We’ve gotta say, there’s no approach we’d’ve thought this remote-looking location would develop into such a hidden gem.
Generally once we journey to a brand new city in Japan and have to discover a place to eat, journey guides and on-line websites simply don’t have the data we’d like.
You see, we wish to eat approach off the overwhelmed monitor, at locations frequented solely by clued-in locals, and while you’re on the lookout for that form of data, the very best particular person to ask is usually a neighborhood taxi driver.
So on a current journey to Noboribetsu in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, our reporter Seiji Nakazawa headed over to the taxi stand in entrance of the station, the place he noticed a cab driver prepared and ready for enterprise.
▼ The cab driver, Mr Masanori Ishida, who works for Muroran Rent Firm, was so accommodating he even stood by his automobile so Seiji might snap a photograph earlier than their journey.
Stepping into the automobile, Seiji requested Mr Ishida to take him to the very best seafood restaurant within the space, ideally one which solely locals find out about. With out lacking a beat, Mr Ishida replied, “Effectively, then, let’s get you to Tacchan Shokudo.”
Inserting his full belief within the driver, Seiji sat again and loved the 20-minute journey as Mr Ishida drove him to Kojohama, the place Tacchan Shokudo is situated. Alongside the way in which, Mr Ishida defined that Kojohama is a fishing city the place fishermen who work at Noboribetsu’s fishing port dwell, and Tacchan Shokudo is run by the pinnacle of this group of fishermen.
Seiji’s abdomen rumbled in starvation and pleasure on the glowing popularity of the place the place it was headed, and after they arrived on the joint, Seiji was stunned to see it regarded like an deserted warehouse.
▼ If Seiji hadn’t met Mr Ishida he would by no means have thought to go to a spot like this.
The restaurant was simply on the opposite facet of this lot, in what regarded extra like a residential dwelling or small workplace constructing.
After paying Mr Ishida and thanking him profusely for the advice, Seiji stepped out of the taxi and into the eatery. He needed to conceal his grin at what he noticed, as this was precisely what he had in thoughts for a neighborhood spot — casually dressed locals fortunately shovelling morsels of meals into their mouths, in an unashamedly no-frills setup.
The eating room was much more naked bones than among the different secret finds Seiji has walked into through the years, because the foldable tables and chairs made it really feel extra like a brief setup at an outside pageant. Seiji acquired speaking to one of many workers they usually informed him this house was once an workplace, so it appeared that the tables, chairs and cupboards had merely been repurposed for a eating room setup.
Placing the atmosphere apart, the menus confirmed a superb number of choices, with quite a few totally different seafood “don” (“donburi” or “rice bowl“) dishes, which vacationers typically hunt down on a visit to the island of Hokkaido, which is famend for its contemporary seafood.
There have been not less than 9 seafood rice bowls (丼) to select from when Seiji visited, together with a seafood curry and a karaage set meal, with costs beginning at 880 yen (US$6.52) and going as much as 2,200 yen for the Salmon Roe Don and three,300 yen for the Salmon and Salmon Roe Don.
Throughout Seiji’s taxi journey to get right here, Mr Ishida had beneficial the Tacchan Ramen (830 yen), which he praised for its extremely scrumptious broth. Trying to find it on the menu, Seiji discovered that it was one of many beneficial objects, and it gave the impression to be very fashionable with locals within the neighbourhood.
Seiji’s abdomen was desirous to be stuffed, so he determined to order the Tacchan Ramen, with a facet of Madachi Ponzu, and splurge on “In the present day’s Particular Donburi” as effectively.
▼ In the present day’s Particular Donburi turned out to be effectively well worth the 3,500 yen price ticket.
The particular donburi is restricted to solely 10 orders a day, so Seiji felt fortunate to have the ability to order it. It contained the freshest wanting seafood he’d ever seen, with all types of particular treats like tuna, crab, surf clams, salmon roe, salmon, and even abalone.
▼ There was a lot seafood within the bowl that Seiji couldn’t see the rice beneath.
▼ Every bit was surprisingly massive, and so scrumptious Seiji needed to maintain himself again from crying out in delight at each chunk, like an enthusiastic TV presenter on a meals present.
The surf clams had been the most important Seiji had ever seen, and the crab items had been irresistibly contemporary and juicy. He couldn’t choose a favorite out of the bowl, as each piece was improbable, and the mix created a harmonious rainbow of color, each by way of presentation and flavour.
After ending the bowl of seafood, Seiji resisted the temptation to order one other one, as an alternative tucking into his Madachi Ponzu (800 yen). Madachi (Pacific Cod Milt) is a well-known specialty of Hokkaido, and when you’re questioning what “milt” means…it’s the sperm-filled reproductive gland of a male fish. Whereas this would possibly sound off-putting to first-timers, it’s really a well-liked dish, and Seiji discovered it to be contemporary, voluminous, and melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious, particularly when paired with the citrus-soy ponzu sauce it was served with.
Lastly, Seiji moved on to a scorching dish to finish his feast — Mr Ishida’s extremely beneficial Tacchan Ramen (830 yen). Wanting round, Seiji had seen many different diners consuming this, so he was curious to seek out out what made it so standard.
When it arrived at his desk, Seiji might see this was a really rare-looking ramen, with a translucent broth and weird substances corresponding to prawns, squid, and scallops of their shells.
▼ You gained’t get a ramen like this at a big-name noodle chain.
Taking a sip, Seiji closed his eyes in bliss as his style buds had been handled to the wealthy style of seafood. Although the broth regarded gentle in color, it was filled with flavour, and completely scrumptious! The contemporary seafood broth was seasoned with a pure saltiness that wanted no different garnishing, and the noodles had been equally contemporary and scrumptious.
Mr Ishida had informed Seiji that he typically recommends Tacchan Ramen to ramen lovers, and everybody he’s beneficial it to has unanimously praised it for its flavour. Seiji is yet one more diner who’s fallen in love with Tacchan Ramen, and he too recommends it to noodle lovers as effectively.
It was a sensible choice to complete with the new ramen earlier than heading out into the chilly once more, and if Seiji lived within the space, he would positively be consuming right here day by day. The standard you get for the value is really excellent, so when you ever end up within the space, you’ll want to hop in a taxi and ask them to take you to Tacchan Shokudo. It’s now the third local recommendation we’ve acquired from a cab driver in Hokkaido, they usually haven’t steered us incorrect but!
Tacchan Shokudo / たっちゃん食堂
Handle: Hokkaido-ken, Shiraoi-gun, Shiraoi-cho, Kojohama 69-3
Open 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.