Hokkaido is a treasure trove for food, with majestic land surrounded by ocean. The rich natural environment of Hokkaido provides various agricultural products, seafood, and also delicious local sake. Here are 5 selected izakaya (drinking establishments that serve food) where the delicious food and sake of Hokkaido can be enjoyed.
KIZUNA is a restaurant with a menu full of characteristic Hokkaido dishes. They offer items made with ingredients, cooking techniques, and spices, all from Hokkaido. In every dish, at least one of the above is included. The recommended dish is Stone Grilled Sea Urchin Rice (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)). This is a golden product, in which sea urchin is mixed with every grain of Hokkaido-grown rice used in the dish and grilled in a hot stone bowl.
A comprehensive list of 20 to 30 types of rare and high-quality Japanese sake, made by 13 different sake breweries in Hokkaido, is offered. This is a restaurant where the blessings of nature in Hokkaido can be experienced.
2. SAKURA IRO
This is a restaurant where crab dishes, a characteristic cuisine of Hokkaido, can be enjoyed. The popular Daruma (1,382 JPY (incl. tax)) is a whole hair crab dish, loosened and grilled in the shell. Save a small portion of crab tomalley and meat, to enjoy them in a different way by pouring hot sake into the shell.
There are more than 35 types of local sake, with many brands that suit hair crab dishes. We recommend trying brands like Otokoyama and Kita No Nishiki, which especially suit the crab dishes.
GOOD is a restaurant that specializes in Hokkaido oyster dishes and local sake. The fresh oysters can be tasted prepared with many cooking methods such as fried, raw, and grilled (from 350 JPY (excl. tax) each). There are also other dishes in the menu that use specialty food from Hokkaido like salmon roe and corn. The proudly offered local sake of this restaurant includes various brands from Hokkaido and other regions. There are rare brands that are favored by sake fans like Kakunko, Dassai, Denshu, Aramasa No. 6 (said to be the most difficult sake to obtain in Japan today), and the acclaimed Iyokagiya. This is a restaurant where you can enjoy superb sake that is hard to find in other regions.
"This is a popular restaurant that offers a unique combination of Chinese-inspired food and Japanese sake. There are many interesting dishes like boiled shrimp dumplings with herb sauce (560 JPY per 6 pieces (excl. tax)), and mussels cooked in Shaoxing rice wine (580 JPY (excl. tax)).
BOB has approximately 40 different types of Japanese sake, plus 7 to 9 special kinds of sake that are stocked and changed on a weekly basis. There are many types of high-quality sake from Hokkaido and other regions, like Fukutsukasa and Kunimare. Please experience the infrequent but delicious combination of non-Japanese food with Japanese sake."
This is a one of the few restaurants that offers seafood delivered directly from Shakotan and Otaru. The owner of the restaurant, who was raised in a family of fishermen, strictly selects the seafood offered here. A popular dish of this restaurant is the sashimi of the day (3 different types of seafood, from 1,200 JPY (excl. tax)). A recommended dish for a group of more than 3 people is the Sashimi Treasure Island (980 JPY per person (excl. tax)), in which 5 different types of delicious and fresh seafood can be tasted.
The sake selection of this restaurant is mainly from Hokkaido. The 4-go bottle (720 ml) (from 2,400 JPY) and cup sake (approx. 180 ml) (590 JPY each) of local sake from Hokkaido are very popular. Purchased sake can be taken home, which is another nice aspect of this restaurant.
Please enjoy your stay in Hokkaido with a delicious combination of cuisine and local sake direct from nature.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.