April 15, 13 | Fumiko Magota
"Chinese Restaurant Kirica" - Sapporo - A well-established Chinese food restaurant in Hokkaido featuring the finest seafood and vegetables!
Authentic Chinese restaurant "Kirica" is located in Odori Bisse building, which is connected underground to Odori Station.
Before owner and chef Noboru Ishii opened the restaurant in 2010, he worked as a hotel chef. During the 2006 G8 Summit, in Toyako Hokkaido, he was a member of the event's chef team. His restaurant serves traditional Chinese dishes as well as more modern takes on the cuisine. This unique combination of cuisine has fascinated many people.
"I choose seasonal ingredients from Hokkaido to create dishes in the Chinese Wu Xing Yin Yang style. Every dish served suits the climate of the surrounding land." explained chef Ishii. The food available on the course menu changes every season, so he explained the spring menu to me.
"During winter we tend to bundle up against the cold weather. This can lead to an accumulation of stress and waste inside the body. So for our spring menu we chose the theme "Detox." The colors, smells, and flavors of these dishes are all meant to inspire images of a vibrant spring."
One popular item on the regular menu is "Fried seafood of the day with special sauce" - 1,600 Yen.
▲Scallops, shrimp, squid, octopus, this dish contains many exquisite ingredients from Hokkaido.The taste and texture of the food is fantastic.
The unique special sauce (季璃香醤), available in shop, is made by chef Ishii himself. This dish is made with chopped Esashi dried scallops, Yakumo dried octopus, Hakodate squid, and Okhotsk Toba salmon. The taste is surprisingly mellow, but full bodied. The sauce packs a slight punch, while maintaining the great taste of the ingredients used.
Another dish I recommend is the "Tanmen fried seafood" - 1,200 Yen.
▲This delicious salt flavored dish is packed with scallops and other seafood!
This soup has a fantastic dried scallop taste. Thin noodles, made from Hokkaido wheat, work harmoniously with the rich soup sauce.
"Actually, we started making some Tanmen take-home packages too!" explained Mr. Ishii.
▲Mr. Ishii with his recently released "Hokkaido Seafood Salt Tanmen." Based on the Tanmen dish above, the flavor of the sea in a thick soup.
Mr. Ishii is also the founder of the "Hokkaido Chef's Club," an organization which is meant to expand and improve the food culture in Hokkaido
This product is part of that organization's activity. Made without the use of MSG (monosodium glutamate), dried scallops and delicious Hokkaido vegetables combine to create a delicious flavor.
It's also easy to make! All you need is a pan to heat it up in.
In the near future, the shop plans to release their special sauce in a take home package as well!
▲"Hokkaido Seafood Salt Tanmen" - 840 Yen. (2 servings included.) Sold in airports around Hokkaido, and JR Sapporo Station.
Mr. Ishii's love of cooking and good ingredients is what makes this shop great. The next time you visit Sapporo be sure to stop by for a bite. Don't forget to pick up a package of their soup when you leave!
【中国菜家 季璃香】 (Chinese Restaurant Kirica)
Location: 札幌市中央区大通西３丁目７番地 大通ビッセ4F
(Odori Bisse, 7 Odori Nishi 3-Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo)
Hours of Operation: 11:00 - 3:00, 5:30 - 10:00 ※Last order 30 minutes before close. Closed on Sundays.
Kirica Homepage: http://www.kirica.jp (Japanese)
Hokkaido Chefs Club Homepage: http://www.chefs-club.jp (Japanese)
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Fukko)