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Travel: Trip to Sapporo-Otaru-Hakodate-Onuma, 17-27 Apr 2016 (Part 6 - Day 5 in Sapporo)

>> Saturday, May 7, 2016

One more day to really rest & relax before traveling further to Otaru for a day trip (with loads of walking)! :D We actually wanted to visit Hanamaru Sushi at Stellar Place for brunch, but even at 10:30a.m., there was already a queue & my hubs didn't wanna wait so long for his meal to be served...kekekeke...

Summary for the day:
1. Brunch at Tonkatsu Wako, Stellar Place
2. Visit to Shimamura Music Store, Parco
3. Dessert at Nana's Green Tea, Parco
4. Shopping around Aurora Town & Pole Town areas
5. Dinner at "Pig-Backside Uncle's restaurant" (yes, you'll find out more why I label his restaurant with this name)

We ended up 2-3 restaurants away from Hanamaru for some comfort food i.e. crispy tonkatsu!

Tonkatsu Wako
2-5 Kita-Gojo-Nishi, Chuo-ku
Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 060-0005
Tel: (+81)(11) 2095104
URL: http://www.wako-group.co.jp/
Business hours: 11:00a.m. - 11:00p.m. (last order: 10:15p.m.) daily
GPS: 43.0680178, 141.3482991
Getting there: Subway Namboku/Toho Lines or JR Train - Sapporo station

In Malaysia, my favorite & nearest-to-PJ's-home tonkatsu is Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. We haven't tried Tonkatu Wako, but how bad can it be, right? We soon found out that Tonkatsu Wako is available at 5 different locations across Hokkaido & there are more than 200 outlets of Tonkatsu Wako across Japan! *wow* Now this is ONE treasure discovered *rubs hands with glee*

The dining concept here is very similar to what we've experienced back in PJ, so we didn't feel too uneasy. Pictures & samples (plus the availability of English menus) made ordering much easier & with a waiter that speaks minimal English recommending dishes to us, it was a breeze!

Tonkatsu sauce (in 'teapot') & yuzu dressing (for the cabbage) - VERY appetizing

Rosukatsu Gohan (JP¥1728/serving; RM62.21)
A flavorful high-quality pork loin in which the original taste of pork can be savored
Rosukatsu has been our all-time favorite as the piece of pork loin comes with a layer of fat, guaranteeing the mixture of textures in your mouth to be a party that you'll enjoy! The koromo coating (they didn't use panko), Wako's original recipe of breadcrumbs, used to coat the meat for deep-frying, ensures that heat is gradually transferred to the center of the meat, sealing in the moisture for a light and tender cutlet *truly scrumptious* After conversion to the Malaysian Ringgit, it's actually cheaper to eat at Tonkatsu Ma Maison than at Tonkatsu Wako, here in Japan :P

All tonkatsu sets come with a bowl of warm, chewy Japanese rice (free refills), a bowl of shijimi-jiru/ miso soup with freshwater clams (free refills), fresh fine-shredded cabbage (free refills) & some pickles

Sazanka (JP¥1134/serving; RM40.82)
2 bite-size pork fillet cutlets or pork loin cutlet minced beef & pork cheese-filled cutlet
I chose this set as it has a variety of meat + cheese stuffed within the pork cutlets. It's Hokkaido, so anything cheese is a must-order...hahaha! The meat cutlets (minced beef + pork) were juicy & so flavorful. Dipping it into the tonkatsu sauce enhances the flavor as the sauce has a slight 'tang' :)

It was quite a hot day on Day 5 in Sapporo, so we decided to chill-off with some of Nana's Green Tea desserts, something that we have back in Malaysia, but we've never had the opportunity to try it yet, so why not try the 'original' here in Japan?

Nana's Green Tea, Parco
Parco パルコ5F, Minami 1 Jonishi, 3 Chome−3
Chuo Ward, Sapporo
〒060-8502 Hokkaido Prefecture
Tel: (+81)(11) 3503763
Business hours: 10:00a.m. - 8:00p.m. daily ('til 8:30p.m. on Saturdays)
GPS: 43.0586126, 141.2828412
Getting there: Subway Namboku/Tozai Line - Odori or Susukino stations (Parco is at Pole Town underground shopping mall area)

Matcha Tube Cake & Warabi Mochi Parfait & Cold Matcha Latte (JP¥1328 for both; RM47.81)
For a 1st-timer, plus on a hot day, these were actually pretty refreshing. The parfait had a good variety of textures: crunchy, smooth, soft, & spongey (cake) & it wasn't too sweet, which was quite nice. The latte was not sweet enough for AP & had a slight bitter taste of green tea, which he didn't enjoy, but I liked it...hahaha.

