Restaurant #56: Ichi Nii San, Sapporo

(Visited in February, 2011)

Day 2 in Sapporo, my family and I headed to the Japanese restaurant, Ichi Nii San, at Stellar Place bldg in Sapporo. If you have a chance to visit Sapporo, do not forget to check great restaurants in Stellar Place and Daimaru department store, located right in front of JR Sapporo station. Visitors can enjoy all types of food and fresh ingredients.

A signature menu of Ichi Nii San is Kurobuta Shabu Shabu, but since we went there for lunch, we ordered Kurobuta with Ginger Sauce (黒豚の生姜焼きセット) (980 yen), Steamed Kurobuta and Veggie set (黒豚の野菜蒸しセット) (980 yen), and Buta Suki set (豚すき定食) (1150 yen). Kurobuta they used was from Kagoshima province.

I should mention that the décor was quite organized and I loved it.

First of all, a waiter served us Soba-cha (そば茶) and Niku Miso (肉味噌). Niku Miso was an interesting idea for small appetizer, and if you see the small bowl carefully, it could become Hashioki (箸おき).

Kurobuta with Ginger Sauce

Kurobuta with Ginger Sauce is one of popular lunch menu in general. This Kurobuta was a bit hard and salty for me. Plus, Red miso (赤みそ) was used for soup. Each item was tasty, but with such a salty Shoga-yaki (生姜焼き), they should have served a bit lighter-taste of soup. Quantity was appropriate.

Steamed Kurobuta and Veggie set

It was my mother’s choice, and this was the best item among we ordered this day. This dish was well balanced: rice, soup, pork, veggie and some pieces of fruits. Pork and veggie were steamed, so it was not oily at all. Healthy and colorful!

Kurobuta was perfectly steamed, and the meat was tender. It is your choice to dip into a sauce or not. For vegetables, it was not salted, so dipping sauce was needed.

Buta Suki set

This Teishoku set (定食セット) was a seasonal item. To tell you the truth, sukiyaki is not my favorite food, because Warishita (わりした: sukiyaki sauce) is usually sweet. Yet, since I haven’t eaten sukiyaki for almost five years, I wanted to try. Plus, it looked healthy with lots of vegetables.

After a few bites, my tongue felt a bit saltiness. I thought it was good the sauce was not sweet. But a few bites more, then it became too salty. Ingredients were kurobuta, Tofu, shitake mushroom, Nappa, Shungiku, a slice of carrot, broccoli, Negi, and small portion of Udon noodle. For one person, quantity was a bit too much. I was glad that I had 2 more people to help me finish up.

Overall, we felt that their taste was a bit too heavy for us, especially dishes with sauce. Among those 3 dishes above, I recommend “steamed pork and veggie set.”

Total: 3110 yen (for 3 people)

Ichi Nii San: いちにぃさん
6F, Stellar Place Sapporo


Cooking #02: Beef Stew and Izushi

I couldn’t wait to eat my mother’s cooking! That night, she prepared me delicious beef stew and a traditional Japanese dish, Izushi.

I do not think people reading my blog know about Izushi, so let me introduce this delicious dish to you. Izushi (飯寿司) is one of local foods usually in cold, snowing part of Japan, such as in Hokkaido or Tohoku. Rice, fish, vegetable, and Kouji (麹) are used, categorized as a sushi, called “cooked rice sushi”. Because raw fish are used during a process of marinated, Izushi is usually cooked in cold season, and need to be sure that the fish is salted well, otherwise easily get food poisoned.

Each family has different receipt for ingredients. My family’s is from my father’s family: salmon, carrot, cucumber, ginger, rice, red pepper, Japanese radish (Daikon), and salmon roe.

p.s. Rimmed Bowl: Wedgwood Samurai, Small Plate: Tachikichi (Kyoto, Japan)


Restaurant #55: Wako, Sapporo

(Visited in February, 2011)

This was my second visit to Wako. Same as last time, it took me 10 min to decide what I should eat. Everything looks perfectly delicious... Eventually, I chose Shobu Set, 1260 yen.

Organized interior.

Shobu Set

Shobu set (Hire Katsu, Deep Fried Shrimp, Deep Fried Eggplant with minced pork) was served with Oshinko (お新香) and Chawan Mushi (茶碗蒸し: Japanese Egg Custard). Chawan Mushi is my favorite Japanese dish, as well as Tonkatsu. Therefore, you can imagine how much this meal set made me satisfied.

Hire Katsu (一口ひれかつ) was a bit small, but it was okay because other items were more enjoyable; deep fried shrimp (海老フライ) and deep fried eggplant (茄子のはさみ揚げ). I have to say that I have never huge fun of fried shrimp. It is just because I love fresh, raw shrimp, instead of fried one. Yet, it is good to have big fried shrimp!!!

