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1.Nurukan Sato

Roppongi, Tokyo

Japanese / Crab,Japanese / Kaiseki (traditional multi-course meal),Alcohol / Sake

From Editor

Savor the flavors of Japanese sake at different temperatures with a little help from Nurukan Sato's manager, who helps you decide your favorites through blind taste tests.

2. Kyoto Gion Tempura Yasaka Endo

Gion/Higashiyama, Kyoto

Japanese / General,Japanese / Tempura (battered, fried seafood and vegies),Japanese / Kyoto cuisine

We prepare a variety of tempura (deep fried foods) from season to season, with young sweetfish or bamboo shoots in the spring, to goby, matsutake mushrooms, and ginkgo nuts in the fall. Experience the freshness that Kyoto's f

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3.Otaru Masazushi Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo

Japanese / Sashimi (raw fish)/Seafood,Japanese / Sushi,Alcohol / Sake

From Editor

Otarumasazushi Ginza serves fine sushi and sashimi, fresh from Hokkaido, as well as other delicious seafood that is always seasonally prepared by their skillful master chef.

4.Teppan-yaki Kokoro

Kobe/Harborland, Hyogo

Japanese / Teppanyaki (grilled foods),Western / Steak,Western / Teppanyaki (grilled foods)

From Editor

Indulge in Teppanyaki featuring renowned Kobe beef from the Tajima and Awaji cattle strains - all the while enjoying a spectacular view of Kobe Port from the counter.

5.Teppanyaki Steak Kisentei

Roppongi, Tokyo

Japanese / Teppanyaki (grilled foods),Japanese / General

From Editor

Right at your table, the expert staff at Kisentei sukiyaki/shabushabu restaurant (sister of long-established Ningyocho Imahan) will energetically grill your beef, abalone or lobster.

Browsing history

Sapporo's bounty,
exquisitely prepared

Wild, unspoiled and teeming with natural resources, Hokkaido is also blessed with fine restaurants making names for themselves. In this Savor Japan Feature Story, we visit five Sapporo restaurants dedicated to serving the finest fare. All chefs are obsessed with quality, seasonality and the quest to realize their own personal vision.

Fukurouteiふくろう亭

Phone: 011-512-6598

Address:
1F, Capital YMD Bldg., Minami 8-jo Nishi 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
17:00 – 22:30 (closes at 22:00 on Sundays)
Closed:
Mondays

Fukuroutei insists on using only tender, odorless mutton chuck imported from Australia. It's the perfect match for vegetables that absorb the sweet flavor. Lamb tongue and mutton sausage with gyoja-ninniku (victory onion) are other Fukuroutei favorites.

Most customers finish their meals at Fukuroutei with chazuke, a bowl of rice eaten with leftover sauce and tea poured over it.

The 13-year-old restaurant specializes in Tsukisappu-style Genghis Khan with a terrific secret sauce passed down for generations.

The restaurant is run by Hidenori Matsumura, son of the husband-and-wife team that launched the establishment.

Located on the outskirts of Susukino, the small, sparsely decorated restaurant is packed with customers during business hours.

The secret is in the sauce

For those in the know, one of the first dishes that springs to mind when considering Hokkaido cuisine is Genghis Khan, the hot plate mutton and vegetable dish. Aficionados disagree on the origins of the dish, but almost all insist on using a spicy sauce that originated in the Tsukisappu district of Sapporo.
Fukuroutei serves Genghis Khan in the authentic Tsukisappu style. “I opened this shop because the Genghis Khan restaurant that my wife's family operated unfortunately closed down. It was one of the first Genghis Khan restaurants in Tsukisappu and I wanted to continue sharing its original taste," explains shop founder Kazunori Matsumura, who still occasionally works as chef.
The popular taste of his Genghis Khan is achieved by serving select mutton chuck from Australia with a Tsukisappu-style sauce made from a secret family recipe. The sauce blends 16 spices with a base of soy sauce, garlic and ginger to bring out the full flavor and sweetness of the meat while also stimulating your appetite.
Other popular items on the menu include homemade mutton bacon and mutton sausage with gyoja-ninniku (victory onion). Customers at Fukuroutei typically finish their meal by pouring their leftover sauce and bancha tea over rice and eating the resulting chazuke.

Phone: 011-512-6598

Address:
1F, Capital YMD Bldg., Minami 8-jo Nishi 5-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
17:00 – 22:30 (closes at 22:00 on Sundays)
Closed:
Mondays

French Restaurant Mikuni Sapporoフレンチレストラン「ミクニ サッポロ」

Phone: 011-251-0392

Address:
9F Sapporo Stella Place, Kita 5-jo Nishi 2-chome 5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
Lunch 11:30 – 14:00
Dinner 17:30 – last order 20:30
Closed:
Tuesdays
Learn more

Chef Mondo Ogawa was trained at Shima Kanko Hotel in Mie Prefecture and Le Taillevent Robuchon in Tokyo. He brings out the full flavor of fresh seasonal ingredients that he serves from the beginning to the end of each season, even after they have disappeared from the market.

