Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Hokkaido Pt12: Tasting Hokkaido!

I am never a fan of Japanese food as my preference is always for something more spicy, tangy and savoury. Travelling around Hokkaido in winter however, one tends to get more hungry and the low temperature not only whets the appetite but somehow makes the food taste better too. Thanks to the cold, I can gladly say I enjoyed all the Japanese cuisines that I tasted in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido is famous for its seafood especially crabs and I had a fair share of these crustacean which are available in many species here. Some are hairy and some are exceptionally huge! Other popular cuisines that I tried in Hokkaido are mostly available back home. Because my stay is rather short I missed out on a few interesting food like the Genghis Khan bbq, jingisukan, donburi, etc.

Tempura Set At Sapporo Sakaeya 
I have eaten tempura countless times but I have never been to a restaurant where you can cook your own tempura. At Sapporo Sakaeya, you get to do this when you order a 'Tempura Set'. 
A jar of batter, a pot of hot oil and skewed raw shrimp, salmon, scallop, eggplant, pumpkin and green pepper are prepared for diners. 

Nothing is like taking tempura fresh from a pot of boiling oil as the crisp is intact so this is quite a brilliant concept.

This set which comes with a bowl of rice and a mini hot pot costs 1296¥ (RM48) per person.

There're some accompanying pickles too.

Japanese Buffet Dining Den
There is an eat-all you like buffet restaurant in the heart of Sapporo called Japanese Buffet Dining Den. How much you pay depends on how long you'd like to dine. For 70 minutes, you will be charged 4860¥ (RM180)pp and for 100 minutes you'll have to pay 5940¥ (RM220)pp.

There is a commendable variety of seafood, meat and raw vegetables and patrons can choose to cook them as shabushabu or bbq. In addition to these, the restaurant offers a wide variety of cooked dishes. Many popular Japanese cuisines are available here. To mention a few are sushi, sashimi, soba, ramen, miso, tempura, gyoza, etc.

  There are 3 varieties of crabs available. The seafood is very fresh.

Instead of the shabushabu (or steamboat), you have the option of cooking the raw food by barbecuing them on a hot plate.

These are some of the cooked dishes available.

There is also a variety of western and Japanese desserts including ice-cream, a good selection of beverages, pickles and soup.

Fast Food At Aeon Shopping Mall Sapporo Shin
Our hotel in Sapporo Shin is just opposite Aeon Shopping Mall where you can find lots of food.

Ramen is a staple food in Japan and makes a good meal in winter as it is served piping hot.

A bowl of ramen with a few slices of meat normally cost more than 1000 ¥ (RM37). 

A small bowl of ramen with minimal ingredients like this is about 500 to 600¥. 

The ramen that we tasted are very springy and of course they are good!

Takoyaki is a common food in Hokkaido but I tend to feel the takoyaki sold in Malaysia taste better.

The gyozas are also commonly found in shopping malls, and in hotel restaurants.

Breakfast Buffet @ Toyako Manseikaku
Staying in hotels that comes with breakfast is a good way to try a diverse range of Japanese breakfast cuisines. Among dishes commonly served are ramen, mackerels,  miso and tamagoyaki.

Buffet Dinner @ Toyako Manseikaku
I simply love the trays provided in the restaurant of Toyako Manseikaku Hotel as you can taste the individual food without having the taste adulterated.

The only taste I need getting use to is the Japanese curries. They taste a bit weird to me.

Hairy Crab Steamboat @ Kani Goten
This bowl of crab rice is quite unforgettable. It is very appetizing especially when eaten with pickles.

Among the various species of crabs I tasted in Hokkaido, I like the hairy crab least. 

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