Minced pork said hello to me from between the fried eggplant!

Japanese Egg Custard

I love Chawan Mushi. I sometimes eat it outside, but usually the taste is too strong. However, their Chawan Mushi had perfect taste. If you have a chance to eat Katsu in here, please try Chawan Mushi as well.

I enjoyed this gorgeous lunch as usual. I would love to go back there again and try out other menu! Also, I should introduce other Tonkatsu restaurants to you guys next time.

Total: 1239 yen

Wako: Tonkatsu Restaurant
6F, Stellar Place Sapporo

Travel #04: Taipei to Sapporo

(February, 2011)

It was about time to go back home and enjoy white snow and delicious food. In addition, it was a great chance to visit Sapporo Snow Festival. It was a first time in five years to see snow, so I was very excited!

In-flight Meal


As usual, I couldn’t eat in-flight meal… I really tried, though… Pork or chicken, I always choose chicken. I should try pork next time…

After four hours of flight, I was already in Sapporo Int’l Airport. It was still clean and neat. I arrived at noon time, so head to Sapporo station to have lunch~!

Taking JR (Japan Railway) to get to Sapporo downtown, 40 min later, I was at downtown to eat Tonkatsu (とんかつ).

To be continued…


Cooking #01: Omi Beef Stake, Sapporo

Everytime I go back to my home, my mother prepared delicious foods for me. She is a great chef, and also she is lucky to have a chance to use fresh, delicious materials which are grown in Hokkaido. Let me share some dishes from my kitchen table!

Omi Beef Stake

Simple medium cooked stake, with salt and pepper. Beef was…tender!!! Once I bit, it melted in my mouth. It was amazing. Usually, this level of quality of beef was not easy to buy, but my mother luckily bought this Omi beef in Daimaru department store. Today was a lucky day… I wish I could eat this quality of steak outside… in reasonable price.

Fried Tofu & Bok Choy

This is also a simple dish. Fresh Boc Choy, sprout and special tofu from Niseko area. When I go back to my home, my family visits Niseko. Niseko is blessed with pure water from Mt. Yotei, and many travelers from all over Hokkaido bring empty bottles to pull spring water. There are several small stores where visitors can buy fresh vegetables. One Tofu store called “Wakimizu no Sato” became famous because their tofu was made with natural spring water of Niseko. Not only pure simple tofu, but also their original items, festinate me! We only bought spicy tofu this time, but I personally liked their Grounded soybean curd donuts. It was a bit sweet, and healthy as you can imagine. I definitely want to go back there again and buy more various tofu.

Bonito Sashimi

You can enjoy these gorgeous bonito sashimi ONLY in Hokkaido! No fishy smell, because it was so fresh. Don’t forget to eat with Wakame as well. Slices of green perilla (Shiso: しそ) was enjoyable, but doesn’t kill the fresh taste of sashimi. It was purely fresh.

Hmm… Always, mother’s food is the best in the world, right?


Restaurant #54: Kaffe Amadeus, Taipei

(Visited at Jan 31, 2011)

Kaffe Amadeus is located in SOGO FuXing—easy to access. I like FuXing SOGO, because the building is still clean and organized. This Kaffe Amadeus operates the other branch in Taipei 101, but I prefer SOGO branch with nicer view. My friend and I met at 11:30 for lunch. The café was quite empty, but slowly more and more customers came. I recommend you to go there before noon. I ordered business lunch set—daily soup, salad, bread, main course, and coffee.

Oops! Sorry I forgot to take a photo of a salad.

Daily Soup

Daily soup was pumpkin soup. It was not bad, but I should say it was nothing special. There was no pumpkin’s sweet-taste, it was too mild for me. Oh well, it came with lunch set, so I should simply enjoy it.

Garlic Bread

It was purely enjoyable. I always like garlic bread.

Tomato Cream Pasta with Salmon & Asparagus

Main dish was Tomato Cream Pasta. It is not easy to find good cream pasta in Taipei, but I liked this one. The blend of tomato and cream was quite interesting taste. Asparagus was very fresh, and it was matched with this sauce. I like salmon in general, but the smell of fish might be a bit strong.

Vienna Coffee

I could choose one drink in their gorgeous coffee/tea list. I chose Vienna Coffee. It was so creamy, and the cream was melted in my mouth. My friend chose Hot Chocolate. Hot milk was served with chocolate bar, then the chocolate bar was put into milk, so that the chocolate melted… Tempting... I should try this next time.

Overall, I liked the atmosphere of the restaurant, and foods are also fine. The price is a little bit expensive, I think, but sometimes it is okay to spend a bit more to enjoy different feeling.

