Menya Rei (麺や麗) is the best ramen shop in Chitose, Hokkaido. Known for heavier ramen, they're also one of the top ranked in all of Japan.
Chitose's Finest - Menya Rei
Chitose is most known for the New Chitose Airport, which serves the greater Sapporo area. Chitose is quieter city, one with less ramen competition too.
But Menya Rei is a bright spot in Chitose. According to Tabelog (Yelp of Japan), Menya Rei, also written as Menya Ray, is one of Japan's finest ramen shops. They've even been recognized by Michelin in the past.
Heavy Shoyu Ramen
Their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is at the top of the menu in terms of popularity. While the shoyu is there as a seasoning, it's more of a vehicle for the soup. Think of the soup as the protagonist.
It contains pork bones, chicken bones, and fish. The fish flavors are quite faint. But what's most noticeable is a smooth creaminess from the chicken and pork bones.
Vegetable topping-wise, there are green negi (spring onions), diced white onions, menma (bamboo shoots), and seaweed.
For protein, there's an egg (extra) and thick slices of pork. The pork take up most of the real estate. Soft and falling apart when you pick them up, they're massive.
The noodles are similarly thick and heavy. They’ll most certainly leave you full.
Spicy Miso Ramen
But their spicy miso ramen might be my favorite. It's filled to the brim with extra toppings. There's kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), a bushel of cabbage, along with stir-fried onions and bean sprouts.
The soup is just as thick and rich as in the shoyu ramen. But it's supercharged with spice. Chili oil flavors will hit you in the throat with every sip. Note that the soup is spicy - but it's not absurdly spicy. It's just right.
Lastly, the noodles are a little thinner in this one. When picking up them up, it's hard not to grab some of the stir-fried veggies.
Menya Rei, or Menya Ray, serves humongous bowls. Do come hungry! They also serve a miso ramen, a shio (salt) ramen, and a miso or shoyu tsukemen (dipping ramen).
Between the two ramen featured, I prefer the spicy miso ramen ever so slightly. But I think it comes down to personal preferences. Any of their ramen will leave you satisfied.