Thursday, June 14, 2018

Revisit Hokkaido 2017 三回目の北海道の旅 - Farmers Cafe Fudo ファーマーズカフェ風土

Visited 03.11.2017 (Fri) 


Luck. During my stay in Higashikawa-cho for a month, I stayed out on most weekends to visit nearby places such as Furano and Biei. At the back of my mind, there was one food in this quaint countryside which I longed to eat - the famous omu rice from Farmer's Cafe Fudo. However, to accomplish this mission, some luck is required. What makes it difficult for me to visit Fudo is its operating hours. It is only and usually opened on weekends; infrequently on Fridays and Mondays. When I decided to stay put in Higashikawa-cho on my second Sunday in, Fudo was coincidentally not opened for business that weekend. And when I came to terms that I would most likely not be able to relish this before I depart from Hokkaido on a Saturday morning, I leap for joy after finding out from their blog that it was opened on Friday (the day before I leave)! On that particular day, I pulled along a classmate and we cycled to our destination which was about 2 km away from our dormitory. I even timed it such that we were first in the queue and to beat the lunch crowd. When the clock struck 11 am, there were already three groups of diners including ourselves waiting eagerly to "bash" into the cafe.



Background. Cafe Fudo opened 1 year after Mr and Mrs Nitta-san 新田さん shifted from Wakkanai to Higashikawa-cho in 2007. Mr Nitta-san decided to settle down here to carry out organic cultivation of rice. On the other hand, as their kid is allergic to chemical additives in food, they wanted to foster natural style of living and it started with rearing their own chickens, using carefully chosen poultry feed which comprised of Higashikawa's rice fragments and wheat produced from nearby areas. Chickens reared here are not subjected to any form of hormonal or antibiotics injection, therefore the harvested eggs are not only safe for consumption, it also eliminates body burden. There is even an exclusive name given to the eggs produced by Farm Rera ファームレア (the farm owned by Mr and Mrs Nitta-san) called “Daisetsu na tamago 大雪なたまご” and the best way to savour these eggs is to pay a visit to Fudo to eat the omu rice prepared by Mrs Nitta-san herself.


Best omu rice. As Mrs Nitta-san handles everything in the restaurant, from taking the orders, cooking to serving, all by herself, the seating capacity in Fudo is limited to only 9 people. Waiting time could be longer than expected since each plate of omu rice is cooked upon order. There are two types of omu rice to choose from the menu (Fuwatoro Omu Rice or Fuwatoro Omu Curry). Apart from omu rice, patrons can also wrap up their meals with pudding made from Daisetsu no tamago as well.

- Fuwatoro Omu Rice ふわとろオムラス [950 yen]: The term "fuwatoro" is actually made up of two words "fuwafuwa ふわふわ" and "torotoro とろとろ". The former means fluffy/airy, while the latter means lava like; and the combination describes how an excellent omelette should look and taste like. The soft and fluffy omelette is laid over fried tomato rice and the dish is completed with a ladle of lightly flavoured homemade sauce poured on top of it. I have to exclaim that this is the best omu rice I have ever eaten to date; it was so delicious that I could not bear to finish the very last bit. The aromatic eggy flavour and smooth texture felt so satisfying to my tastebuds and this is truly a soul food which will win the hearts of many, regardless of age.

- Fuwatoro Omu Curry ふわとろオムカレー [980 yen]: The tomato rice is replaced with normal white rice and this omu rice is eaten with curry cooked using spices, vegetables and beans (the colour resembles that of dhal curry). Both set meals are served together with soup and salad. My classmate had the omu curry and he like it very much too. 


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Farmer's Cafe Fudo ファーマーズカフェ風土
北海道上川郡東川町東4号北2
* Normally opens on weekends, infrequently on Fridays and Mondays (if it happens to be a public holiday). Please check their blog to find out the days of operation. Usually the owner will post relevant information 1 or 2 weeks before its actual days of operation.
Operating hours: 1100 - 1600 hrs; last order at 1530 hrs
https://blog.goo.ne.jp/miyuki_rera

More about Daisetsu no tamago from Farm Rera: http://farmrera.com/




How to get there?

(1) Bus 66 from Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal 旭川駅バスターミナル Platform 9 or from Michikusakan 道草間, heading for Asahidake 旭岳. Alight at Higashi-4-go 東4号.

* Instead of taking Bus 66 from Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal which will make a detour to Asahikawa Airport before arriving at Michikusakan, you can take Bus 60 and 67 (which have more regular services) from Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal (Platform 10) to Michikusakan, followed by transferring to Bus 66 here.

Bus 66 schedule: http://www.asahikawa-denkikidou.jp/manage/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/d9af3c4bfbbd86979b52b2d278d7cd34-2.pdf

(2) By rental bicycle from Michikusakan.
For greater flexibility (and if you can ride a bicycle), you can rent a bicycle from Michikusakan for 500 yen/hour. From Michikusakan, turn left and cycle along the main road towards direction of Asahidake (National Route 1160). Takes approx. 10 - 15 mins. Keep a lookout for Farmer's Cafe Fudo on the left side of the road when you arrive at Higashi-4-go 東4号.
http://www.welcome-higashikawa.jp/michikusa/

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