Every year, preferably end of August and beginning of September I embark on a gastronomic tour away from Shizuoka Prefecture. Last year I went home in Bogurgogne, France and immersed myself in my birth place wine and home-made food.
This year, travelling abroad having momentarily become too an expensive proposition, we (the Missus and I) decided to visit a favourite destination of ours, namely Hokkaido.
Having disembarked at Memanbetsu Airport (leaving from Haneda) near Shiretoko Peninsula, one the three Japanese World Natural Heritage, we rallied Abashiri City by rented car and stayed ther overnight in an unremarkable hotel.
The next day, we boarded a ferry on a three-hour trip till the very tip of Shiretoko Peninsula. This is a rare place of Japan where you can admire a pristine untouched nature and would recommend anyone to visit it if you come to Japan!
Some of the best Japanese sea salmon is caught there by local fishermen who actually unload their catch onto our ferry every day for quick delivery to Abashiri, the nearest harbour and market of note. You can be assured that it comes fresh onto your plate!
By the time we were back in Abashiri we were starving. We just had time to admire the local scenery before we (after some driving around) found one of our destinations, Ikyuya, located in a small city called Shari (some of the place names in Hokkaido can become a real puzzle as they are mostly very local names written in Kanji that fit the pronunciation instead of the meaning!).
We (the Missus) had chosen this establishment as a representative of the local cuisine favoured by local people.
THe Missus oredered the “Oyako Don”/”Father-Mother and Son-Daughter Bowl”.
In Shizuoka it means chicken omelette (the Hen and the Egg!) spread on a bowl of rice. In Hokkaido, it stands for Shake sahimi”/salmon sashimi and “Ikura”/salmon roe spread over a bowl of rice. It must have been good as for once silence reigns around the table!
Our two friends (which included our gracious driver) opted for “Uni don”/sea urchin spread over a bowl of rice,
“Uni to Ikura Don”/sea urchin and salmon roe spread over a bowl of rice.
Extravagance at a very reasonable rice, absolutely fresh and sweet seafood away from metropolises, what more can you ask?
As for myself, I chose the “Ebi Frai Teishoku”/fried prawns set lunch as I felt in need of hot food on a rainy day. The Missus could not stop ogling at the enormous prawns! LOL.
We certainly felt revived for the rest of our trip!
Hokkaido, Shari Cho, Utoro Higashi, 13 (2 minutes walk from Utoro Hotsprings Bus Terminal)
Opening hours: 11:00~18:00 (might get closed in the afternoon on busy days. Come early!)