Today's Ramen is brought to you by the lengthy named "Mountain Storm".
Sweet name Seriously.
YamaArashi is actually a separate shop much farther south in Sapporo, however, they recently released a new restaurant (Kurotora) near the downtown area of Sapporo. For the traveler, this shop is far easier to access.
It's actually just outside of this area known as "Tanuki Kouji", an expansive, covered walkway, excellent for shopping. In this way it seems somewhat superior to the original for the tourist.
Furthermore, this restaurant actually has a slightly different menu than the original, and as such it's rating on Tabelog is HIGHER than the original shop. 3.49/5 for the original, 3.62/5 for Black Tiger, the shop we're looking at today.
If that isn't irony I'm not sure what is.
This is the size of the entire shop... tiny.
Entering the small 8 seat shop, you will see a ticket vending machine to your right. For the tourist, this makes ordering actually fairly simple, providing you know what you're looking for, as it will of course be written in Japanese.
Which is why I'm here eh?
The Ramen at this restaurant is divided into three categories; White, Black, and Sea. These divisions categorize soup.
White is the basic soup, made with pork bone. Look on the machine for this figure: 白
Black is the basic soup with a touch of soy sauce. Look for this figure: 黒
Sea has a slight touch of fish broth added to the soup. Look for this figure: 海
In other words in general, they're fairly similar. You can pick based on your preferences, however, in most guide books I've come across, white and black are the most recommended.
After giving your ticket from the machine, sit down at one of 8 seats, and... wait?
Then your food arrives. I ordered Black, and this is what came.
Pork Bone broth with soy sauce. It's topped with chopped onion, sliced scallion, a slice of nori, and I ordered a boiled egg extra. Black is described as being rich and deep, and boosted with a bit of collagen, which you can see is the browner side of the bowl.
Floating collagen on soup... well... that's different.
The presentation is quite appealing; a certain level of black vs white contrast, half and half. The color is nice.
The noodles are thick, not housemade, but quite nice. They have that good bite you always look for; they're cooked well.
Honestly, I was absolutely shocked in the best of ways by this shop and its food. I thought the soup was incredibly rich and flavorful, and had an amazing depth that played well with the noodles. The raw white onions added a nice bite to play with the mellow thick consistency of the soup. The collagen gives an incredible rich, smooth mouth feel to the already milky white rich soup.
It was just so good. Ahahaha.
"Pork Bone soup" as a concept is somewhat rare in comparison to miso, shoyu, or shio, the three tastes, within Sapporo. In this regard, this place is a little treasure that manages to break away from what all the other shops are doing, while also maintaining a level of quality and integrity.
The shop is cool looking, the location is great, the food is awesome. The experience itself leaves quite the impact. If you like rich foods, and love porky pork goodness, this shop is absolutely for you. Even if you DON'T like that stuff I would still suggest checking this place out.
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