I can almost say, it is no doubt that seafood taste better in Hokkaido than anywhere else in Japan! During my recent trip to Hakodate, it’s like a seafood fiesta, and sea urchin is one that should not be missed!
Although Japan is not the only place that have sea urchin, other countries such as Canada, Korea also have them, but, the ones in Japan is still the top of the rank! There is a very famous sea urchin restaurant inside the Hakodate Seafood market called Murakami (むらかみ), and is popular amongst both the locals and the tourists. Although you cannot order which sea urchin, but instead, the chef will only serve you the seasonal best at that time.
We went there around 11:30am on a weekday, and there was already a line waiting. We waited for about half an hour before we were seated. The restaurant is quite small, and can only accommodate approximately 30 customers at one time. The lunch menu is also quite simple, ranging from around 1500yen to 5000yen per dish.
“A seafood diet is the best diet ever – whenever you see food, eat it!”
For many of the visitors going to Japan, one of the “must do” would be to visit the Tsukiji fish market, and to see the biggest tuna auction in the world! In order to do that, you will need to get up super early to line up for one of the 120 spots available each day. I’ve tried once arriving there at 5:00am, only to realized all the spots were already taken. (It starts at 6:00am, and I guess I was too naive to think that 5:00am would guarantee myself a spot)
Without the Tuna Auction, Tsukiji market is still a great place to experience the local Japanese market, and most importantly, to taste the freshest seafood in Tokyo!
One of my all time favourite is this family run restaurant called the “Sushikuni (鮨国)”! It is a small restaurant with simple decoration, nothing fancy, and it’s only got 4 tables plus a few counter seats in front of the sushi bar. But don’t let the simplicity fool you! This little restaurant is one of the most popular restaurant in the whole of Tsukiji, and you are expecting to line up for hours if you come here at lunch time!
Sushikuni is famous for their “over flowing sea urchin rice bowl” – the sea urchin is literally over flowing from the bowl! What makes this rice bowl so special is, not only the sea urchin is super fresh, the bowl actually contains two types of sea urchin, so you can double your sanctification! Other than the sea urchin rice bowl, they also have many different style of fresh seafood rice bowls, and a-la-carte available.
Okay, back to the main topic – “Over flowing sea urchin rice bowl” – The last time I went there, the sea urchins were both from Hokkaido, one wast the “Bafun uni”, and the other one was the “murasaki uni (purple sea urchin)”. I personally like the “murasaki uni” better as it tastes sweeter, but overall, they were both heavenly delicious!