味噌ラーメン - Miso Ramen
One would think that a good idea to escape the summer in Tokyo would be to head to the cooler climes of Hokkaido, however there are a few things that could turn this seemingly brilliant plan on its head. Firstly, Sapporo can be pretty hot itself in summer - we were rather lucky in that respect though. Secondly, Sapporo is famous for its miso ramen which seems to be pretty much everywhere throughout the city and is much more suited to wintertime eating.
Keyaki seems to be one of the more famous shops so that was where we headed (after a slight detour which led us to a massive car park and a ramen shop which was closed for the duration of our 4 days in Sapporo). A bit of a queue, but nothing to worry about. Inside the store led to another flaw in our plan - It was like a sauna inside. But once you're in, there's no turning back. Not even if you try - with your elbows locked into your waist and shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbour you're stuck.
My friend went for the chashu-men.
Not ideal for a hot day but still a great bowl. There is nothing lacking and it doesn't feel as if there is anything unnecessary either. A nice spice that only kicked with a few mouthfuls of soup and among the rest of the usual suspects in a bowl of miso ramen including some pieces of ground pork floating around. The chashu was also full of meaty goodness.
It was definitely a sweaty experience but well worth it. There are definitely a few more I'd like to try up this way in the future.