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sake, shochu and sushi

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After that great night at Kita DanDan Auberge in Abashiri City, we drove all day to Wakkanai City at the northenest tip of Japan and took a ferry to spend two days and nights in Rishiri Island. Unfortunately, the weather did not greet us and the constant rain limited our activities. A pity as this island has a lot to offer. Consult these Pages 1, 2 for references!

So, on the fourth, day, we took the ferry back to wakkanai and boarded on a local train to Sapporo City, six hours away. Hokkaido is a big island and travelling the slow way by train will allow you to admire some great views and intriguing sites!

We had in mind the place to help us forget the msfortune of the last two days:
HIRAKU, a Japanese style Oyster and Seafood Bar! A bit of a misnomer as it is a full-fledged Izakaya! They specialize in oyster cuisines and offer no less than 32 preparations!
Looking at the menu was a bit of headache as obviously even the four of us would not have been able to taste everything!
Anyway, we did manage to sample a lot and will describe them succintly in the order we ate them!

-See picture at top: Cold steamed oysters served in Japanese fahion with grated daikon and ponzu dressing.

-“Steak-style Kaki”. The oysters are sauteed like a steak with mushrooms and veg with a steak sauce.

-“Fry-Kaki”. The oysters are dipped in batter and breadcrumbs before deep-fried. They must be served at once to be truly appreciated and they were!

-“Shyoyaki yamame”. We kept our eyes open for other morsels naturally. Yamamame is a small Japanese trout variety. You eat it all, head and tail!

-“Escargot fuu Kaki”. French snail-style oyster oysters. Need I explain? Quite tasty, actually!

-Kaki Haru maki”. Deep-fried oyster Imperial rolls. Both crunchy and juicy. A great snack!

They are also very good at preparing meat as demonstrated by this suteed duck breast!

-Kaki Chiizu”. Oysters steamed inside cheese. Frankly speaking, I don’t have a clue how they make them. I know they do use processed cheese. A great snack again!

-“Kimuchi Nabe”. Oysters cooked on a hot plate with kimchee. We are not so far from Korea after all!

-Some sushi rolls to satisfy our need for carbohydrates! LOL,

-“Kaki Tenpura”. This is the first time ever I ate oysters as tenpura! Not easy to make, I’m sure! Delicious!

-“O soba”. As the place is also renown for its buckwheat noodles, we had a serving to end the meal. A complimentary dessert was served at the end of the meal.

Staff at Hiraku are particularly attentive, friendly and fast. A plus in this kind of big izakaya.
Another plus is their drinks memu, with all the items to satisfy evey taste, including some local sake and French wines. A great place for small groups!

HIRAKU

060-0061 Sapporo City, Chuo Ku, Dai Ichi Jyo Nishi, 5 Chome, 17-2, President Matsui Bldg. 100-1202
Tel.: 011-272-6866
Fax: (011)272-6895
Reservations telelephone: (011)241-6165
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays & National Holidays
Cards OK
Homepage (Japanese)