Jonathan's Worldly Eats: Confessions of a Foodie - Izakaya Himawari - Sapporo, Hokkaido
My fellow Americans, you may want to take a seat for this one… despite what you may have been mislead to believe, pub is not a synonym for bar. Calling a pub a bar is cheapening one of man’s greatest triumphs. Pubs are known for serving traditional dishes and local specialties in homey dining rooms packed with friends and amazing conversations. Pubs are sacred to Foodies in that they are so much more than humble restaurants. When you walk into your favorite pub, and yes – everyone does have his or her favorite – a personal connection is made. The staff prepares your drink exactly how you like it, the chef instinctively knows what you want to eat, and your friends will continue your conversation right where you left-off on your previous visit.
Himawari is among my top three favorite restaurants in the world. Proprietor Manami Magotake takes great pride in offering a wide selection of exquisitely prepared and utterly irresistible Japanese izakaya (pub) specialties. Favorites include the crunchiest, most flavorful tempura in Japan, yakitori complemented by a homemade salt blend to enhance the natural flavors of the meats and vegetables, and traditional Sapporo Miso Ramen with homemade noodles, tender char sui, and a rich porky soup. They skillfully construct each and every dish resulting in a menu that is thought provoking and takes advantage of Hokkaido's superior access to delicious, fresh, and local ingredients. The chefs, Konno san and Honma tencho are responsible for a majority of Himawari's charm and they make every night a unique experience. A wide selection of Nihonshu and Shouchu and of course Sapporo Classic further cement my affection for this, the world's best izakaya.
札幌市東区伏古8条3丁目 8-27 サンライト第2
Sapporo-shi, Higashi-ku, Fushiko 8-jou, 3-chome
Sunlight No. 2
Visit Himawari's website at m-five.sakura.ne.jp/himawari
*A version of this review was published on worldlyeats.blogspot.com on May 8, 2009