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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - Aji no Tokeidai 味の時計台 (JR札幌店)

Visited 11.02.2013


- One of the goals of this trip was to try all three popular types of ramen in different parts of Hokkaido - shoyu (soy sauce) based in Asahikawa, miso based in Sapporo and shio (salt) based in Hakodate. Managed to accomplish two out of three wish list items - missed out shio ramen even though we visited Hakodate this time round. Had tasted shoyu ramen from Aoba, one of the many locally established names when we were in Asahikawa. Made our way next to this well known brand, which is named after Sapporo's prominent landmark, Clock Tower (Tokedai). Even though Aji no Tokeidai has not been around for a long time (was only founded late 1980s), it has risen to become a household name in Sapporo, close to 20 branches/franchises within Sapporo and about 40 in Hokkaido.   

- Patronised this franchise located near the North exit of Sapporo JR Station. Ordered their signature miso based ramen, gyozas (pan fried meat dumplings) and fried rice. Soup was very savory, packed with rich flavours (pork bone broth) and not too salty. Aji no Tokeidai manufactures their own noodles (has a factory in Aomori) - springy noodles cooked well enough to reduce the alkaline taste. So far, gyozas that I have eaten in Japan have been very satisfying - pan fried to perfection, stuffed with juicy meat fillings. Chinese style fried rice finally took us away from many days of Japanese cuisine in this trip and tasted not too bad as well (though was hoping for more "wok-hei" which we can taste in most Chinese stir fried dishes). 

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Aji no Tokeidai 味の時計台 (JR札幌店)
Located on the north exit of Sapporo JR Station.
Opening hours: 1000 - 2200 hrs
http://www.ajino-tokeidai.co.jp/


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Other Sapporo Ramen shops?

(1) Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku 札幌拉面共和国
http://www.sapporo-esta.jp/ramen
Similar concept to Asahikawa Ramen Village, a community of eight ramen stalls is located on the sixth floor of Sapporo ESTA building (just beside Sapporo JR Station). Apart from Sapporo Ramen, this place also features ramen from other parts of Hokkaido as well. If you are unsure which stalls to visit in Sapporo, you should be able to find one to your liking (though all looked quite similar to me) over here. 



(2) Aji no Sanpei 味の三平
http://www.ajino-sanpei.com/
Read about this traditional ramen shop in one of my travel guide books. The one and only shop is located on the fourth floor of Daimaru-Fuji Central departmental store (near to Odori Park). Have marked it as one of my "to visit" places on the next visit to Hokkaido!

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