SUMMER FOOD HOKKAIDO
Sapporo Beer Garden
Savor a glass of the freshest draft beer straight from the brewery and complement it with perfectly grilled lamb, the Genghis Khan for the perfect dining experience at the Sapporo Beer Garden.
Built in 1890 as a sugar factory, the Sapporo Beer Garden was then used as a malting plant became the current Sapporo Beer Garden in 1966.
With its well preserved chimney and the sight of eye-catching red bricks, the building takes you back in time to the 1890s, giving visitors a warm nostalgic vibe.
Sapporo Beer Garden, consists of a few restaurants, among which are atmospheric beer halls.
Popular in the beer halls are all-you-can-drink beer and all-you-can-eat Genghis Khan-style barbecued lamb, a renowned Hokkaido’s specialty dish named after the great Mongolian ruler.
The Soup Curry, a specialty of Sapporo, Hokkaido is a light curry flavored soup served with tender chicken and colorful vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, okra, and pumpkin.
Served piping hot and filled with nutritious ingredients and flavorful spices, this amazing curry dish is one of the best cure-alls on a cold, snowy day, or any day when your curry craving hits.
Unlike the typical Japanese curry, steamed rice is always served separately. You scoop up the rice and then dip into the soup curry to enjoy together.
Although it’s a relatively recent concoction, Soup Curry has blown up over the past decade, with specialty shops popping everywhere in Sapporo making Soup Curry Sapporo’s new signature dish.
The original soup curry was first created by a cafe in Sapporo in the early 70’s. Inspired by a Chinese/Korean medicinal soup and curry from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, it was a clever adaptation of all these different influences with local elements in mind.
Zangi (fried chicken)
Zangi is another famous dish served in Hokkaido.
It is not well known outside of Hokkaido but is celebrated as a “food for the soul” among the people of Hokkaido.
At first glance, it looks just like a deep-fried dish similar to Karaage or Japanese fried chicken yet it is unique compard to Karaage because it is made in a different way.
These crunchy and tasty delights are commonly chunks of chicken, flavored with soy sauce and other ingredients, coated with potato starch and deep fried.
There is one more stand out feature of the Zangi, which is the sauce. The proper way of eating Zangi is to lightly dip it in a special blend of sauce.
It is difficult to define Zangi and the only common definition is fried chicken. However, the residents of Hokkaido are changing that definition too by making octopus Zangi and also serving Zangi bowl with salmon.
The roots of Zangi originated from Torimatsu which is a specialty restaurant that serves not only Zangi, but also chicken wings and chicken thigh karaage.
It was first opened as a grilled chicken on a skewer restaurant in 1958. After that they stopped offering grilled chicken and became a deep-fried chicken specialty restaurant that continues to this day.
The popular deep-fried chopped chicken dish was named “Zangi” by taking the Chinese word for fried chicken “zagi” and adding the character “n” which is used in the character for good luck. As the name indicates, you’ll be very happy when you eat this delicious dish.
Yubari King Melon
The Yubari King Melon dubbed as the most expensive fruit in Japan and the world.
Unlike regular cantaloupes, the Yubari King Melon is a hybrid of two cantaloupe cultivars; the ‘Earl’s Favourite’ and ‘Burpee’s ‘Spicy’ Cantaloupe’ farmed in greenhouses all across the town of Yubari, Hokkaido.
Yubari melons are reportedly sweet, juicy and flavourful enough to warrant the price tag, sometimes acting as the star attraction at Hokkaido buffet restaurants.
Farmers growing Yubari melons are certificated by the Yubari Agricultural Cooperative Association, a body responsible for ensuring the quality and authenticity of the fruit therefore counterfeits are not allowed.
The fruit is commonly bought as a gift or a souvenir from a trip to Hokkaido and has become a symbol of status hence the higher price. It was once sold at $12,000 per melon at one of the auctions in Japan.
Expensive fruit isn’t exactly an anomaly in Japan. Fruit is something of a luxury, where the practice of gift-giving all throughout the year is enmeshed in the Japanese culture.
The Yubari King is revered across Japan and is famed for its sweet, melt in your mouth texture that leaves everybody who tries it coming back for more.
It is so popular that in 2008, a pair of Yubari melons sold for 2.5 million yen.
True to its name, the Yubari King Melon is truly melon royalty, the king of all melons.