Monday, May 21, 2018

Hokkaido Revisit 2017 三回目の北海道の旅 - Bistro Vraie ビストロ ヴレ

Visited 31.10.2017 (Tue)

The best. Stayed in Higashikawa-cho for a month and I am glad that I discovered Bistro Vraie just before I left Hokkaido. Located within walking distance from Michikusakan 道草館, I was surprised to see a French restaurant like Vraie pop up in such a remote and quiet countryside area like Higashikawa-cho. Got to know about this restaurant while reading a magazine a few days before my visit and it piqued my interest immediately. Having visited it, I have to conclude that this is one for the best meals I had during my stay in Higashikawa-cho!

Truth... Real... That is what Vraie meant in French. The owner and chef, Murakami-san 村上さん, previously operated a popular French restaurant named Montorgueil モントルグイユ in the heart of Sapporo city. Despite that, he has always wanted to move his restaurant closer to the food suppliers / where the ingredients originated from for guaranteed freshness. With this thought in mind, he kept a lookout for such suitable location for about five years. His dream eventually came true in February 2017 when he shifted his business entirely to Higashikawa-cho, a suburb which fulfilled his criteria. Clean underground waters provided by water that flows down from Daisetsuzan, excellent agricultural produce, close proximity to airport (about 10 mins drive away from Asahikawa Airport), friendly people that reside here are some of the reasons why he decided to start anew here. A bold decision taken indeed.

Concept. Murakami-san showcases his culinary talents in this humble looking wooden house standing just behind the main road that runs through Higashikawa-cho. The warm ambience created by the usage of polished wooden furnishing, an industry which the town is well known for, captivated me instantly when I stepped into the restaurant. The homely aura here made me feel very relax and comfortable, and this was one aspect which I did not expect to come from a famous high end French restaurant. While Murakami-san leads the kitchen, his amicable wife serves the customers in the dining area. The culinary concept portrayed here is 「山のめぐみをいただく」which means "to enjoy the blessings from the mountain". Using vegetables and meat as the core, backed up by his culinary skills and numerous years of experience in this field, guests can ensure that delicious and affordable French cuisine are presented in Bistro Vraie.

Relish. Ordered the roast pork ローストポーク for main. First, I tucked into a bowl of creamy mushroom soup which increased my appetite for the upcoming main dish. I was exhilarated by what was put in front of me next! The entire dish was so aesthetically plated to the point that I felt that the position of every component is well thought through and it looked harmonised in any angle I looked at it. Tastewise, it definitely blew me away! The thick cut of meat has the right about of fats and was cooked to perfection, with a little pink in the middle and the juices retained wholesomely. The sides were equally delicious as well - perfect mashed potatoes and tasty charcoal grilled vegetables. Had to compliment and thank them for the delectable food served when I was footing the bill. With such awesome food offered here, I am absolutely sure that supporters for his previous restaurant in Sapporo are more than willing to travel an extra mile to Higashikawa-cho now to relish this flavour over and over again.


Bistro Vraie ビストロ ヴレ
〒071-1424 上川郡東川町南町1丁目4-11
Opening hours: Closed on Sunday nights and Mondays; please refer to their Facebook / Instagram for their operating hours during lunch and dinner.

How to get there? 

(1) By bus from Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal 旭川駅バスターミナル Platform 10.
Board Asahikawa Denkikidou 旭川電気軌道 Bus 60, 62 and 67 for Higashikawa-cho 東川町 and alight at Michikusakan-mae 道草館前. Bus journey takes approximately 40 minutes. From the bus stop, it takes another 2 minutes to walk to Bistro Vraie.
Fare = 570 yen

Bus 60 schedule:
- Weekdays:
- Weekends/Public holidays:

Bus 67 schedule:
- Weekdays:
- Weekends/Public holidays:

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