The search for the ideal tan tan men has taken another turn for the better. Situated very close to Keio University's Mita campus you'll find Koya, a tiny but stylish noodle joint specialising in tan tan men without the soup.
You can order the varieties half and half as my dining partner did for certain dishes. I however was fascinated with the special tan tan men that was served without mala 麻辣汁なし担々麺. In place of the usual Sichuanese spicy sauce that you find in tan tan men, there is Sichaun pepper and star anise. At first it looks like garden clippings, but this was a veritable pepper explosion with a combination of tastes that I found completely novel. It's so great to find somewhere that can serve a really nice surprise!
This is served with your choice of side dish, and I chose the bbq pork which actually looked much better than the picture on the menu. Not being able to stop there I also ordered some delicious suigyoza, which came with a piquant dipping sauce, to share. If I was you I'd definitely get down and try the "mala-less" tan tan men sooner rather than later!