I visited Ramen Street in Sapporo in December, 2015
I was getting hungry, headed for the Susukino area. I had heard rumors of a certain Ramen Street.
It wasn’t a street really, more of a narrow alley. No more than two people could walk side by side. This being Japan, christmas lights were hanging above me as I walked down the street. Ramen shops lining both sides of the street.
I walked down the length of the street, looking at the different restaurants, trying to decide. At the far end a certain restaurant had a sign proclaiming Anthony Bourdain had eaten here, Anthony Bourdain came to the here. I knew where I would eat today.
I went inside, got a seat at the counter. Ordered the miso ramen, a Hokkaido speciality. With a broth made from miso and often mixed with chicken or fish stock, miso ramen was invented in Sapporo in the middle of the 20th century, reaching national recognition in the 1960s.
I did not have to wait long for my ramen, soon a big bowl of delicious noodles in a tasty umami-filled broth was placed in front of me. I got out my chipsticks, got my spoon, started slurping away.
The ramen was delicious. It warmed my body on a chilly evening. I slurped away, quickly finishing my food, washed it all down with a Sapporo beer. I have never been disappointed by ramen while in Japan, this time was no exception.
Next day I returned to Ramen Street. With so many restaurants to choose from I wasn’t just visiting one. This time I chose the restaurant at random, I walked down the alley, suddenly picked the one on my left. Went inside.
The restaurant was one of those places where you place your order at a vending machine, get a ticket, show it to the chef. No English written on the vending machine. I had to ask for help.
Luckily one of the guests spoke English, the chef did not know a word. Again I ordered the miso ramen and a Sapporo beer, exactly like last night. It was the local ramen, I had to try it again.
The ramen the second day was even better. Anthony Bourdain had not picked the best ramen shop in the street. I had found a place much better in my opinion. It was with a bit of pride I ate my ramen.
I found miso ramen quite to my liking. A very tasty dish that warms you up on cold days. I had planned to return to Ramen Street at least one more time, ramen is my favorite food you know, but the next day I discovered soup curry, another Sapporo speciality, a dish that almost knocked ramen down from the number one spot over my favorite foods.
For more about ramen, check out my ramen post.