ramen shingen in sapporo

away from the madness in ramen alley and off on it’s own in the susukino area is ramen shingen.  it was about a 20 minute walk from the airbnb we were staying in, to the east of the river but it was a good day to stretch out the legs in the sun and relatively warm weather.  we knew there’d be a bit of a lineup since it was after 12pm already so we stopped to pickup some steamed meat buns for the walk.  just a heads up that if you plan to do any sort of eating outdoors, scout out the crows.  these suckers are about twice the size that we see back in vancouver with some pretty nasty beaks and they’ll track your every move.  we’ve seen them stalking us outside our apartment window every morning and it wasn’t any different this walk.  one of them made eye contact with us as we passed it and started to leapfrog us every 10 feet we walked.  within minutes, they were circling one of us like buzzards

once the meat buns disappeared, so did the crows so we could lineup for lunch in safety.  we had gotten there just after noon so we had to endure a lineup of about 30 minutes

haha had the spicy miso broth and i opted for the light shio soup base to balance out the heaviness of the miso.  the noodles were great as well; firm but chewy.  the ramen noodles here in hokkaido are also much more yellow/orange than i’ve seen in the past in tokyo.  i don’t claim to be an expert in this field (or any, for that matter), i just know what my stomach likes and it was really happy after this meal.  oddly enough, we’ve had very limited amounts of rice this trip considering we’ve been in japan for over two weeks.  during our wait we got to see almost everybody plow through a bowl of fried rice we naturally we had to add that and a plate of gyoza to our meal.  the rice was, as our special friend likes to say, the bomb-dot-com.  stock soaked rice tossed with fried egg, green onion and garlic… little brown mounds have never tasted so good.

the icing on the cake was the meat.  every bowl came with a thinly cut piece of charsiu (no options for lean or fatty, one size fits all) but you could also add kakuni to your set.  this is braised pork belly, marinated in soy, rice wine and sugar and cooked until it’s firm enough to stay together but soft enough to melt in your mouth.  i tried to snap a shot of what i had leftover in my bowl but the meat almost ripped just from it’s own weight.  awesome meal, maybe my favorite bowl of ramen thus far this trip.
with our bellies full of belly, we head to otaru for the snow festival

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