Relish Extremely Fresh Seafood! 5 Shops Serving Tasty Robatayaki in Sapporo
Hokkaido is blessed with bountiful fruits of the sea and crops from the land and mountains. The many ingredients grown here are mainly gathered in Sapporo, the premier city in the Hokkaido region. If you want to savor the inherent flavors of the ingredients, then it would be best to have them cooked robatayaki style, wherein the ingredients are grilled over charcoal. Here are five recommended shops in Sapporo that serve delicious robatayaki.
1. Sumiyaki Robata Kushiro Nanko Building Branch
This restaurant is a place that is obsessed about the use of ingredients grown in Hokkaido. The essence of robatayaki dishes cooked at Kushiro is to reinforce the delicious flavors of seafood, the “taste of the North,” from season to season through the power of charcoal. This shop’s luxurious dishes that can only be expected for a restaurant located in Hokkaido are the Kinkiyaki (grilled broadfin thornyhead) (3,580 JPY (excl. tax)) and the Tarabaganiyaki (grilled red king crab) (2,480 JPY (excl. tax)) that are grilled to perfection. Try the fresh fish and seafood that are directly delivered from various areas in Hokkaido by dedicated seafood wholesalers. Guests can sit on the counter, or avail of one of the private rooms with a sunken kotatsu (table with electric heater under) where they can stretch their feet.
2. Kaisen Robata Kakureya Minami 6-Jo Branch
Kaisen Robata Kakureya is a quaint, solitary shop in Sapporo that makes passersby stop to take a good look. On the first floor, there are counter seats in U-shape formation around the hearth, while on the second floor, there are private rooms that are perfect for those who want to think they are actually in a “kakureya” (hideaway). One of the specialty ingredients used here is the kani (crab) that is said to be synonymous to Hokkaido. The Tarabaganiyaki (2,480 JPY (excl. tax)) becomes sweeter when it is grilled. The Benizake Kamayaki (grilled part of the red salmon that is found on the pectoral fin under the gills) (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)) is also a masterpiece dish at this restaurant. The Shiretokosan Torimomoyaki (grilled thighs of chicken from Shiretoko) (750 JPY (excl. tax)) using locally bred chicken from Hokkaido is recommended as well.
3. Shuan Godai
Shuan Godai is a well-established shop in Sapporo whose interior is fit out like a small fisherman’s hut with a huge hearth, creating an atmosphere that is perfect for those who want to savor their food and alcohol in peace in a slightly dim space. A dried hokke (Okhotsk Atka mackerel), a fish that represents Hokkaido, hangs on top of the fireplace. If you have the Hokke (1,800 JPY (excl. tax)) grilled by the fireside, its surface will be crunchy while its flesh inside will be soft and juicy. By drying the fish in that state, you will be able to relish its condensed flavors. The Tsubodai (prices start at 2,000 JPY (excl. tax)), a fish with thick flesh, is also recommended here!
4. Sumiyaki/Sushi Dokoro Aburiya Susukino Main Branch
Aburiya is a shop where you can enjoy robata dishes featuring seasonal ingredients that are excellently grilled over charcoal. Here, you can eat delicious seafood, as well as meats and vegetables, all in flame-grilled style. This restaurant’s popular grilled item is the Raususan Hokke (hokke from Rausu) (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)). As for shellfish, the Tsubugai Tsuboyaki (whelk grilled in its own shell) (850 JPY (excl. tax)) and the Ikiawabi Sumiyaki (charcoal-grilled fresh abalone) (2,080 JPY (excl. tax)) are really tasty. If you take one of the counter seats, you will get to see the sushi rolled before your eyes. Now although the 8-piece Namazushi Moriawase – Miyabi (assorted sushi) (2,450 JPY (excl. tax)) is popular here, you can order your preferred ingredients for even just a single piece of sushi.
5. Robata Oosuke Main Shop
Oosuke’s name refers to the King Salmon, one of the distinct flavors of Hokkaido. This shop’s target is to create “three dishes that will not be defeated by any other shop”. The three ingredients that are at the core of its menu are the hokke, kegani (hair crab) and keison (salmon and trout), while the three dishes that they have made from these ingredients are the Hokke Hiraki (Okhotsk atka mackerel that has been cut lengthwise and dried) (1,280 JPY (incl. tax)), Ikiyude Kegani (boiled fresh hair crab) (500g) (prices start at 4,000 JPY) and the Sakuramasu Hiraki (dried and opened masu salmon) (1,580 JPY (incl. tax)). They are definitely worth a try. Further, the Kegani Chahan (fried rice with hair crab) (980 JPY) is an exquisite dish that only this shop’s chef can create.
Hokkaido is a treasure trove of ingredients such as seafood caught from the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, and vegetables and meats that are grown and bred in the vast lands of the region. A lot of people have this impression of Hokkaido as a place where food is delicious. So, try to use your own tongue to verify if what they say is true or not.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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