Kaffe Amadeus


Restaurant #53: Anzu, Taipei

(Visited at Dec 27, 2010)

Anzu, a Japanese Tonkatsu restaurant, opened a new branch at Hankyu department store. It is easy to access from MRT station, and there is always a looooong line waiting for delicious Katsu. Anzu came from Kyushu of Japan. Let’s see how they are doing here in Taiwan.

As usual, it was a long line in front of the restaurant. My friend and I waited for 45 min, which is normal in such a busy and crowded city. Workers welcomed us with “Irasshaimase!” Since I heard their greetings with Japanese, my mind automatically started expecting their service.

My first impression towards them was great; workers were smiling and kindly led us to the table. Décor was beautifully organized, and lighting was appropriate as well. Their menu could be a bit expensive for Taiwanese people, but I think it was reasonable compared with the prices among other Tonkatsu restaurants in Taiwan. Those atmosphere and food quantity must make them satisfied. We ordered Hirekatsu set (腰內豬排套餐) (TW$ 290) and Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu set (厚切里肌肉豬排套餐) (TW$ 330).

Appetizer: Kiriboshi-Daikon

As an appetizer, Kiriboshi Daikon (切り干し大根) was served. A bit salty, but it was acceptable. Yet, an accident happened—hair in the food. Well… no one is perfect, I know. I asked the worker to change the appetizer… To be honest, I was just uncomfortable to pay the service fee…

If you like, add grated sesame.

Shredded cabbage

Shredded cabbage is an important side dish for Tonkatsu. Usually, refill free. I like shredded cabbage, so I refilled several times. They prepared house-made dressing, but I prefer Tonkatsu sauce.

Their sauce was not my taste, because it was too sweet, yet my friend liked it.

Hirekatsu Set

Our dishes were finally served. I was very happy to see my dish, ヒレかつ膳, with golden-colored crispy skin. It was perfect!!! Their Koromo (crispy skin) was really Japanese style and crispy~! Meat was tender and perfectly juicy. I was astonished! I couldn’t even find such a Real Tonkatsu dish in Los Angeles. I am glad that I could enjoy in Taiwan. My choice made my day.

Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu Set

My friend ordered Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu set (厚切りロースかつ膳). When we ordered this item, a worker warned us that it would be oily. When we saw the item, her warning made sense. It came with lots of fatty part. There is another Rosu Katsu set with Kurobuta, which was a bit expensive. I believe Kurobuta Rosu would be better than this. Excluding the fatty part, Rosu was tender, and again, Koromo was perfectly crispy. Katsu, cabbage, siso soup and other appetizer… Those made us full and really satisfied.

Although I prefer lighter-taste Kiriboshi Daikon, their food made me satisfied. Please improve their hygiene, so that I can go back there again.

Total: TW$ 682 (for 2 people + 10% service fee)

Anzu: Japanese Tonkatsu Restaurant


Restaurant #52: 龐太餛飩舖子 Wonton Shop, Taipei

(Visited Dec. 22, 2010)

One of my students likes to visit good restaurants. She taught me several reasonable restaurants, and 龐太餛飩舖子 was one of them. The location is not in convenient area, so it is better to access by car. Coincidentally, I had a chance to go to this area.

It is a small restaurant, and interestingly, the décor was amazingly cool. Out of no where, you find such a fashioned tiny restaurant. You can’t even imagine they are selling wonton. My friend and I entered the store. Only two workers and Jazz as background music welcomed us. Menu was quite simple; wonton soup and noodles. We ordered one appetizer (TW$ 30), small noodle (TW$ 40), pork wonton soup (TW$ 55) and shrimp wonton soup (TW$ 80). Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of shrimp wonton soup... (ToT)


As an appetizer (小菜), we choose pork ear ski & Tofu bean curd. Both are popular appetizer of Taiwanese food, and Okinawa people of Japan sometimes eat those. Their pork ear was a bit sweet, but I liked it.

Pork Wonton Soup

Pork Wonton Soup (鮮肉餛飩湯) was the simplest item from their wonton menu, but simple is best. The soup was pure and light without MSG. Seaweed was inside and it kept the good balance of the taste. Although there were only 6 pieces of wonton, but each piece was big enough to make us lightly full. I thought seafood wonton (such as shrimp or scallop) would give stronger taste.

Small Dry Noodle

They prepared three different kinds of noodle menu, and we tried small dry noodle (乾拌麵). It was a right decision to order one noodle, otherwise only wonton soup didn’t make us completely full. I have eaten some dry noodle since I came to Taiwan, but this noodle was the best so far!!! It was not really dry; enough soup with ground meat. I don’t think I should eat this everyday, but eating this once a month would make my stomach happy.

