This may (or may not) be the last entry in Eating my way around Hokkaido. This time around I look more at some of the last of my random meals across this northern Japanese island.
Sukiya is a “fast-food” Japanese restaurant in the same vein as Matsuya and Yoshinoya. Sukiya is best known to me for their beef rice bowls. My wife had an obsession to eat at these type of restaurants while we were in Sapporo. It’s not fancy food by any stretch, but it is filling and economical to eat at Sukiya. Just look at the side dishes that came along with my simple beef rice bowl. Tasty, cheap and quick.
Here’s another chain restaurant, but on a different scale. Kushitori is a yakitori restaurant. Yakitori is literally “fried bird.” Think a grilled BBQ skewer restaurant au japonais. We actually ended up going the Kushitori directly across from our school twice. The first time we went with my wife’s Taiwanese classmate. (I think we shared similar foodie ambitions with her classmate). When you have more people, you can try more things. The second time we went, it was just the two of us. It was good on both occasions. The yakitori dining also lends itself easily to a cold glass of beer. Also expect lots of, lots of meat. Although grilled veggie skewers are on the menu too.
One of the things I liked about Kushitori was the abundance of booth seating. We might have been cheek and jowl next to our neighbouring table, but the booth dividers provided a sense of boundaries and privacy.
Ohsho – Japanese-style Chinese food
Wherever in the world you go, you can find Chinese food. It may not be the most authentic version of Chinese food, but you’ll find it. You just have to take it for what it is if you are used to more authentic Chinese food. Ohsho is yet another chain of restaurants that you can find throughout Japan. Ohsho specializes in Chinese food. However, it is Chinese food with a Japanese twist. Technically, food that we often associate with Japan like gyoza or ramen are actually considered Chinese food in Japan.
At Ohsho, I grabbed a classic sweet and sour sauce meal. It tasted totally different from the sweet and sour dishes that I have here in Vancouver. The stuff in Vancouver has a thicker, goopier sauce; the sauce is sweet and is loaded with chunks of green peppers and pineapples in the mix. At Ohsho, the sweet and sour sauce was more watery. The sauce was definitely sweet, but it had a certain unknown tang to it.
My lunch combo also came with gyoza, some fried chicken, and a small bowl of soup. The gyoza was decent, but nothing fancy or mind-blowing in them. The fried chicken was a side dish and tasted meh. The soup was was very, very salty. We were dining with 2 other Chinese. One was from Australia and the other from Malaysia. We all found the soup the least tasty and the most salty. Well, at least my spoon came with a hygienic spoon cover to ensure it was pristine before it entered my mouth.
Lotteria looks like it’s gone through a branding makeover with an updated logo and colours since I was last in Japan in 2009. However, the Japanese fast food burger chain is not on the top of my list for burger places in Japan. However, I didn’t feel like having anything else one particular afternoon and grabbed myself this burger combo at Lotteria.
It looks and tastes like a standard burger combo. However, I was most impressed by the service at this Lotteria in the bowels of Sapporo Station. I watched the servers instantly set aside a table for two mothers with young children in strollers. The mothers hadn’t even ordered any food yet, but the server instantly told them that she would set aside a table for them. The server quickly removed a couple of chairs from one table so that the strollers could be pushed into the empty spots. Now that’s service!