Saturday, June 20, 2015

Travel | Hokkaido mid-May 2015 | Hakodate - 函館朝市食堂 馬子とやすべ Mako to Yusube and Kikuyo Shokudo Honten きくよ食堂

Everyone knows that when one is in Hakodate, head on to Donburi Yokocho どんぶり横丁市場 for delicious kaisen don 海鮮丼. There's about 19 shops to choose from, so where do I begin? Since my time in Hakodate is limited, with probably just enough time for two meals at the market or this donburi alley, I need to choose wisely. I'd probably walked back and forth a couple of times outside the shops, scrutinizing its display and probably earned some glances from the people whom may be watching.

Finally, decided on this shop called Mako to Yusube 馬子とやすべ. Simply because they have five toppings that I liked for the Asaichi Rice Bowl.

shop front

The shop is smaller than I expected but the people inside are very friendly. I was the lone customer then, because it was rather late for lunch, at around 1.40pm.

small and cosy
inner section
closed on Wednesday

Green tea is complimentary and the food arrived after seven minutes of waiting time. The bowl looked impressive for its price.

Asaichi goshoku-don 朝市五色丼

For just ¥1500 (~SGD16) nett, one gets a regular bowl of rice topped with five kinds of fresh seafood - ikura, hotate, salmon, uni and 3 pieces of botan ebi, served with a bowl of seaweed soup and some pickles. Yummilicious and definitely value for money. Totally loved the sweet scallop, the generous amount of ikura that added umaminess to the bowl and creamy uni. Not one, not two but three pieces of mid-sized botan ebi? Nice.

Good choice indeed and totally recommended. Wanted to eat it for the next day lunch too but it was closed.

list of shops at Donburi Yokocho

So, found another shop to lunch at on Wednesday before the train back to Sapporo. It is not within the Donburi Yokocho but somewhere near the market. It's called Kikuyo Shokudo Honten きくよ食堂. Was just walking past it when a man called out and asked if I wanted to lunch there. I told him that I wasn't that hungry, so he said they do mini-dons as well. Not knowing what to eat, made it easier to decide. Ok, I said.

image credit:

It feels rather retro inside the shop and yes, it was like eating in a canteen. Apparently, this shop was founded in 1957 and there were a few locals having their lunch while I was there. The menu is in Japanese so am not able to read it. Fortunately for set meals, there are pictures. Chose the mini don with 3 toppings, served with a side of hokke fish (Okhotsk atka mackerel) and seaweed soup.

self serve tea
sanshoku-don 三色丼 set with hokke fish @¥1966 (~SGD21)

The bowl was only slightly bigger than the seaweed soup. Diners are free to choose their choice toppings. I chose crab meat, scallop and sea urchin. Should have chosen ikura instead. The crab meat didn't have much taste in them. Was advised to drizzle a bit of soy sauce onto the scallops prior to eating.

The side dishes were boiled squid with some kind of savoury sauce and the red one beside it, I have no idea what it was. Tasted a bit spicy and definitely gooey. Think it was some kind of root vegetable with ika? Not too sure but it was delicious.

closer view

The seafood bowl was not much of a looker, but the sea urchin has a very nice fragrance to it. Almost flowery, and a tad surreal. Hard to imagine, I know. But truly, it has a very nice fragrance to the uni. As usual, scallops were sweet. My favourite in Hokkaido, ほたてだいすきです!


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