Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sapporo Engine 炎の味噌ラーメン 札幌炎神 (Sapporo, JAPAN) ★★★★☆

Friends have been telling us that our trip to Sapporo won't be complete without checking out at least one ramen shop. But with our super tight schedule, we didn't get to squeeze in our soul-warming ramen until our last night in Sapporo.

Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho (元祖さっぽろラーメン横丁), a famous ramen alley in Susukino known as the birthplace of miso ramen would have been the safe bet but I decided to try our luck at Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade (狸小路商店街) instead. I've heard it has its share of good ramen restaurants as well.

Sapporo Engine (炎の味噌ラーメン 札幌炎神) was where we decided to have our ramen tonight. Their miso based ramen is considered one of the best in Sapporo but for those who don't enjoy miso ramen, they have a small selection of shio (salt based) ramen on the menu as well. 

After some quick work with the vending machine.....

I finally got ourselves the tickets to some of the best miso ramen in town.

We had to wait a good 20 minutes for our ramen but I thought it's well worth the wait. I was watching just outside the open kitchen and could see how each bowl of ramen was carefully prepared step by step. The chef then put the finishing touch on the broth with his cooking torch bringing it to a boil.

The good guys here were nice enough to offer us seats inside their private dining room. That was so nice of them!

"Houjun Miso" Engine Ramen (980 yen) - Their best seller and not surprisingly, a miso ramen.

This came with a couple of lightly torched barbecued pork (char siu), three small cubes of barbecued pork loin, marinated eggs, bamboo shoot and black fungus, which was pretty standard (except the pork loin cubes). But there's nothing "standard" or ordinary about the broth, which is clearly the heart and soul of this bowl of ramen. It's very creamy and flavorful with great depth of flavors. Some of us thought it was a little salty but I thought it was spot on.

Shrimp tomalley Miso Ramen (880 yen) - Another miso-based ramen with a prawn bisque like broth. But it didn't come with shrimp, barbecued pork, not even marinated egg.

Again, the broth came sizzling hot (which was why it worked so well with the noodles?). I thought the ramen noodles combined well with the broth but as a purist, I would probably prefer "Houjun Miso" Engine Ramen, which is more of a traditional miso-based ramen.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: ¥¥¥
Address: 4-4 Minami-2 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-0062 Japan
Closest Metro Station: Odori
Tel: +81 11-206-9900

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