There are many places in Susukino from sushi trains to luxurious shops that serve beautiful sushi at a price you can afford. Here are three shops recommended by the locals where you can experience a sushi train connected to a subway station, one where you can sample fare popular with the regular folk at a reasonable price, and one where the sushi is prepared before your very eyes catering to a more mature clientele.
1. Sample delicious sushi in the casual atmosphere of Sakana Isshin Lafiler
First on our list of recommendations is Sakana Isshin Lafiler, a shop which is directly connected to the station.
No need to worry about rain or snow as the shop is close to the ticket gate of the subway located in the second basement of the Susukino Lafiler Building. Due to its prime access, it is popular with business travelers seeking a reasonable lunch, commuters having a light bite to eat before heading home, as well as those hungry after a night of barhopping.
In addition to the counter, there are booths in the rear, too. All sorts of delicious types move before your eyes, but you can also request the itamae (sushi chef) to prepare any of your favorites.
On this day we asked the store manager, Hideki Takahashi, for his recommendations and enjoyed several different types of sushi. The first plate we tried was the madachi (cod milt) which is a winter dish representative of Hokkaido.
Madachi, or tachi as it is commonly called, refers to shirako (the milt of cod). It is odorless and has a smooth, creamy texture. The next is one of the most popular of the more expensive neta selections.
Sink your teeth into the thick crab meat, the succulent abalone, and tender shrimp to experience some of the wonderful seafood delicacies offered in this northern country.
The following set of three servings is recommended for those who like shellfish!
The flavor of each increases with each bite you take!
At Sakana Isshin part of the menu is devoted to limited discount servings, and each day new services are offered so there is always something special every time you come. This was the special on the day we visited.
You can feel the weight of it when you lift it with your chopsticks and the size of the shrimp practically overwhelms the shari (rice) on which it sits. The flavor is so rich that it almost feels like the shrimp is dancing in your mouth!
Last of all we tried the shako (a species of mantis shrimp) that is caught around Hokkaido in spring and autumn.
Due to the relaxed and easy atmosphere of Sakana Isshin, the shop has many visitors throughout the day, and on Saturdays you often have to wait to be seated. A good time to visit when it is least crowded is between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 PM on weekdays.
Sakanaisshin Susukino Lafiler魚一心 ススキノラフィラ店
- Address 〒064-0804北海道札幌市中央区南四条西4 ススキノラフィラB2階／Susukino Lafiler B2F, 4, Minami4-jonishi, Chuo-ku Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 064-0804, Japan
- Phone Number 011-518-7177
Hours: 10:00 AM ~ 9:00 PM (last order: 8:40 PM)
Holidays: unscheduled (same as for the Susukino Lafiler)
2. Washoku to Sushi Nijo offers delicious dishes popular with locals at reasonable prices
The next shop we want to introduce is Washoku to Sushi Nijo which is popular with local residents for its inexpensive and delicious food. It is located next to the Nijo Market which is a five to six-minute walk from the Susukino intersection that is popular with sightseers.
While the Nijo Market is lively with sightseers, inside the Washoku to Sushi Nijo you see mostly locals. It is popular with nearby office workers at lunchtime on weekdays and at night popular with families and guests staying at nearby hotels.
Mr. Yamamoto says that he strives to make his shop a comfortable one serving inexpensive delicious food and recommends the following three menus.
The first is naturally the nigiri (slices of seafood on balls of rice) and the most popular is this:
Only the finest Hokkaido seafood of the season is carefully selected and obtained from city markets. For that reason, the types of seafood offered will vary slightly according to the season, however most are offered year round.
The 13 servings may be filling, but there is one more dish you really should try and that is the ikesu neta (slices made from live seafood).
For this article we selected oysters harvested from the coasts of Hokkaido.
It will take more than a single delicious bite to devour these giants!
Bakudan (bomb), is the second most popular item on the menu after nigiri, and is the final one we will introduce.
This dish includes a variety of ingredients such as sea urchin, salmon roe, red tuna, octopus, and natto (fermented beans) mixed together and topped with wasabi soy sauce. You eat it by wrapping up a spoonful in the accompanying dried seaweed.
This style is called temaki sushi which literally means hand-wrapped sushi. Instead of placing the neta on balls of rice, they are all mixed together allowing the flavors to burst forth like delicious fireworks in your mouth. After having the nigiri we recommend sharing an order of this among two or three people.
Washokutosushi Nijo和食と鮨 に条
- Address 〒060-0053 北海道札幌市中央区南3条東2-6-1 プレサント1階／Puresanto1kai, 2-6-1, Minami3-johigashi, Chuo-ku Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 060-0053, Japan
- Phone Number 011-219-1346
Hours: 11:00 AM ~ 3:00 PM (last order: 2:30 PM); 5:00 PM ~ 10:00 PM (last order: 9:30 PM)
3. Sushi Fuji – dishes skillfully prepared to please the eye as well as the palate in a sophisticated atmosphere
Last we introduce Sushi Fuji, a shop well-known among discriminating diners. It is located a short two to three-minute walk from the Susukino intersection.
This cozy establishment is owned and operated by Mr. Shinya Kudo, the chef, and his wife, Kumiko.
After beginning his career and working 21 years at Sushi Zen, one of Sapporo’s most famous sushi restaurants, he next spent six years polishing his skills at the famous Sushi Dokoro Jun in the Ginza district of Tokyo before returning to Sapporo, his birthplace, and opening Sushi Fuji in 2008.
