Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - Gotoken Curry Express 五島軒 函館カリーエクスプレス, Hasegawasutoa ハセガワストア

Visited 13.02.2013

(1) Gotoken Curry Express

Was time for lunch after visiting Goryokaku Tower. Chanced upon Gotoken Curry Express, located on the second floor of the tower and decided to give it a try. Gotoken, a restaurant that was established more than a century ago, started out selling western cuisines. However, curry became Gotoken's signature dish later on (during Taisho period between 1912 - 1926). This was created based on a recipe which was improvised by the second generation owner who had undergone training in Imperial Hotel then. 

The main restaurant, located near Jujigai, still offer western cuisines. This other smaller branch specialises in mainly curry items - pork, beef and seafood curry cooked in various ways such as English, French and Indian. The gravy are served in English style silver sauce boats unlike Japanese curry restaurant. Very thick and dark curry gravy, a blend of roux and their homemade broth, which tasted both sweet and spicy. Personally I still prefer the soup curry version. Gotoken also sells packaged curries, enabling one to savour again back at home.


(2) Hasegawasutoa Convenience Store

Skewers cooked on the spot. 
Sometimes, tasty food pops up in unexpected places - which makes food hunting such a pleasure! Hasegawasutoa, is a convenience store chain found only in Hakodate. In Japan, its common to find ready-to-go bento in convenience stores. However, in Hasegawasutoa, they only make your bento box upon order. What is most unusual is that their well known yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) are actually made of pork and not chicken, entirely different from what its name implied! Pork is more readily available and cheaper than chicken as there are more pig farms in South of Hokkaido, therefore pork has been used in meat skewers in Hakodate traditionally. To prevent misunderstanding as well, the lids of these bento boxes are imprinted with an adorable pig cartoon.

Chose the salt flavour. Each bento comes with three skewers, each with alternating pieces of pork and stalks of green onion, served with rice at the bottom. We were amazed by how these simple looking grilled meat skewers were exceptionally tasty! The juicy meat and crunchy green onion makes you want to eat more with every bite. It's a pity that we only had one box (as we already had our lunch)... Apart from the plentiful fresh seafood that Hakodate has to offer, please do not miss out this "B grade gourmet" when you visit Hakodate!


(1) Gotoken 五島軒 函館カリーエクスプレス

(2) Hasegawasutoa ハセガワストア - Goryokaku branch
Opens 24 hours. 

Other branches: 

Spotted another branch near Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse, which is easily recognisable by the big bento box display. Store is just located adjacent to Lucky Pierrot restaurant.

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