I don’t care what anyone says but spicy food is a necessity of life. The way the flavors hit your tongue is a completely different sensation than other kinds of foods. However, if you over do it, you might not be able to get the full amount of flavor from the dish. No worries though because we found a place in Yokohama’s Isezakichou with great spicy Chinese food that keeps it all in balance. The name of the place is 寅馬 (Inma) which translates to Tiger Horse (pretty wicked right?) and it’s a ma la tang (a sort of spicy hot pot) specialty shop.
These are the different levels of spice ranging by degrees. For first timers 37 is recommended, followed by 39 for regulars and from there on up it just starts getting hot.
I should mention ahead of time that although Inma primarily serves spicy sichuan style hot pot, they also have a white pork bone broth one as well. It tends to be more on the creamy side and not spicy.
After you’ve decided on a spice, you can then pick out the ingredients you want to add from the refrigerator (as shown in the video). Each of them will run you only about 100 yen (US .80).
Sichuan Spicy Hot Pot
This spicy dish is the pride and joy of Tiger Horse. Although it looks very spicy (and well it kind of is), it really captures a whirlwind of flavors. One ingredient that stands out in sichuan hot pot are the sichuan peppers which give your a tongue a tingling sensation. Also since you can choose a lot of your own ingredients as mentioned above, you can manipulate the flavor quite a bit. This makes it fun to experiment each time, and calls for a lot of repeat visits.
Pork Bone Broth Hot Pot
As I mentioned above, Inma has an alternative pork bone broth hot pot for those who don’t really want to deal with the spice. For something labeled as an alternative, this was incredibly delicious. The soup does have the tingling sensation from the sichuan peppers, however, the milky richness from the bone broth keeps it very smooth and rich. Udon noodles are definitely a great choice with this broth.
The spice that makes it all happen.
The wonderful cooks let us have a sample of what makes their hot pot so good. You can add more of the to spicy mixture to kick up the spice a bit or give the pork bone broth one more of an edge. As far as what’s in it, well let’s just say it’s a secret.
Overall Inma is a great place to warm up the body on a cold day. The food for the price is incredible (although it depends on how many ingredients you add, it will typically run you around 10 bucks). The portions tend to be larger though so you should come hungry. If you want a taste of Sichuan, this is your place to go.