Watch your waistline! We’ve got a luxurious route planned where you’ll be free to enjoy a smorgasbord of savory meats.
“This is lamb?!” A Specialty Shop Serving Hokkaido’s Famous Genghis Khan Dishes!
We first headed to a chain whose motto is “Tasty, low-priced, and quick” and is popular throughout Japan. By evening, the lines are already out the door! Here, we ordered the limited-availability “thick-cut rack,” which is a real standout. Standard procedure would be to try their whole lineup, including the “raw lamb,” “lamb roll,” and “herb lamb.” The free grilled veggies are a nice bonus! This shop cuts no corners; nothing less than the freshest meat, charcoal, Hokkaido vegetables, and the perfect sauce will do. The manager states that this is why Daikokuya lamb is so tender and doesn’t have an unpleasant odor. “I don’t want to hear anyone saying, ‘Boy, lamb meat stinks!’” With fare like this, even those who’ve been hesitant to try lamb meat will be able to overcome their hang-ups. Normally, you’d want to finish up with a cold dessert, but our meat-eating journey has just started, so we’ll keep it to an “orange bar” this time.
Shinko-yaki in a Legendary Sauce! This One’s a Can’t-Miss Masterpiece!
At the entrance to a small side street shines a big tanuki sign which reads, “Can’t go wrong!” The aroma permeating the air stops any passersby in their tracks. One whiff, and any thoughts of not stopping in for a bite will totally leave your mind! “Gin-Neko” is a very old restaurant that features an indoor ambience straight out of the Showa period. Their “parent-child griller” of chicken and eggs is the kind of soul food loved by locals for ages. The crispy skin and juicy meat would be enough by itself, but the secret sauce makes it dangerously addictive. The recipe was created when the restaurant was originally founded and has been passed down through generations. It’s so delicious, you’ll be craving more the very moment you finish your plate.
Other gems on the menu include the “Full-course Skewer” and “Copy Suey.” Pairing the dishes with the right sake might prove a challenge, but everything served here boasts such a high level of quality, you really can’t go wrong! Now, our stomachs are about 80% full and we’re on the road back to the hotel. One last stop remains! If you’ve made it to Asahikawa, don’t forget to answer the call of this particular meat.
Salted Horumon – An Asahikawa Original in a Trailblazing Restaurant!
You can’t leave Asahikawa without trying the “Salted Horumon (offal).” Your beacon is a large red lantern down a back street that simply reads “Sumiya.” This version of salted horumon originated in the area during the Meiji period, in a time when pig farming was a thriving industry. The fresh meat is meticulously prepared by local butchers to avoid any unpleasant odors. The sizzling sound of the meat seems to dance off the earthen charcoal grill. The trick to cooking horumon perfectly is exercising patience before turning it. Sit tight and wait until it’s cooked through before flipping it. Your patience will be rewarded! The texture, umami, savory saltiness, and unmistakable charcoal flavor will keep your chopsticks moving until the very last bite. As the creator behind salted horumon, the shop’s reputation and popularity more than meet our high expectations. Asahikawa supermarkets sell “Sumiya”-branded salted horumon, as well as products from other famous local shops. Be sure to give this perennial local favorite a try.