Restaurant #16: Toppii, Sapporo
It was so cold today at Sapporo. I saw the snow covering the top of the mountain. Several days ago, one of popular ski resorts was opened. Yes, skiing/snowboarding season came! I really wanted to eat sushi for lunch, so my family and I tried Kaiten-zushi called “Toppii”.
I used to eat fresh, expensive sushi only, because my grandfather was a fisherman. Our family can tell the difference, fresh or not, easily. But since I was away from Hokkaido for a while, now I start eating all kinds of sushi, cheap or expensive it does not matter. Kaiten-zushi (回転寿司), also called sushi-go-round, is like fast-food sushi. Usually, the price is reasonable and neta (raw fish for sushi: ネタ) is so-so. Recently, many Kaiten-zushi use fresh neta, otherwise customers don’t go back there.
Sushi plates are placed on a rotating conveyor belt that winds through the restaurant and moves past every table and counter seat. You may order directly to the sushi chef, or simply pick the moving sushi plates on the conveyor belt. The bill is based on the number and type of plates. For instance, this restaurant has three types of plates; pink (105 yen), red (130 yen), and red with white edge (240 yen). You often see Chicken Karaage (Japanese style Deep Fried Chicken: 若鶏のから揚げ) or Chawan Mushi (Savoury Egg Custard: 茶碗蒸し) or other extra dishes.
First round: clockwise from the top left, Samma (さんま), Salmon (サーモン), Toro Salmon (とろサーモン), and Chawan Mushi with urchin (新鮮うにの茶碗蒸し). I barely eat Chawan Mushi (Savoury Egg Custard) outside, because their Chawan Mushi is usually sweet. Yet, this one was not sweet… However, after I ate some bites, I saw urchin and the taste immediately changed from perfect to salty! Hhmmmm… I liked the taste of urchin, but they used it too much. Toro salmon was my favorite among those four.
Second round: Squid with grinded ginger (いか) and Chicken Karaage (若鶏のから揚げ). I know I know. This is a sushi place… I guess I was so excited to see all kinds of dishes passing through in front of me on the conveyor belt. It is just funny to see it. I accidentally picked chicken. Oh my… the taste was not good... What was I thinking? Well, now I learned… My mother and aunt enjoyed squid.
Third round: clockwise from the left, Saba (Mackerel: さば), Aburi Toro Salmon (Broiled Toro Salmon: 炙りとろサーモン) and Chu-Toro (中トロ). Chu-Toro came with 240 yen plate. I don’t know I usually have to pay for it in regular sushi restaurant. This Chu-Toro made me very satisfied; this price and this taste… It is reasonable.
My family ate scallop (ほたて), so I missed it.
From the left: Hamachi (Young Yellowtail: はまち) and Aburi Anago (Broiled Conger Eel: 炙りあなご). I liked yellowtail. Taste was fine, but neta was very thin. Aburi Anago was my aunt’s choice, so I didn’t eat it… I should’ve try one…
Octopus (たこ) was very fresh! It had appropriate firmness and tasty. How come they put a slice of lemon on the neta? It looks pretty with it, but it tastes better without it.
Natto (納豆) is a traditional Japanese food, made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. People from overseas often surprise (or is confused) its strong smell and sticky consistency, even people from some area in Japan. I, as from Hokkaido, like natto and natto maki (納豆巻き). This natto maki pleased me with shredded squid and green onion.
We ordered Toro Salmon again as our last dish. With or without onion, salmon was fresh enough with this price, and definitely it was today’s favorite.
Overall, we really enjoyed it. It costs only $14 per person and ate a lot! It is reasonable price, don’t you think? If you want more variety of sushi and small dishes, there is another good Kaiten-zushi in Otaru. I will write a report next time I go there.
Total: 4000 yen (240x12, 130x7, 105x2: for 3 people)