Thursday, March 12, 2020

いそのかづお (Isono Kazuo in Sapporo, Hokkaido)


This trip to Hokkaido was all about the legend shops, ramen restaurants highlighted in The Best of the Best Ramen. This meant a lot of great bowls. This also had a strange side effect; I ate very few bowls of miso ramen in Hokkaido this time around.

Isono Kazuo is, as the surrounding Susukino area, a late-night spot. Susukino is one of Japan's top nightlife areas if we are talking about the drinky kinds. The kinds where Japanese businessmen pay top dollar to have attractive women pour their drinks and make small talk. Apparently, Susukino is a bit more affordable. I have my favorite natural wine bar in Sapporo, so I'm more interested in the ramen.

Open from 10pm until something like 6am. You can get a bowl of Sapporo Black Ramen anytime you need.

Dark soy sauce and a fishy base. A garlic punch hiding in there somewhere. 

The unofficial style of ramen known as black is famous in Toyama and Osaka, but any locality can do it. Is one of the rules that the soup has to stain the noodles?

Check! Noodles made from Hokkaido-based Hinodeseimen noodle factory. Though the soup isn't a Sapporo miso, those noodles are thick, curly, and eggy. 

The master works quickly. This is a good thing, as the line at 9:30 pm was already 15 people deep. By the time I left at around 11, there must have been 30 people waiting.

This is a must in Sapporo, though that list for me is around 10 shops now.

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