“Yozora Genghis Khan” - Hokkaido Suffolk Lamb: a weekend must in Hokkaido.
Dining on deliciously barbequed lamb while enjoying the night view of Sapporo certainly sounds nice, doesn’t it? Genghis Khan, thinly sliced, barbequed lamb and (usually) vegetables, is a tradition in Hokkaido, and the recently-founded Hokkaido Likers Genghis Khan Club proudly recommends Sapporo’s Yozora Genghis Khan for a true Hokkaido experience, since it is one of the only places you will find Hokkaido Suffolk Lamb.
At this Yozora, the Suffolk Lamb arrives every Thursday from Shizuo Farm in Shibetsu. By the time Tuesday and Wednesday roll around, it’s always sold out. So if you want to try this lamb, you’ll have to make a weekend visit.
The Hokkaido Suffolk raw lamb, sirloin, and fillet are all very tender, but due to short supply, the fillet goes quickly. We recommend you make a reservation if you want to try it.
There’s three varieties of sauce: soy, miso, and herb salt. There’s something for everyone’s tastes.
“You can try a little of each sauce, or even mix a little soy sauce with some miso. Everyone enjoys their dining experience,” says restaurant manager Yabe san. “Personally, I like soy sauce with plenty of ichimi (a kind of chili pepper seasoning) and garlic.”
For natives of Hokkaido, the dressing standard is soy sauce, but for most others it’s miso. In Kyoto, white miso with apple is often served as a delicious complement to lamb. During my visit to Yozora, I tried a bit of sweet miso with the raw lamb and the combination had a wonderful fresh flavor to it.
▲Soy Sauce dressing. Garlic, ichimi, sesame, red pepper paste, etc., are all provided, so guests can mix them to suit their own tastes.
▲The Hokkaido Likers Genghis Khan Club members were all big fans of the miso sauce! To close the meal, we were served hot bancha tea.
Yozora Genghis Khan doesn’t just offer Hokkaido Suffolk, but also Icelandic and Australian Lamb. On the weekends, you can enjoy mutton as well. With so many different kinds of meat, it’s important to try and compare them all!
▲Yozora “Comparison” Set for 2 (1,800 yen). The meat on top of the bamboo grass is Hokkaido Suffolk, while that on the green leaf is from Iceland, on the red leaf is Hokkaido deer (Hokkaido deer is called the “red leaf meat”.) and the meat without a leaf is from Australia.
Ordering this set lets you try and compare four different meats. The venison has an entirely different texture and taste from the lamb, but it’s worth trying these meats together to compare the flavors.
▲For comparison, we recommend you try the meats with the herb salt. It might surprise you how different they really are. The flavor, the scent, and the texture of each meat has such distinct qualities, you can easily appreciate the differences.
The Shizuo Farm Suffolk Lamb hardly feels like lamb, its so fine. Even those who are not usually fans of lamb can enjoy eating this. It’s extremely light and tender. You would expect to see meat so rich served in very fine venues.
Hokkaido natives, as seasoned lamb veterans, will be pleased with what they find at Yozora. This restaurant is popular with those who like truly superior lamb.
▲Yabe san is in the background. He saw the camera and tried to hide on us! As I sat at the counter though, he kindly told me all about the meat at Yozora.
With counter seats available, even solo diners can come and enjoy a light-hearted dining experience. Of course, there are also seats in the tatami area where you can enjoy a laughter-filled evening with friends. Yozora means “night view” in Japanese and, as its name suggests, you’ll find great views of the Sapporo night sky from the restaurant.
Of course, you can’t have Hokkaido Genghis Khan without beer! And, since you can only get it in Hokkaido, it seems fitting to pair your meal at Yozora with a Sapporo Classic to complete your delicious, Hokkaido-filled weekend!
■ Yozora Genghis Khan
Location/ Sapporo City, Chuo-ku, S.4 W.4 MYプラザビル(Plaza Bldg) 10F
Tel/ 011 - 219 - 1529
■ Open year-round
■ Open 17:00 - 1:00
※ Flavored Genghis Khan on 9F
( Hokkaido Likers Writer – Chiba Takako )
( Photography by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer – Itsuki )