Monday, January 15, 2018

Ramen Ippontei (一本亭) - Go for the Salt Noodle @ Lake Toya [Hokkaido, Japan]

My intention was to have a delicious scallop meal at Lake Toya but the place was already closed for business at 6.30 pm. How come so early?!?! Without a second option, our group of six persons was in a fix on a suitable place for dinner!

We took out the map of Lake Toya that was given to us by the inn's operator and after deliberating for a while (honestly, six brains can be one too many to make a decision), we opted for ramen at Ippontei as the weather at Lake Toya was a bit cold and having a bowl of steaming hot soup with noodles would likely be enjoyable.

Our fingers were crossed when we parked the car, as this ramen restaurant could have been shut for the day too! For Singaporeans who have been too accustomed to finding food at night, it's a cultural shock when dining establishments closed so early.

Heng still opened for business although I am hesitant to sit on the tatami mats; I did that once and the painful cramps that came after I stood up remained etched in my memory.

Anyway, there was no available room but I am happy to be given counter seats!

Darn, don't understand anything except for the word 'menu'! I can roughly make out a few Chinese characters yet there's a missing symbol on the menu; the chef recommended logo!

The operator kindly passed us a Chinese menu after seeing our puzzled looks! There's also an English version which I would share at the end of this post.

Salt Noodle - as indicated on the English menu, I just picked off the first item on the menu which I knew would be shio ramen. As I was craving for meat, I topped up the ramen with another portion of chashu!

Loved the lightly flavoured soup that had a pinch of salty aftertaste and I was so glad to have topped up with extra chashu as each slice was impossibly sauce! Nothing's perfect though; the noodles were heavy and too eggy for my liking and why did they have to add in bamboo shoots?!

Why didn't any ramen restaurant in Singapore think of the above?! It's so convenient to have the spoon firmed placed at the edge without it slipping into the soup.

The above was a half eaten soy sauce ramen that's ordered by Alex; why did I bother showing it? Because it wasn't great; cloying after a while and it tasted like a pot of weakly flavoured braised pork. *shake head*

We were not the last customers but the owner came out and switched off the lights shortly after we exited; it's not even 7.30 pm! Rest assured, there's always 7-11 if all the restaurants had closed.

=====

Location
78 Tōyakoonsen, Tōyako-chō,
Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 049-5721, Japan

Google Map
Search for Ramen Ippontei under Lake Toya (06-07 Aug)

Operating Hours
11.30 am to 2.00 pm
6.00 to 8.00 pm
(Actual time might differ)

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Shio Ramen - 700 yen
Top up Cha Shu - 300 yen


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