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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - Robata 炉ばた

Visited 04.02.2013


Robata-yaki is actually similar to our conventional barbecue whereby food is grilled over charcoal fire. This form of Japanese cuisine is common among fishermen and is said to have originated from Kushiro, the place with abundant fresh seafood.

Came to know about Robata through various travel guidebooks and programmes. This restaurant has been around for half a century, specialising in robata-yaki all this while. Took some time to locate this restaurant as there were several other shops found in the same cluster (do keep a lookout for the signboard and lantern imprinted with 炉ばた). In the restaurant, an old lady (who is the chef behind all the delicious robata-yaki) takes the "center stage", while customers are seated around her and the hot charcoal grill. Area was dimly lit and at most 15 people seating occupancy. Both English and Mandarin menus were available, but the price of every food item was not specified. Therefore, do check out the price of the items (especially seafood) with the staff before you place the order.

Ordered: 



(1) Seafood - Squid stuffed with miso paste, mackerel pike (秋刀鱼), Okhotsk atka mackerel (花鲫鱼) and scallop.
- All agreed that the squid stuffed with the restaurant's very own miso receipe was the winner in Robata! As most of us know, squid is easily overcooked and can become hard to chew. However, the squid here was cooked to perfection and all credits go to the chef with many years of dedicated experience in front of the hot charcoal grill. The miso paste, tasted both sour and sweet, was very appetising and went well with the squid.
- Okhotsk atka mackerel was grilled to crisp light brown colour, retaining the fatty texture and taste of the fish.

(2) Meat - Skewered pork meat which comes either dipped in sauce or lightly salted.
Meat was so tender and delicious which made us craved for more (and we did order two additional sticks in the end).

(3) Vegetables - Eggplant, shittake mushroom and asparagus.

Bill: 9,950 yen. Not overly expensive considering we ordered quite a number of seafood items for four persons.

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Robata 炉ばた
北海道釧路市栄町3丁目1
Opening hours: 1700 - 0000 hrs (till 2300 hrs in winter), closed on Sundays.
http://www.robata.cc/index.html

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Video: Restaurant was featured in 《Women 爱旅行》. Fast forward to 43:10 for their recommendation on Robata.

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