日本での一年間

March 1, 2009

The Food in Hokkaido

Filed under: Domestic, Food, Hokkaido, Trips — myyearinjapan @ 2:41 am

While in Hokkaido, I made sure to try a bunch of the local specialties. Luckily, one of my friends who I traveled with was very knowledgeable about all the famous Sapporo dishes and where to find them. Below are some short explanation of each.

Soup Curry (スープカレー):
At Suage:

This is a specialty of Sapporo called Soup Curry (スープカレー). Unlike normal Japanese curry, which tends to be fairly mild, this curry was very spicy. But that was perfect to warm us up from the cold and snow outside.

This is a specialty of Sapporo called Soup Curry (スープカレー). Unlike normal Japanese curry, which tends to be fairly mild, this curry was very spicy. But that was perfect to warm us up from the cold and snow outside.

In this curry (same curry as above), is mochi (glutinous pounded rice ball), eggplant, cheese, chicken, an egg, carrots, etc. The rice was also necessary to deal with the spiciness. They allow you to choose the level of spiciness on a scale (at this restaurant, it went from 1 to 10) and we all chose a level that in retrospect might have been too high because were so used to excessively mild Japanese curry.

In this curry (same curry as above), is mochi (glutinous pounded rice ball), eggplant, cheese, chicken, an egg, carrots, etc. The rice was also necessary to deal with the spiciness. They allow you to choose the level of spiciness on a scale (at this restaurant, it went from 1 to 10) and we all chose a level that in retrospect might have been too high because we're so used to excessively mild Japanese curry.

At Spark:

I didnt like this Soup Curry as much. I thought the one above was much more delicious. All of the stores were pretty interesting. They all had a modern feel with simple design. Usually, when I imagine a Japanese restaurant with a regional specialty, its more of a traditional food and the restaurant would have a traditional feel, but since Soup Curry is not at all traditional, the restaurants have more free range to be a different style.

I didn't like this Soup Curry as much. I thought the one above was much more delicious. All of the stores were pretty interesting. They all had a modern feel with simple design. Usually, when I imagine a Japanese restaurant with a regional specialty, it's more of a traditional food and the restaurant would have a traditional feel, but since Soup Curry is not at all traditional, the restaurants have more free range to be a different style.

Butter Corn Ramen (バターコーンラーメン):

Mix the Japanese style Ramen noodles served in giant bowls with the Hokkaido made butter and corn and you have Sapporos ramen specialty: Butter Corn Ramen. It really looks like they just took a normal bowl of Miso ramen and piled some corn on it and a slab of butter before giving it to you. Its delicious though.

Mix the Japanese style Ramen noodles served in giant bowls with the Hokkaido made butter and corn and you have Sapporo's ramen specialty: Butter Corn Ramen. It really looks like they just took a normal bowl of Miso ramen and piled some corn on it and a slab of butter before giving it to you. It's delicious though.

Lamb Genghis Kahn (ラム成吉思汗 or ラムジンギスカン):

This Hokkaido specialty has you cooks lamb on a hot plate in front of you. Lamb is not at all common in Japan. It would be hard to find in Tokyo, but apparently its more plentiful in Hokkaido. The lamb we ate was delicious and not too expensive either.

This Hokkaido specialty has you cooks lamb on a hot plate in front of you. Lamb is not at all common in Japan. It would be hard to find in Tokyo, but apparently it's more plentiful in Hokkaido. The lamb we ate was delicious and not too expensive either.

We tried going to this famous Lamb Genghis Kahn restaurant for lunch and found out they onlt opened at dinnertime. They opened at 5 pm and stay open everyday until 5 am. The staff was all women in their forties or so, which seemed strange for an establishment that stays open all night. But they knew what they were doing and the restaurant is always busy, with a long line you have to wait in. They dont take reservations.

We tried going to this famous Lamb Genghis Kahn restaurant for lunch and found out they onlt opened at dinnertime. They opened at 5 pm and stay open everyday until 5 am. The staff was all women in their forties or so, which seemed strange for an establishment that stays open all night. But they knew what they were doing and the restaurant is always busy, with a long line you have to wait in. They don't take reservations.

Otaru’s Sushi (小樽市の寿司):

We took a day trip to Otaru city, famous for its sushi. I had a sushi donburi (sushi over rice). They called the set I ordered the Ohstosk Sea set. The sushi on it was salmon, salmon roe, and crab. I mostly wanted to try the crab because Hokkaido is famous for crab and I wanted some before I left. That was tasty, but I didnt enjoy the salmon roe as much. Im not a big fan of salmon roe.

We took a day trip to Otaru city, famous for it's sushi. I had a sushi donburi (sushi over rice). They called the set I ordered the Ohstosk Sea set. The sushi on it was salmon, salmon roe, and crab. I mostly wanted to try the crab because Hokkaido is famous for crab and I wanted some before I left. That was tasty, but I didn't enjoy the salmon roe as much. I'm not a big fan of salmon roe.

We were sitting at the counter, so we were able to watch the chefs prepare the dishes. Heres one of the chefs showing off a sushi set going to another customer.

We were sitting at the counter, so we were able to watch the chefs prepare the dishes. Here's one of the chefs showing off a sushi set going to another customer. Sorry for the focus being off on the sushi.

Crab (蟹):

Crab for sale in Otaru city.

Crab for sale in Otaru city.

Another crab. All the large crabs like this we saw were ridiculously expensive.

Another crab. All the large crabs like this we saw were ridiculously expensive.

Corn (トウモロコシ):

Corn for sale on the street. A sight I hadnt seen since my trip to Shanghai. Even uncooked corn from the supermarket is expensive in Tokyo. But, in Hokkaido, for about the same price, you can get delicious corn, ready to eat.

Corn for sale on the street. A sight I hadn't seen since my trip to Shanghai. Even uncooked corn from the supermarket is expensive in Tokyo. But, in Hokkaido, for about the same price, you can get delicious corn, ready to eat.

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