Chinese-oriented. A bunch of different tantanmen bowls available, and lots of other Chinese food. There were some tasty-looking sesame bowls on the menu, but I had to go for the Muraikan Tantanmen, the spiciest one with a maroon-colored broth and a ton of hot peppers dumped right in.
Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Chūō-ku, Shinsaibashisuji, ２丁目８−１
Benitoraken is a couple blocks south of Daimaru just to the west of the Shinsaibashi shopping arcade.
This was the oiliest, spiciest thing I'd had in a long time. Even before I took a sip I could smell the spice in the air. Unlike a lot of other tantanmen I've had, there was sansho in this, the Chinese numbing spice usually found in mabo tofu. The broth was surprisingly thick, and drinking it tasted almost like drinking mabo tofu. The noodles were medium thickness and flat, and the bowl contained tons of ground meat. The oil overtook me and though I have a little bit of shame in saying this, I couldn't drink all of the broth. I'm not sure I would have lived to post this if I had, though.
Would I Go Again?
I would. The oil was a bit much, but it was good and I'd like to try some of the other styles.
Should You Go?
If you like spicy food. It's convenient right in the heart of Shinsaibashi, too.