Thursday, February 13, 2020

麺処 まるは BEYOND (Beyond in Sapporo)

麺処 まるは BEYOND

With the Best of the Best Ramen guidebook in hand, I headed to Sapporo. Sapporo is known, even to the most rookie ramen fans, as the world epicenter of miso ramen. The above photo, a clean shoyu from Maruha BEYOND, is as far from thick, creamy miso as you can get. It is also the Number One ranked shop in Hokkaido according to Ramen Walker Magazine.

And it isn't even in central Sapporo. Hop the Namboku Line to Nakanoshima Station.

Even though Hokkaido is synonymous with miso, most shops have soy and salt on the menu. Some see this as a for-regulars-only thing, but it makes sense that someone up here must be crushing it in the chukasoba soy ramen game.

Pork and chicken for heartiness. Onions and ginger to balance the aroma. Dried fish for umami. It is the standard recipe for chukasoba, Japan's original comfort food ramen. 

Maruha BEYOND is one of many non-miso shops I tried on this trip. Though Sapporo doesn't have the numbers of Tokyo or Osaka, the variety is there. Should you skip the famous miso shops and go for something like this? If social media dictates your eating habits, or you are obsessed with the relatively small number of food journalists who dipped their toes into Hokkaido food culture, then you'll be fine with miso twice a day.

If not, this one was worth the journey.

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