When spring arrives, the restaurant serves Hokkaido kegani (horsehair crab) with uni (sea urchin), white asparagus bavarois and shellfish gelee.

Kami-furano wild rabbit accented with fried roti and red gooseberries. The rustic flavor is best matched by full bodied red wine.

French Mikuni Sapporo restaurant directly connects with Sapporo JR station, making it easy to reach for travelers and businesspeople.

The restaurant’s extensive cellar includes Bordeaux and Bourgogne, as well as brands from Hokkaido, the US and Chili.

Hokkaido expressed with flair

Mikuni restaurants throughout Japan are celebrated for serving French cuisine that brings out the taste of seasonal local produce thanks to masterful Mikuni chefs. In Sapporo, the birthplace of founder Kiyoshi Mikuni, chef Mondo Ogawa crafts Mikuni-style French cuisine with renowned ingenuity at Mikuni Sapporo, a branch growing in popularity.
"Hokkaido offers all sorts of outstanding ingredients," claims chef Ogawa. "Among meats, for example, you can choose from wild duck, pigeon, mutton, deer, veal and pork. Just today, a hunter from Kami-furano brought me wonderful wild rabbit meat that's not listed on the menu, but I will serve it with pleasure.”
While speaking, Ogawa expertly prepares almost every part of the rabbit with minimal waste to produce a savory dish. He grills the hind legs and loin, creates sauce from the intestines and saves the head and foot for stock and consomme soup.
White asparagus is treated with similar care. He simmers the stem in consomme from lobster and adds kuzu (starch) to create delicious bavarois. The skin peeled from the asparagus is simmered in brine used to cook the shoots. Ogawa extracts every ounce of flavor so nothing goes to waste.
Mikuni Sapporo course meals feature dishes that are simple yet rich in flavor. Chef Ogawa successfully expresses the character of Hokkaido in every delicious bite.

Phone: 011-251-0392

Address:
9F Sapporo Stella Place, Kita 5-jo Nishi 2-chome 5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
Lunch 11:30 – 14:00
Dinner 17:30 – last order 20:30
Closed:
Tuesdays
Learn more

Sushisai Wakichi鮨菜 和喜智

Phone: 011-640-3768

Address:
Minami 2-jo Nishi 25-chome 1-22, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
18:00 – 20:00 and 20:00 – 22:00 (two shifts)
Closed:
Mondays and once a month on a Tuesday
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To continuously hone his skill at dreaming up the best possible original sushi, owner chef Mitsuaki Tamura regularly visits renowned sushi shops that attract his attention throughout the year.

Horsehair crab from Kojouhama in Wakkanai is blended with bafun uni (green sea urchin) to create an exquisitely rich sushi topping.

Moist sakuramasu (cherry salmon) from Suttsu is seasoned with kelp to achieve a rich flavor that sharply contrasts with the taste of the fat.

Amaebi (sweet shrimp) dressed with uni (sea urchin) and soy sauce. Five appetizers are served with matching drinks chosen to prevent over-drinking.

The minimal decoration and limited seating (8 guests) send a clear message that Sushisai Wakichi is dedicated to serving excellent sushi.

Sushi on the cutting edge

Even in highly competitive Sapporo, Sushisai Wakichi stands out like a gem. “If it were autumn," confesses Mitsuaki Tamura, owner chef of Sushisai Wakichi, "I could entertain you with a full lineup of Hokkaido produce. But the choices are limited at this time of year."
The up-and-coming sushi craftsman began his culinary career at Sushi Kyu in Seta, Tokyo. After mastering edomae zushi, he opened his own shop in his hometown of Sapporo, where he has continued to perfect his skills and add original interpretations to the art of sushi making.
Since opening his restaurant in 2003 at the age of 32, he has renovated the premises (2007) and simplified the menu to where a chef’s choice course is the only item served. The higher quality toppings come at a higher price, but his restaurant is always booked for months in advance by his regular admiring customers.
"I'm skeptical about following trends and was initially dubious about aburi (seared) salmon and red-vinegared rice when many shops started using them," he says. But he experimented with red-vinegared rice all the same and found just the right balance of rice and vinegar.
Now Tamura is also refining original techniques to mature fish. “I want to extract the best possible flavor from the fish by adjusting salt and konbu (kelp) over various lengths of time and in different seasons.” His eyes glitter like a child's with curiosity and enthusiasm.
The chef’s choice course includes 5 appetizers and 12 pieces of sushi all carefully chosen and prepared by Tamura. His dishes are constantly evolving and the fish you savor today will likely be prepared in a completely different way the next time you visit Sushisai Wakichi. It's something his regular guests always look forward to.

