One of the greatest successes of fusion cuisine would have to be tantan-men (担担麺), the Japanese version of dan dan noodles, a Szechuan specialty. Sisen Ramen is a chain of about eight ramen stores in Osaka which serves nothing but variations of tantan-men. Woohoo!

By the leg of this trip, we were staying at Swissotel Nankai which is probably the most luxurious hotel in Osaka, and luckily, Sisen Ramen and CoCo Curry were only across the street! (Pssst, I’ll be blogging about Swissotel soon!)

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan

It’s a charming little restaurant, simply furnished with communal tables and stools flushed against both walls. The decor includes some quaint Chinese touches but has a modern appeal.

There’s also an assortment of condiments to suit any tastes, including salt and pepper, vinegar, chilli oil, ground fresh chilli, pickled cabbage, shichimi and deep-fried garlic chips.

We’re here just after the lunch rush and witness the last few businessmen slurping up their ramen.
四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - interior setting, condiments

The waitress brings out oshibori, glasses of icy water, sets of menus for all of us and one token English menu. It says “soup base used for our ramen are cooked by boiling pork and chicken bones and vegetables. Rich source of vitamins, minerals and collagen”.

“What’s good about sesame: Sesame is a source of high quality protein and has the 12 times the amount of calcium than milk, 5 times the amount of iron of spinach and other vitamins as well. It also contains sesame lignin, said to destroy active enzyme linoleum and oleic acid said to remove cholesterol, helping your body with anti-aging and keeping in good balance.”

Wait. So it’s tasty, and good for us?

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - sesame-based tantanmen

Some of us have the Tantan-men Shinaji lunch set (¥820) which is their recommended ramen. It is a bowl of mild and spicy sesame based broth with chunky roast pork, Chinese cabbage and firm thin threads of ramen plus a side of fried rice.  The flavours are rich and nutty and and the pork is divinely flaky and moist.

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - chinese fried rice

Others, have the Tantan-men Motoaji lunch set (¥820) which is ramen served in a vivid red broth topped with thinly sliced spring onion, Chinese cabbage and pork mince plus a side of fried rice.

I order the Tantan-men Motoaji ramen only (¥700) and add a side of gyozas. The gyoza are deliciously crisp and the filling of mince and cabbage is fragrant with sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  -gyozas

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - spicy tantanmen ramen with<br />
frozen lychee

My lips slightly burn from the hotness (a combination of heat and
spicyness) but I can’t help but continue to slurp the ramen which is
tangled within this sensationally punchy rich broth.

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - close up of tantan-men

四川辣麺 Sisen Raamen, Osaka, Japan  - tantanmen

The frozen lychee served with each bowl of ramen cleanses the palate and completes this very satisfying tantan-men experience, and we head back out into the heat, glad to have ticked an authentic tantan-men ramen experience off the travel to-do list.


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四川辣麺 (Sisen Raamen)
(Opposite Swissotel Nankai near Namba station)
日本, 〒556-0011 大阪府大阪市浪速区難波中1丁目18−10 (1-chome, Naka Naniwa Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan)
Phone: +81 06 4396 7755
Other branches: search 四川辣麺

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • You know, I was there just last week 🙂 I actually find the noodles here to be not quite hot enough. Did you try the ramen place approx 50m further up the road? Neither are crash hot noodle places but I guess it’s passable for a quick meal.
    By the way I hope you also went up to dotonbori for a few meals. Pretty sure that you’d have loved that area 🙂

  • I never knew that Sesames had so much good stuff in them! I will now no longer feel guilty when eating sesame snaps!

  • Jen

    Oooo, just got a tip from gaishokujin that a place called 紅虎軒 (Benitoraken), which is also in Shinsaibashi, does good tantanmen & gyozas! Must try the next time I’m in Osaka…

  • Jen
  • Jen

    I love Sesame Snaps! Haven’t had them in a while…

  • Jen

    Yeh, I think I did go to the other one too! I was more impressed with this tantanmen than the ramen up the road though.
    You’re right. I loved Dotonbori! Wish there was a Sydney equivalent!

  • Nik

    In 2009 I stayed at a hotel just around the corner and found this by accident…until today my favorite Tantanmen Ramen in the world…thanks for giving me the name and location again as I thought I’d lost it…and I used your blog to show other friends the way too! All the best & cheers, Nik

  • Nik

    sorry me again…do you have a tantanmen ramen in this category in tokyo too?

  • Jen

    Hi Nik, I think they’re in Osaka only. I’m glad I was of help to you and your friends! 🙂