It looks as if all we did for the day was eat, eat, & eat, but hey, we did some shopping & a few kilometers of walking as well, before going back to the hotel to chill :D

Dinner was another food hunt & I've to say that Day 5's dinner was the most memorable in an unpleasant way as it was the most costly dinner we've ever had for the food that we were served. Lesson learned: Never walk into a 'back-alley' restaurant without an English/pictorial menu where the restaurant owner is unable to speak English.

View of the Sapporo TV Tower at night from outside our hotel 

Here's to share our experience at the "Pig-Backside Uncle's Restaurant".

We were walking around the area near our hotel in search for a restaurant, preferably a sushi restaurant, when the blinking-lights signboard of a pig's backside caught my attention. The restaurant is not located on the main road, but looks like some make-shift hut of sort at someone's backyard.

Buta Hey - Kurobuta ぶた平
9 Chome Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward
Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 060-0062
Tel: (+81)(11) 2611029
Business hours: 5:00p.m. - 1:00a.m., Mon - Fri (closes at 12:00a.m. on Saturdays); closed on Sundays & public holidays
GPS: 43.0562376, 141.34437
Getting there: Subway Tozai Line - Nishijuicchome station or Sapporo Streetcar - Chuokuyakusho-Mae station (approx 450 - 500m walk from the stations)

Buta Hey is probably not your type of restaurant to have a meal, but more for a drink. For foreigners like us, it's not that easy to differentiate between a proper restaurant & a drinking place since all of them look quite similar. I was only drawn to the restaurant out of curiosity thanks to the pig's backside (it was cute maaaa....), so poor AP obliged. Curiosity kills the cat; it killed our pockets & our joy in finding a dinner place that serves good food for the price paid.

There's a menu on the wall with prices stated, but it's all in Japanese & we've no clue what's what *sigh* Why do I always get us into such avoidable trouble?

It took the restaurant owner quite some time to get the food to us. He just has 2 other customers apart from us & our food took like an hour to arrive =.=" To order, we played a round of charades, where the uncle made the actions while I guessed the words:
1. uncle flapping his arms to tell us that he serves fried chicken wings
2. uncle showing his thigh (by lifting up his right leg) to tell us that he serves fried chicken thighs
3. uncle pointing to the figurine piggy on the shelf to tell us that he serves pork

Interesting experience? Hahahaha...

This is the "pig-backside uncle"

We've no clue what & how he's really serving, but he started by serving us a small serving of cold scrambled eggs with spring onions topped on a cold silken tofu. He said it's an appetizer (in Japanese) & pointed to the menu behind him. Ok...since it's served, we just took it. If he didn't serve it, we wouldn't have ordered it since this small, palm-size appetizer costs RM18.00!

Appetizer/ Otoshi お通し (JP¥500/serving; RM18.00)

While waiting for our food to arrive, why not play some handphone games & take some wefies? 

Here's what he served us (plus 2 bowls of warm, white rice):

Deep-Fried Chicken Thigh/Tori karaage
We have to admit that his tori karaage was the best that we've ever had throughout our trip (like, really). Really crispy, not oily, superbly moist & very flavorful...can tell that he used some sesame seed oil in the marinade. No clue on the price...

Deep-Fried Pork Cutlets
The tonkatsu is actually minced pork cutlets, but it wasn't as delicious as Tonkatsu Wako's nor was it near Tonkatsu by Ma Maison's. It was still delicious since we were hungry, but just nothing spectacular.

Wondering how much we paid for those 2 dishes + 2 bowls of rice + 2 glasses of ice green tea? He charged us JP¥5000 (RM180.00)!! I kid you not! We were stunned, but AP didn't wanna bother arguing with him since we couldn't argue with Japanese to save our lives/pocket, so he just paid & we left the restaurant, still in shock & told ourselves to NOT trust cute-looking blinking-lights pig-backside restaurants! *heavy sigh*

So, in every trip, there's the possibility of the tourist getting ripped-off & here we were getting ripped-off by the "pig-backside uncle"...hahaha...ok, ok, the "Buta Hey Restaurant's owner". Makes me wonder if his signboard did make me 'buta' (blind in the Malay language) to all that he may have been scheming all this while! I felt really stupid, silly & demotivated, but the hubs was like, "It's ok...let's not allow this to stop us from continuing to enjoy our trip...."

Oh well, stay tuned for Day 6's blog post! It'll certainly be a more interesting post as it'll feature our day trip to Otaru, a small coastal town, 35 minutes train ride from Sapporo city :)

Extremely disappointed by my blindness,


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