Release | Yuki Konishi
Enjoy mutton dishes and relaxing moment at “Farm Restaurant Cuore” in Shiranuka-Cho
“Farm Restaurant Cuore” founded in 2015 as a restaurant owned directly by “Charo Sheep Farm” located at the dairy farming area in Shiranuka-Cho, east Hokkaido.
It’s a restaurant where you can taste mutton dishes and delicious resources from Shiranuka and east Hokkaido cooked by the pioneer of the shepherd in Hokkaido and a young chef from Shiranuka.
“Charo Sheep Farm” has trusted reputation about the qualityCharo Sheep Farm breeds sheep and sells consistently. The owner Hiroshi Muto started the farm from 35 sheep 30 years ago, and now it grew to 800 sheeps. Sheeps with different faces and body shapes graze quietly at the farm.
▲The farm mainly breeds Suffolk and Poll Derset. * The producing department farm does not allow visitors to get in normally to prevent epidemics. We got special permission to get in the farm to take pictures for the article.
The farm grazes parent sheep from spring to autumn. They value to breed sheep in the less stressful environment as possible. The main part of the food is grass. They add home blended food to cover missing nutrition. The food is basically produced domestically, such as Hokkaido produced wheat and soybeans.
▲Mr. Muto, the owner of the farm and a pioneer of the shepherd in Hokkaido.
“I also feed surplus materials in the town such as burdock skin from vegetable processing factory and whey from ‘Rakueisha’, the cheese factory in the neighborhood. Burdocks? Sheeps love burdocks, and they look like enjoying it very much.” Mr. Muto told me with a smile.
Sheep preciously bred in Charo Sheep Farm turns lambs to precise texture for example. The meat is juicy, contains a lot of umami, and gentle smell. Chefs all over Japan seek for this quality and flavor and orders from them never stops.
Mr. Muto has a belief to “make use of everything of sheep’s lives”. He delivers muttons and wool products to not only restaurant all over Japan but also homes via the online shop. However, not only that, establishing a restaurant & shop owned directly by the farm as another channel to distribute muttons, was a long dream of Mr. Muto.
The encounter to a young chef Yuya Urushizaki made his dream come true.
Mutton lovers must check out! “Farm Restaurant Cuore” is owned directly by the sheep farmCuore is located across the street from the farm. It is 15 minutes by car from JR Shiranuka Station and 10 minutes drive from Shiranuka IC of Doto Expressway. The restaurant renovated the 100-year-old house, and they used thick beams as it was. The atmosphere is very warm and relaxing with wooden textures.
▲The simple and spacious restaurant makes us relaxed even if it was a first-time visit.
▲All of the chairs had Mouton produced at the farm. The chairs are so unique and show it is a farm restaurant.
The chef of Cuore is Mr. Urushizaki. Mr. Urushizaki, from Shiranuka-Cho, told me; “Shiranuka has the rich resource of food. Not only sheep but also fishing, dairy farms, and wonderful cheese are here. Vegetables are also abundant and various as we can live with local vegetables only in spring and autumn. There are so many attractive farmers and producers. I want to make people feel ‘Shiranuka is a nice place’ through my dishes.”
▲Mr. Urushizaki got trained by Chef Yoshie for three years at “Osteria YOSHIE”, the Italian restaurant in Sapporo. He also experienced breeding, butchery, and processing for one year before opening Cuore.
Don’t waste the life.
Dishes in Cuore is based in Italian cuisines. They offer not only dishes to enjoy muttons from Charo Sheep Farm in various ways but also use seasonal flavors of Shiranuka and east Hokkaido to promote local and seasonal attractions.
Unique farm dishes specially cooked at the farm owned restaurant
▲The menu on the blackboard. * The menu changes seasonally.
“Lamb and Shiranuka Burdock Bolognese Pappardelle” is a pasta dish combined delicious food from the ground and farms in Shiranuka. The strong existence and umami of lamb and strong flavor of burdock matched perfectly! The cheese is from Rakueisha, the cheese factory in the neighborhood. Pappardelle which had chewy texture is homemade at the restaurant using flour from Tokachi.
Bolognese sauce uses unavoidable surplus parts which occur from cutting sheep, and add bouillon extracted from bones. The dish expresses beliefs of Mr. Muto and chef Urushizaki to “make use of everything of sheep’s lives”.
▲“This week of the farm” board in the restaurant posts reports about the farm and sheep from the manager in handwriting.
The most recommended dish is their signature dish “Roasted lamb with seasonal vegetables”. The beautiful rose color of the meat as a result of continuous work to add heat and rest a 200 grams piece of lamb is very impressive.
“The lamb is mild but has deep umami. This is the most distinct dish to enjoy the attraction of Charo Sheep Farm. Since we are a restaurant owned directly by a farm, I want our customers to feel that they ‘ate sheep’ regarding amount and flavor.” The chef told me. Their price of 200 grams roasted lamb is 2,800 yen (without tax), this is possible because they are owned directly by the farm!
▲The entrance of the restaurant is a shop which sells sheep related goods such as wool. They also sell chef’s homemade pastries using sheep fat. Not only that, but they also have processed food such as lamb slices, bolognese sauce, and sausages.
Over 99% of mutton consumed in Japan is imported. Which means, domestic and Hokkaido produced muttons are less than 1%. Even in Hokkaido, where we have a culture to consume muttons, people do not have many chances to taste local mutton. Enjoy the deliciousness of muttons created by a shepherd and a chef at Cuore!
* Note that they take a long vacation from January to February. However, they open the restaurant with a reservation one week prior, a group of 10 or more with chef’s choice large dishes from 4,000 yen.
Text / Yuki Konishi
Photo / Minako Takada