In the Susukino district of downtown Sapporo, Hokkaido, the Ippatsu Don grill offers a 120-minute all-you-can-eat Japanese Black beef course that makes it easy to “eat a lot of Japanese Black beef without worrying about the cost.”
Japanese Black beef, which is some of the highest quality beef in Japan, is popular worldwide. Its delicious, fine fat, known as “sashi,” melts in your mouth.
We tried the all-you-can-eat course, and will share how to get the most out of this value-priced meal.
Elegant, sophisticated shop in the heart of Susukino!
From Exit 4 at Susukino Subway Station, head south towards the shimmering neon lights of downtown Sapporo. About a 3-minute walk from the station, you’ll come to Ippatsu-Don’s lively building with “nobori” banners lauding the “all-you-can-eat Japanese Black beef” restaurant.
Ippatsu-Don is across the road from the Susukino Ichiba Market, so first-time visitors can easily find it.
The restaurant interior is decorated in tasteful, muted tones giving it an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. With counter seating, booths, and open areas that can seat up to 50 guests, it’s perfectly suited for solo diners or groups.
There are four all-you-can-eat courses great for any budget: Yakiniku A Course (2,000 yen and up), Yakiniku B Course (3,000 yen and up), Yakiniku C Course (4,000 yen and up), and the Special Japanese Black Beef Course (6,000 yen and up).
In addition to grilled meat, other items like bibimbap, cold noodles, and beef bone ramen are also featured on the Ippatsu-Don menu. They also offer other tasty options at great prices.
Taking on the “Special Japanese Black Beef Course”! (So many items!)
The “Special Japanese Black Beef Course” adds all-you-can-eat Japanese Black beef to the Yakiniku C course. Cuts of popular Hokkaido Wagyu beef are paired with “kalbi,” “sagari,” sirloin, horumon (offal), Jingisukan, and more. The luxurious course also includes beef tongue and other rare cuts.
We’d love to eat everything on the menu, but it’s a bit overwhelming, so carefully choose what you want to try, depending on how much you can eat within the allotted time.
Other izakaya pub items like sake snacks, rice bowls, and noodles are also available. The menu is available in other languages, and the Japanese menu also includes pictures of the items, so ordering is easy.
Take on the all-you-can-eat challenge! How much can you eat?
First, beef tongue and Japanese Black beef
First, we ordered “Top Beef Tongue” and “Today’s Japanese Black Beef Platter,” only available as part of the black beef course. The beef tongue has an excellent texture and is a favorite among Japanese people.
Next, we ordered today’s assorted Japanese Black beef. On the day of our visit, that consisted of ribs, sagari (diaphragm), and kainomi, a rare fillet-like part of the ribs that makes up only about 4kg of a single cow.
Ippatsu-Don purchases its Hokkaido black beef by the head, so you may be lucky enough to be offered a rare cut.
You grill the meat over a charcoal fire on a small shichirin grill right in front of you. People often ask, “Which makes for tastier meat - charcoal fire or gas?”
Since charcoal radiates more heat, the meat is cooked more thoroughly. And there are many opinions, but it’s also said that when fat drips onto the charcoal, the rising smoke infuses the meat with even more flavor.
Tongue is placed on the hottest part of the grill, but you have to be careful not to overcook it. If the edges start to curl a bit, turn it over, and once it’s no longer red, it’s ready to eat. Preparation varies depending on the cut, so please ask the staff how to grill each type.
Try original brand “Susukino Akane Pork”
In addition to Japanese Black beef, there are other kinds of yakiniku, including chicken, pork, and mutton. “Jingisukan with special sauce is also popular,” says manager Hikaru Sato.
Pork Jingisukan made with “Susukino Akane Pork,” is a special dish prepared by Ippatsu-Don’s chef, who holds a “Meat Dr. Level 1” rating endorsed by the National Meat Examination Committee.
Susukino Akane Pork is a brand produced by the APR Group, which manages multiple restaurants, including Ippatsu-Don. Its meat is lean and was named “Akane” for the sunset, as seen from Susukino. It is raised in a stress-free environment with precise temperature control at a contract farm in Yoichi, Hokkaido.
We ordered sparerib Jingisukan. After grilling thoroughly, cutting it with scissors makes it easier to eat. The meat is elastic and tender, and the savory flavor of the sauce is appetizing.
Japanese Black beef sirloin steak is now available
For our 6th item, we ordered “Kuroge Wagyu beef thick-sliced sirloin.” It’s irresistible for meat lovers who will savor the sweetness and umami of the fat. The trick is to carefully grill each side without turning the meat over repeatedly, so we grilled it over high heat to get a medium brown. Ordering such a large piece of meat easily is one of the real pleasures of all-you-can-eat dining.
“Horumon” is a gem recommended for yakiniku lovers
Internal organs served as yakiniku are called “horumon.” About half of the body weight per cow is meat, with another 40% consisting of other by-products, including the internal organs.
Maruchou is the small intestine of a cow. Since the cross-section is round, it is called a “round (maru) intestine.” It is elastic and rich in fat. Mino is the cow’s first stomach and is characterized by a light taste and crunchy texture. It is said that the name is derived from the fact that its shape resembles a mino, an ancient Japanese raincoat.
Horumon should be simmered around the outside of the grill, where temperatures are lower. Ideally, the outside will be crispy and the inside soft. It has a unique aroma, so spritzing horumon with lemon is recommended.
Change flavor with different condiments and enjoy until the time limit is up!
Beautifully marbled Hokkaido beef is tender and melts in your mouth. It’s best to grill it only until lightly browned and season it with “tare” sauce or “shio” (“salt”). If you prefer a lighter taste, order shio. If you’re going for a richer flavor, order tare. Or why not a bit of both!
For the second half of the course, use different toppings and condiments for a change in taste. You can enjoy the mellowness of sukiyaki by dipping the tare-flavored meat in egg sauce, while spicy, stimulating wasabi is perfect for shio. Try different combinations to find your favorite.
The last order is about 10 minutes before the two-hour time limit is up. We ended our course with a simple sauce and salt beef loin for comparison. Loin, or “rosu,” is back meat from the shoulders to the waist of the cow. It’s lean and very tender with sweet fat.
The key is to eat a lot of what you like
Beef, pork, chicken, and lamb are available, so there’s plenty for meat lovers to enjoy. We tried 12 kinds of meat in 120 minutes, and the time passed quickly.
The key to all-you-can-eat yakiniku is to eat a lot of what you like. You can focus on the Japanese Black beef or order a variety and enjoy what you like best. The menu is extensive, so it’s easy to find a few favorites, and you’ll be both full and satisfied.
Health and Safety Measures
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of the restaurant / hand sanitizer available / appropriate in-store ventilation / staff members wear masks, wash hands, disinfect, gargle, and monitor temperature / customers requested to wear masks
Charcoal Fire Tavern Ippatsu-Don炭火居酒屋一発ドン
- Address 4-1-5 Minami 6 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-City, Hokkaido 064-0806
- Phone Number 011-513-5801
・Hours: 6:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. the following morning *Hours subject to change
・Regular closures: None
Text by: Masakazu
*Information in this article is accurate as of February 2022. Please check official website for latest information.
English translation by Gabriel Wilkinson
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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