Overall, this tiny cute wonton restaurant offers a sophisticated wonton menu; it is called professionalism.

Total: TW$ 205 (for 2 people)

龐太餛飩舖子: Wonton Shop
No. 169, Section 5, ShiMin Blvd, Songshan Dist.,
Taipei, TAIWAN
02- 2748-2338


Restaurant #51: Ramen Kagetsu Arashi, Taipei

I thought it was almost impossible to find a real Japanese ramen outside of Japan, but I was wrong. I finally found the one in Taipei! I know pretty good one in Los Angeles, but this is really like modern Japanese ramen. It is called “Ramen Kagetsu Arashi”, originally from Tokyo of Japan. I am a huge fan of Sapporo Ramen and have some bad experience with ramen of other areas, but this Tokyo style has some interesting flavors!

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi has several branches in Taiwan, and one branch is located in a new department store. 統一阪急百貨台北店 is very easy to access from MRT station. Many people are waiting in line everyday, as well as this day. After waiting for 10 min, a waiter led my friend and I to a small table. We ordered Chinese Chive & Egg Fried Rice (鉄板イタめしニラ玉味) and their signature item, Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (ニンニクげんこつらあめん), and an extra small Garlic Pork Rice (ニンニク豚めし).

Chinese Chive & Egg Fried Rice (韭菜玉子鐵板炒飯)

韭菜玉子鐵板炒飯, TW$ 160, was my friend’s choice. It was a great choice for not only taste but also entertainment. On the Teppan plate, beaten egg, rice with some ingredients and Katsuobushi were prepared. A waitress mixed all those in front of us beautifully. Of course, we could do it by ourselves, but first time is better to see how the professional do. (^^)

It was some sort of art that the color of beaten egg slowly changed, and smell of katsuobushi was mouth-watering. After mixed with rice, it was okay to eat right away, or also find to wait for a while to make Okoge.

Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (大蒜拳骨拉麵)

My choice was Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (大蒜拳骨拉麵), TW$ 160. For the first time, I was surprised that taste of the soup was Real. Lots of grated garlic and Seabura (背脂) make the soup strong and a bit salty. Taiwanese friends are all told me that the soup was too salty for them. Then, you can ask the worker to add boiled water to adjust saltiness.

Chashu was beautifully lying on the soup surface. Two slices; juicy and tender. If you like Chashu, you can order Chashu Ramen or add extra slices.

A half of boiled egg was in perfect condition. Bamboo Shoots didn’t have strong taste as other Taiwanese dishes, so that it didn’t kill the good smell from the soup, which was great. Green onion (negi), two slices of Chashu (チャーシュー), and Nori (Seaweed: のり) were all decorated perfectly.

If you like, you can add extra topping. I added Wakame Seaweed (わかめ) with extra TW$ 30.

Garlic Pork Rice (蒜香肉燥飯)

We ordered extra small rice called 蒜香肉燥飯 (ニンニク豚めし) (TW$ 45). This was a bit disappointment. A worker might have forgotten to bring the item right away. Once they served the rice to us, it was already cold and the meat over the rice was dry… If it was a real quality of this item, then they must improve the quality.

Overall, I love their ramen and service. All workers were friendly and energetic. Since this first experience, I frequently visit there and enjoy real Japanese ramen. (^^)

Total: TW$ 435 (for 2 people + 10% service fee)

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi: らあめん花月嵐
http://www.kagetsu.co.jp/index.html (Japan)
http://www.gbj-tw.com/ (Taiwan)
# Please check the closest branch from your location.


FastFood #06: iCon Chicken Diavolo, McDonald’s Japan

November, 2010. McDonald’s Japan introduced us four iCon Chicken burgers. I already introduced German Sausage Burger on this blog, and fortunately, I had a chance to try one more chicken burger, Diavolo, during my stay at Sapporo, Japan.

Diavolo is known as “小悪魔風” in Japanese. Spicy sauce with tender breast chicken, toasted buns, bacon, cheddar cheese, and slices of lettuce must make me full.

One bite, two bite… The sauce was not as spicy as I expected; it was actually a bit sweet. Since I expected spicy sauce, so it was a small disappointment. I believe the sause was too strong and it killed the natural taste from the chicken. Too bad… Breast chicken was thick, had tender and meaty texture. However, German Sausage burger used much tender chicken.

Overall, I enjoyed this new taste from McDonald’s, but if they add new iCon Chicken burger on their iCon list, I prefer German Sausage, although Diavolo made my stomach full. I want much spicier sauce!!!

# This burger was sold from November 5 to November 14, 2010.

Total: 660 yen (as a meal)

McDonald’s Japan