Here it is possible to enjoy Edomae sushi, the style originated in Edo, the old name of Tokyo. He prepares each serving using the freshest and finest seafood ingredients to be found in Hokkaido.
Try an unforgettable course prepared by a master itamae using the finest ingredients!
You may be anxious sitting in this exclusive restaurant that serves the finest of ingredients about what to order and what it will cost as you sit facing the master from across the counter.
But you need not worry! While you of course can order a la carte, for first-time visitors we recommend ordering a course from the menu, something many patrons prefer to do.
This menu includes otoshi (appetizer), odzukuri (sliced raw fish), two kobachi (small dishes), 8 kan of sushi, owan (bowl of soup), and konomono (pickles), served in that order (sometimes the contents and presentation may differ depending on availability of seafood on hand).
After the otoshi came a dish especially recommended in addition to the set menu!
Next comes the odukuri. This usually is made with something seasonal. This time everything but the akagai (ark shell clam) was from Hokkaido.
The master explains that the dishes are served in an order by which the lighter dishes are followed by those a bit heavier.
First we had Otaru flounder wrapped in green onion sprouts. After that came soi (fox jacopever) from Shakotan; akagai (ark shell clam) from Yuriage, Miyagi Prefecture; hotate (scallops) from Sarufutsu; maguro (tuna) from Toi in the Tsugaru Straits; burinose (the back slice of amberjack) from Yoichi; and after that a stomach cut of amberjack. I alternated dipping the slices in the wasabijoyu (wasabi-flavored soy sauce) and ponzu sauce made with freshly harvested Hokkaido seaweed.
If the dishes are eaten in the order prescribed above, the flavor of each dish enhances that which follows; the odzukuri almost being an entire course in itself!
This was followed by two “small bowl” grilled dishes.
This tantalizing dish is followed by the main nigiri course, each kan to be enjoyed in the order presented.
The master and his wife work in perfect harmony as though as one. As the master begins preparing the nigiri, at the perfect moment she sets out an oshibori (damp hand towel) for fingers and a soup bowl containing seaweed.
The soup is comprised of seven parts Shinshu miso and three parts red miso from Aichi Prefecture – the perfect blend to complement the flavor of the sushi. Pickles are also served for refreshing the palate.
Now let’s try the nigiri!
First: surume ika (squid)
Served with mountain wasabi, not regular wasabi, and bonito, slathered with nikiri shoyu (soy sauce containing water, sake, mirin (sweet sake), and soup broth).
Second: kohada (medium-sized gizzard shad)
A smaller portion of shari (rice) topped with a large slice of fish! It has already been slathered with nikiri shoyu so eat it as it is!
Third: maguro no tsuke (pickled tuna)
Wasabi is put on top of the neta in the first one, so the next one has seaweed between the shari and neta, then slathered with nikiri shoyu after which a dab of wagarashi (Japanese mustard) is applied. Wagarashi is spicy yet mellow!
The shari for the pickled tuna is different from regular shari; it uses red vinegar instead of normal vinegar which tightens the flavor.
Fourth: Hidaka-san sake no ginsei (wild chum salmon caught near Hidaka)
Ginsei is the name given to wild chum salmon caught only in the Hidaka region of Hokkaido. Also known as ginkezake, it is said to be the “king” due to its beautiful silver shape, rich texture, and taste. For this the slightly sharper mountain wasabi grown in Hokkaido is used instead of regular wasabi. The leaf of the beefsteak plant gives added accent.
Fifth: Toi-san maguro no otoro (fatty tuna from Toi)
Toi is part of Hakodate City and is on the other side of the Tsugaru Straits that separates it from Oma Town, Aomori Prefecture which is famous for its tuna. The fatty tuna is made from the head of tuna caught in that part of the sea. Abundant in fat content, the meat melts in your mouth it is so soft.
Sixth: Hamanaka-san bafun uni (horse-dung sea urchin harvested at Hamanaka)
“Would you prefer rock salt or nikiri shoyu?”
After inquiring as to your preference, the master then makes the nigiri putting the condiment you requested on top of it. I ordered the rock salt as I think it gives it a uniquely different taste.
Each serving is about a single mouthful, but the flavor is so rich that it gives the sensation of having eaten dozens of them. Truly a sumptuous dish!
Seventh: Jikasei ikura (homemade salmon roe)
As with the sea urchin, each serving is bite-sized on a round gunkan (shari wrapped with seaweed). Many of the patrons enjoy sake with their sushi, and it is for that reason the size of the servings are kept modest. The sensation of the roe bursting in your mouth and then melting away is exquisite!
Eighth: Otaru-san shako (mantis shrimp from Otaru)
Mantis shrimp is caught in spring and autumn and then boiled. After servings of rich and fatty neta, the mantis shrimp is the perfect follow-up for concluding the feast.
And that is the complete course!
Watching the skilled technique of a master sushi chef and enjoying the ambience of warm conversation with the master and his wife, this is truly an unforgettably luxurious experience, one that can be enjoyed with eyes and ears, as well as the mouth. The chef is a master at striking the perfect balance with the finest ingredients available.
Sushi Fuji鮨 富士
- Address 〒060-0063北海道札幌市中央区南3条西5-14 三条美松ビル3階／Sanzyouutsukusimatsu Bld.3F, 5-14, Minami3-jonishi, Chuo-ku Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 060-0063, Japan
- Phone Number 011-219-7880
Hours: 5:30 PM ~ 11:00 PM (no entry after 10:30PM) ※Guests with reservations are given priority
Written by : Nobuhiro Kawashima
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