Satori Ramen – Shinigami Edition – Spiciest Dish in Columbus
It’s rare that we re-visit a location that we’ve been to previously, but sometimes a dish is rolled out that is so spicy we have to go back. Sit back and enjoy the story.
It was a typical Friday morning and as I was going about my business when the lady of the farm sent me an Instagram post and said “I mean, you have to go back right?” Satori Ramen in the North Market had posted their “Reaper Madness” aka the “Shinigami Ramen.” Previously on Spiciest Dish in Columbus, we ate Satori’s Kara Kapow and plopped it at #14 in our list. Now they were back with a higher heat ramen that was begging to get on our list.
“Shinigami” is a Japanese God of Death, similar to our Grim Reaper. From looking at the picture of the ramen, I could tell there were slices of reaper on top of this fiery noodle bowl and I immediately got nervous.
In my lifetime I’ve managed to never eat a Carolina Reaper whole. We make sauces with them, eat wings covered in them and cashews that have Reaper powder, but I had yet to eat a full Carolina Reaper. I spent the day thinking about how I was going to approach this. “I’ll tuck them into the egg” I naively thought. My plan was solid. Past the slices, how bad could it be? We headed to the North Market for the Reaper Madness and the following is as close to a true account as I can muster.
As I walked up, the lady of the farm said she’d see me on the other side. She went to Jeni’s to get some ice cream for herself and some ice cream for me. I approached the register and the gentleman asked what I would like.
“The spicy ramen challenge please.” No excitement, mostly dread.
“You sure? This thing is the real deal.”
“Yes, I…have to.” After all, who is Ron Fartley if he doesn’t try specially hand-crafted spicy challenges within Columbus?
What followed was a four-page document that detailed the rules of the challenge. If you finish the Shinigami Ramen within 13 minutes, it’s free and you get a $25 gift card to Satori Ramen Bar. Finish within 30 minutes and the dish itself is free (~$16). Along with the time constraints it outlined that you could only drink water and are not allowed to leave your ramen at any time. I initialed, signed and dated the doc and returned it, along with a part of my soul. The contract was complete. I would be the third challenger to take on the Shinigami Ramen.
Calm, cool, collected, I sat at the bar, awaiting imminent death. The lady of the farm returned, ready to take pictures for the inevitable victory over the Shinigami Ramen Challenge. After all, I had defeated the Mucho Macho Burrito and downed the Triple Atomic wings with ease. This would be no match.
Then the Shinigami revealed itself.
A bright red broth, with two large chunks of chicken, a non soft-boiled egg, noodles and slices of Carolina Reaper. Not even mixed in, just SLICES OF REAPER ON THE RAMEN (roughly 3/4 of a full reaper). This thing looked diabolical. I shook my head, knowing that this was going to be rough. I’d be lucky to make it out alive, let alone finishing the whole thing in 30 minutes (broth, toppings, everything must go!).
The timer began and I took my first bites, trying to hide the Carolina Reaper inside bites of sprouts, egg and chicken. The chicken had a great cook with a nicely fried exterior that soaked up the broth. I made it through the Carolina Reaper slices and most toppings within four minutes. I was on my way.
I’d been chatting with one of the chefs the whole time who had taken extra interest in how I would do with the Shinigami Ramen. As I was plowing through the toppings, he turned his phone toward me. There’s this odd moment when you see something so familiar that you wonder if you’re in a coma somewhere, because there’s no way this could actually be happening. He had pulled up the site that you are currently reading this on, focused on the Spiciest dish series and asked if that was me. It was. The one and only Ron Fartley. He fist-pumped slightly and we chatted about the series. I still had yet to put 2 and 2 together.
Noodles finished, I looked at the clock. My insides were not pleased. I had put sunglasses on not for Cory Hart irony, but because I didn’t want people to see the tears streaming down my cheeks. My body had gone into overdrive and all parts were trying to keep me cool. The lady of the farm had never seen this sort of sweat, or the nose drip. I urged people to look away because I was a monster. This was the hottest dish I had ever eaten. Each slurp of the noodles increased the heat. I asked the ramen creator that had shown me the Fartley Farms site, “why would you make something like this?” It was an evil dish after all.
“You put us at #14, I wasn’t going to stand for that.”
I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating at first, but it sounded like he had made this dish specifically for me.
“I had these Carolina Reapers growing and since we were at #14 I figured we needed to punch it up.”
I am Spicy Icarus. I flew too close to the spicy sun and someone was here to clip my wings. I laughed, the lady of the farm laughed, the remaining broth laughed. I was going to die eating this ramen. The spite soup, the vengeance vegetables, the ramen of retribution was created to wreck my world.
With eight minutes left, it was straight broth remaining. The broth is an abomination made with a tonkotsu base, habanero paste (from their Kara Kapow) and Carolina Reaper paste. I took a few sips from the edge of the bowl, trying to take down the liquid napalm that sat in the dish. My body had abandoned me. No more sweat, no more tears or snot, I was on my own.
I’m a prideful man and I was going to use the full thirty minutes to my advantage. This dish would not defeat me! Or so I thought until about five minutes left. My mouth was on fire. My throat was on fire. My stomach was on fire. The sunglasses hid the pain in my eyes, but I couldn’t keep up the ruse. This was no doubt that this was absolutely the spiciest dish in Columbus. I tapped out. Fist bumps all around for making it the furthest so far, but I was nowhere close to finishing.
To cool things down, I slammed some Jeni’s and Calpico. Informing the Satori staff that they had just rocketed to number one on my list brought them great joy and brought me my freedom to retreat into the Columbus darkness.
To date, 11 people have taken the challenge with only one finishing the dish. Rumor has it that one winner ended up laying on the ground at Satori for a bit after successfully completing the dish. If you’re interested in taking it on, they will be taking Shinigami Ramen reservations this weekend. Who knows if they will continue into the future with it or if it will just be a once a year thing (like the Fiery Death Pizza with Hate Sausage at Mikey’s Late Night Slice), but my recommendation would be to call and ask. September/October is prime Reaper time, so keep an eye out during that point in the year.
Standing up from the bar after thirty minutes of consuming the biggest bowl of fire to date, my legs were wobbly. I stumbled to the car with the lady of the farm and had her drive home while I contemplated life. My insides burned. I was physically exhausted. Upon arriving home I sat in bed for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out how this was going to get through my body. It ended up leaving with the same fury as it came in, thought thankfully through a different direction. Similar to the Mucho Macho Burrito, this thing will wreck you for a full day. Cancel your plans, because you will be asking for the Shinigami to take you away. Would I do this challenge again? No. Once was more than enough. Is it now the new number one on our list? 100 percent, yes. I’m hoping no one else creates a vengeance dish, but props to Satori Ramen Bar for making it happen.
Satori Ramen Bar is located inside the North Market in downtown Columbus.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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