Sapporo is famous as soup curry's birthplace. The defining feature of this dish is the amount of water used, which is more than regular curry, giving it a soup-like consistency with a spicy taste and lots of added ingredients. If you eat it once, you will get addicted. Here are 5 recommended restaurants in Sapporo.
If you're talking about soup curry then you definitely have to stop here at Curry Di.SaVoY. The soup is made with a base of beef or chicken bones with onions, carrots, celery, and other vegetables and fruits carefully cooked together. They also use 20 kinds of spices which are ground that very day, completing the dish with an aromatic fragrance. It's recommended for people who prefer spicy yet refreshing soup curry. Their popular menu items are their standard Chicken Curry (972 JPY (incl. tax)) with chicken legs and large chunks of vegetables, as well as the Hokkaido Sparerib Curry (1,350 JPY for a large (incl. tax)) with giant spareribs that spill out of the bowl. Vegetable lovers should check for their 15 Kinds of Vegetable Curry (1,350 JPY (incl. tax)) that’s packed with seasonal vegetables. Definitely try them out!
1. Curry Di.SAVoY
Soup Curry GARAKU is a famous soup curry restaurant. The base of the soup curry is made from chicken bones, pork bones, and aromatic herbs carefully cooked together and seasoned with the umami of Japanese-style dashi. The spices used are a blend of 21 kinds of herbs with a light flavor. Their selling point is the perfectly balanced soup curry that makes the best of the flavors of their ingredients. Some of their popular menu items are the Tender Chicken Leg and Vegetable (1,150 JPY (incl. tax)) and Kamifurano Lavender Pork Shabu and Seven Mushroom Kinoko No Mori (1,200 JPY (incl. tax)) which uses the sweet pork native to Hokkaido. You can choose between a whopping 40 levels of spice but since they get really spicy, why not start with “just a little spicy”. You will have to wait in line to get in but it’s a restaurant you should definitely challenge.
2. Soup Curry GARAKU
Magic Spice Sapporo Honten is referred to as the pioneer of soup curry. The shop's cuisine comes from an arrangement of Indonesian cuisine, which was then named “soup curry” and has shops spread throughout Japan. It is based on the concept of "ishoku dogen" (where both medicine and meals are important for health). Once you take the first bite, the spiciness and umami from the blend of the many spices in the soup curry fills your mouth with flavor and you become addicted. Also it was said that “when you finish eating, your body is refreshed!” due to the effect of the spices. There is a diverse menu with a wealth of topping options but if you eat at the Sapporo honten, then you have to order their exclusive Hokkeido Curry (1,140 JPY) which is packed with native Hokkaido vegetables. The meat on the chicken legs is so tender and delicious that is falls apart when touched by chopsticks. You can choose from 7 unusually named levels of spiciness from “kakusei” to “kokuu”. It is a shop with a reputation for having regulars addicted to its deliciousness so be sure to experience it for yourself.
3. Magic Spice Sapporo Honten
The soup curry specialty shop PICANTE is characterised by its 4 soup bases that you can choose from, including a strong, lightly flavored Japanese-style, a strong medicinal type, and the daily special. The main ingredients are chicken legs, about 10 kinds of basic vegetables, 5 levels of spiciness that you can choose from and a wealth of toppings. Since you can arrange your preferred style of soup curry, you will want to take on all the various menu items! If you can’t decide on what to order, you can choose the restaurant’s prized Crisp PICA Chicken (1,060 JPY (incl. tax)) which has a strong medicinal-type base and chicken that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Furthermore, for those people who want to enjoy a richer flavor, for an extra 200 JPY (incl. tax), we recommend the mixed shredded cheese (on top of rice) as a topping. Although the menu differs slightly, they also have a sister store in front of Sapporo Station.
Using a converted old-time private house as its building, Soup Curry Okushiba Shoten Sapporo Honten is a restaurant with a retro Japanese-style atmosphere where you can satisfy yourself with soup curry. You can choose between chicken or shrimp soup for the soup curry (during the winter season there is also an oyster soup) and the soup itself is thin. Everyone’s reason for going is the richly flavored shrimp soup. The carefully prepared stock from shrimp, gives the shrimp soup a rich umami and flavor and since it can only be eaten at this restaurant, there are many fans who travel a long way just to have it. The most popular dish however, is the Tender Chicken with Specially Selected Vegetables (1,210 JPY). Apart from that, there are other unique varieties like the Wagyu Offal Curry (1,400 JPY). You can choose from 12 levels of spice. The vegetables used come directly from partnerships with local farms and are carefully selected for optimum compatibility with the soup curries. Due to its popularity, it can be quite congested but it’s a shop you have to go to at least once.
What did you think? Although your basic soup curry is a thin curry soup with ingredients like chicken and vegetables, the varied soup bases and spice levels make it a dish of ever-changing flavor. Eat and compare the different kinds for yourself!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.