Phone: 011-640-3768

Address:
Minami 2-jo Nishi 25-chome 1-22, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
18:00 – 20:00 and 20:00 – 22:00 (two shifts)
Closed:
Mondays and once a month on a Tuesday
Learn more

Restaurant COTE D'ORレストランコートドール

Phone: 011-614-1501

Address:
1-2-38 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
Year round.
Lunch 12:00 – last order 14:00,
Dinner 18:00 – last order 20:30
Learn more

Chef Keisuke Fujiya is the son of a fisherman in Esashi-cho, Hokkaido. He trained at Le Bouchon and Apicius in Tokyo, then Paris and Monaco, before becoming the third chef at Cote d'Or Sapporo.

Low-temperature confit of smoked cherry salmon from Hakodate with Kuriyama white asparagus and herb-flavored couscous.

Roast guinea fowl from France with rosemary sauce. Vegetables grown at a contract farm add superb flavor to the dish.

Considered Sapporo's finest restaurant, Cote d'Or has been offering guests supreme service and spacious luxury for 25 years.

After meals, guests can relax and enjoy drinks or cigars in the comfortable lounge.

Experience a legend

Restaurant Cote d'Or near Maruyama Park in Sapporo is sister to the renowned restaurant of the same name in Mita, Tokyo. The founders of the two restaurants met as young apprentices in Paris and run the two shops independently while sharing the same name, logo and menu items. Both restaurants reflect the spirit of Masao Saisu, the legendary founder of the Mita shop.
The Sapporo restaurant's third chef, Keisuke Fujiya, remarks “I don’t think guests care about the stories behind our dishes. What really matters is how much they like the food.” He feels honored to follow in the footsteps of master chef Masao Saisu, but realizes it has little to do with his restaurant guests. What motivates him is the desire to "satisfy those who look forward to eating my food”.
One example of his efforts is the fresh asparagus he is preparing that is currently at it’s seasonal peak. He discovered it himself at a farm in Kuriyama. Fujiya also discovered Abe-gyu, known as phantom kuroge-wagyu (Japanese black-cattle) beef, which so charmed his master, Saisu, that he now employs it in his dishes.
Fujiya frequently serves his ingredients two or three days after cooking, when they become most flavorful. While calling upon classic methods, he adds his own interpretation to convert dishes into something more contemporary. Although too modest to admit it, Fujiya clearly has the spirit of Saisu coursing through his veins.

Phone: 011-614-1501

Address:
1-2-38 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
Year round.
Lunch 12:00 – last order 14:00,
Dinner 18:00 – last order 20:30
Learn more

Nukumi温味

Phone: 011-210-6858

Address:
3F G DINING SAPPORO, Minami 3-jo Nishi 3-3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
18:00 – 23:00
Closed:
Sundays, holidays and the third Monday every month
Learn more

Owner chef Masaki Yamamoto of Nukumi in Sapporo was once chef at the Ambassador’s Residence of Japan's embassy in Hong Kong and executive chef of Toujisanka, the kappo restaurant in Windsor Hotel Toya. At Nukumi, he follows his feelings.

Grilled toki-sake (late spring salmon) saikyo style, and fried plum-flavored shako (mantis shrimp) with asparagus. Smoked pine aroma is added at the table.

Hamo (pike conger) coated in kuzu (starch) and served in grated corn soup with finely textured fresh junsai (water shield).

Up to six customers are served at the intimate non-smoking counter. There are also two private rooms that allow smoking.

The restaurant’s name, Nukumi (warmth), communicates Yamamoto’s desire to provide flavors that warm guests' hearts.

Three stars and rising

“I never insist on using produce from Hokkaido. Rather, I strive to use the best ingredients in peak season from all over Japan," says owner chef Masaki Yamamoto of Nukumi, Sapporo's indisputable leader in Japanese cuisine. Indeed, the 3 Michelin star restaurant never compromises on ingredients.
This commitment to quality and seasonality means guests may be served seasonal Hokkaido Ezo-awabi (abalone) or toki-sake (late spring salmon) on one visit and choice seafood from Tokyo's Tsukiji Market on the next. Only the best is reserved for Nukumi's cherished guests.
Yamamoto began his culinary apprenticeship at Koya in Sapporo (now closed) and Kagaman in Osaka, where he mastered the Kansai (western Japan) school of cooking that became his basic style. By applying his technique to local produce and seasonal ingredients, he raised the benchmark of Hokkaido cuisine.
“While cooking, you should pay attention to the feelings of your ingredients. For example, rinsing leafy vegetables in a washbowl full of water is less stressful to the leaves than rinsing them under the tap," he says. Yamamoto personally handles every step of preparation with care. For the dashi (stock), he orders only enough hon-karebushi (the driest bonito flakes) for the dashi (stock) used that day, having it delivered fresh to the restaurant every morning.
The flavor he achieves has been described as “transparent.” He pays utmost attention to the dashi, ingredients and seasons, creating a culinary experience that fully satisfies connoisseurs seeking a blissful taste of Sapporo and the four distinct seasons of Japan.

Phone: 011-210-6858

Address:
3F G DINING SAPPORO, Minami 3-jo Nishi 3-3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Open:
18:00 – 23:00
Closed:
Sundays, holidays and the third Monday every month
Learn more

*Articles are written based on information available at the time of publication.

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