Yes, the humble potato, a lot of praise coming from people who came and tried the Hokkaido potato. It was simple baked potato with Hokkaido butter. I was mind blown how great the potato is, it has a slight sweetness to it. The texture is great and oh so delicious with the Hokkaido butter, you are in potato heaven. Fun Fact: It is said that Calbee Potato Chips gets their potato in Hokkaido.
In the Philippines, it is common to have Japanese sweet corn by boiled or steamed. I thought it will be the same, but I was wrong again. It was slightly salted and reheated through a microwave. Yes, you read that correctly, reheated through a microwave. Gordon Ramsay would probably flip himself over on this. It taste great, but definitely get the vendor who is selling corns on a steamer or in a hot box display. Don't forget to add Hokkaido butter if possible.
3. Crabs and Scallops
When visiting Hokkaido, you cannot miss eating crabs. It would be on expensive that would flex on your tight budget if not, go for it. We ate the Alaskan king crab and snow crab. Alaskan king crab was grilled and snow crab was steamed. Alaskan king crab was so succulent and juicy, I was expecting it to be thinner since it is now in season during summer. I guess the taste maybe sweeter if on season. The snow crab was great, it was sweet but the meat was less compare to a king crab.
Scallops are grilled with Hokkaido butter and soy. A definitely must try.
4. Curry Soup
Curry Soup is one of the unique food items of Sapporo. It is basically a tomato soup with curry. It tastes really good and comforting from the cool nights of Sapporo. We ate at Curry Soup Suage, it is one of the highly recommended spots. They have an English menu and a non smoking area. You get to pick a set from the menu by picking two types of soup first and your choices of set toppings and rice. You can also add more toppings ala carte.
Butadon is basically grilled pork meat over a rice bowl. I went to this highly recommended place which is inside a mall connected to Sapporo Station. The place smells very smoky as they used charcoal to grill the meat and dipped into their special soy based sauce. I ordered take out for my food when I opened in my hotel room, the whole room smelled like the restaurant. The pork was juicy, soft and tender. They used a much leaner part of the pork with a little fat here and there. I definitely recommend you to eat there.
It is lamb meat grilled over a metal skillet or grill. If you are familiar with yakiniku or korean bbq, it is just that with lamb meat only. We ate at the Sapporo Beer Garden because it was eat all you can, you can never go wrong with eat all you can. You can choose the frozen lamb and fresh lamb with a helping plate of vegetables to accompany it. It is pretty simple concept, grill the lamb at the top of the dome while letting the fat and juices run down to the vegetables to flavor it(season the vegetable as to suit your taste).
7. Miso Ramen with Butter and Corn
I ate this at New Chitose Airport as we are flying back to Tokyo. There is a ramen alley over there with some notable ramen shops from all over Hokkaido. The soup was savory, salty, a hint of sweet, a small kick of spiciness, and it is not like miso soup mixed with pork soup. The butter is the Hokkaido butter with its nutty, sweet aroma of butter really tickles your pallet. It is a great thing to eat before leaving Hokkaido.
- Optional to Eat-
When you go to Otaru, there are two to three shops of LeTao shops in one or two blocks apart. It is located near to the Music Box Museum coming from the Glass Museum after the exit. Take note, their products are pretty pricey if you are on a tight budget. We got a chance to eat the cakes when we arrived back to Sapporo station in the Daimaru area. We bought three slices, original, chocolate and their seasonal melon flavor. If you are familiar with the Japanese style cheesecake, it is not as rich and thick like the New York cheesecake. It is more of fluffy, creamy and cheesy cheesecake. But I have to say, LeTao is the best Japanese cheesecake I have eaten so far. The cheese was so light and creamy. It feels like I am in heaven.