Ramen has been around long enough that all kinds of unusual toppings and flavor combinations have already been tried. As crazy as it may sound, even ice cream is one of them.

Although an Osakan ramen shop called 中華そば フラン軒 Chuka Soba Furanken went viral last year for putting a whole ice cream cone into a bowl of miso ramen, according to an article by Gadget Tsushin, a ramen shop in Tokyo's Adachi Ward by the name of 菊や Kikuya already had "Ice Cream Ramen" on their menu by 2010 and experimented not only with cones but also ice cream sandwiches and more.

With the thermometer rising and the hottest month of the year just around the corner, the unlikely combination of ramen and ice cream has come back into the spotlight for 2022, this time in a collaboration with one of Japan's most popular ice cream brands, Lotte's クーリッシュ Coolish! "drinkable ice cream" desserts.

Featuring a satisfyingly unique mouthfeel blending the texture of ice slurry and the smooth creaminess of ice cream, these ultra-popular cool desserts are contained in a convenient, squeezable pouch format and can be found in the frozen food or frozen dessert section of almost every convenience store and most supermarkets in Japan. In addition to the original vanilla flavor, new varieties come out every season.

The ramen shop bold enough to team up with Coolish is 麺屋武蔵 武骨外伝 Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden. The Menya Musashi ramen chain already stands out for being innovators, since they were one of the first to combine animal and fish-based broths during the ramen boom of the '80s and '90s, but their Bukotsu Gaiden branch in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is particularly known for trying far-out flavors and combinations.

クーリッシュ咖冷麺 Coolish Kaireimen

The 咖冷麺 kareimen in the name is a play on words, a portmanteau of 咖喱 kari, the old kanji rendering of "curry" still occasionally used for a retro effect, and 冷麺 reimen, meaning chilled noodles and sometimes, by extension, cold ramen. Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden's Coolish Kaireimen is a cold ramen dish flavored with spicy green curry and served with a packet of "Mini Coulish Vanilla" for you to add to your taste. When you add Coolish, the already cold broth will reach sub-zero temperatures, creating the perfect refreshment for summer.

The harmony of complex tastes and textures created by topping it with many ingredients, including Coolish, makes this dish very special, creating an exquisite synergy of spiciness and sweetness. Diners who order it will also receive a package of "Mini Coolish Grape" as an after-meal treat.


You can choose from the following toppings: Special spice mix (an original blend of paprika powder, cayenne pepper and cumin), marinated vegetables (red Bell peppers and red onions), original oil (a green curry style oil based on green chili peppers), caramelized peanut pieces, Tandoori chicken, and grilled cheese.

クーリッシュ咖冷麺 Coolish Kaireimen will set you back 1,100 JPY (inc. tax) and will be available at 麺屋武蔵 武骨外伝(渋谷) Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden (Shibuya) from July 27th to August 31st, 2022, while supplies last. Only 15 servings will be offered per day, so be sure to arrive early! Lunch begins at 11:30 am

Comments from the developers

From left to right: 米沢さん Mr. Yonezawa, owner of Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden, ice cream researcher シズリーナ荒井 Sizzlelina Arai, 木村さん Mr. Kimura, vice owner and development manager of Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden

Our kitchen gets over 40 degrees Celsius when it's hot, so we often enjoy "Coolish Vanilla" to cool down. So, when we were approached about this project, our first thought was to develop cold ramen that can be enjoyed even when the temperature is high (...) During the one-month development period, we tried about 100 Coolish and finally decided on Vanilla to create a dish that succeeds as ramen while retaining the character of Coolish...

Menya Musashi Bukotsu Gaiden Vice Owner and Development Manager 木村さん Mr. Kimura

(...) In mid-summer, cold ramen often becomes lukewarm very quickly. We consulted with both Lotte and Menya Musashi to come up with a plan for a delicious cold ramen that would not lose its flavor even when eaten in the middle of summer. Never have I seen a cold ramen dish with such a variety of expressions!

Project originator, ice cream researcher シズリーナ荒井 Sizzlelina Arai

(...) The vanilla flavor of Coolish combined with the spicy cold ramen makes for an unimaginably delicious experience, and the added coldness makes it an irresistible taste on a hot day. It's an unexpected collaboration, but we're sure you'll be satisfied with (...) the result.

Project representative from Lotte Co., Ltd. 北村考志 Takashi Kitamura

By - grape Japan editorial staff.