Vol. 4 | Fall 2019

enjoys the food and style which is showcased in his restaurants. "We want to give people an amazing food experience," said Schneider. Their broth is made inhouse and is either pork, chicken or soy based depending on the bowl. "Then we add the same gourmet wheat noodles used in Japan," said Schneider. They recently started offering a gluten- free option too. On top of each bowl they carefully arrange fresh ingredients like garlic, chilis, shitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots, paying careful attention to flavor detail. It is quite an artistic looking dish for a bowl of noodle soup. You'll find there are spicy, salty and savory options and even bowls that combine them all. Ramen is served piping hot to begin with, but for the real heat lovers the spicy ramen goes up to a level three and they add habanero pepper to the mix. The garlic ramen packs a flavor punch and might leave you with some rather strong breath but it's worth it. The bottom line, as most foodies will agree, ramen is good. Like really, really good. At Hokkaido Ramen & Izakaya it also happens to be super affordable at around $11 for a bowl. For the inexperienced ramen eaters, chopsticks and a spoon are the authentic way to do it but that might take some more practice before diving in. If you have to, you can always grab a fork. Just remember, the best way to eat ramen is to throw table manners aside and embrace the slurp. Seriously, there's an actual science to this method that involves keeping the broth hot and your noodles from getting too mushy by slurping it down. If you need something to cool off the tongue, on the drink menu there is local beer, wine and an “extensive" sake list. Customers can even design their own flight of sake in order to try multiple samples. If you're looking for a really entertaining drink, the Mount Fuji is a mix of sake and other spirits. It comes with two straws and a flame in the middle! Whether you’re looking to spice things up on date night, or just want a quick, adventurous alternative for happy hour with a friend, Hokkaido is a great choice. It’s different and deliciously daring, especially for Helena. You may find yourself so satisfied and refreshed by the change of pace and scenery here that, on your way out, you yell, “Oishī!” (delicious) right back at the staff! n

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mtclubevents@gmail.com | 406.442.5980 24 West 6th Avenue, Helena, MT 59601

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www.thelocal-helena.com

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