Asari しゃぶしゃぶあさり, Hakodate Hokkaido: Sukiyaki Chef-Owner Says, “I Want to Open a Shop in Singapore!”

We went to Asari Honten at Hakodate, a sukiyaki restaurant which is over 100 years old and receives a Michelin Bib Gourmand (and not a Michelin star as a blog has claimed), but we didn’t make reservations and they were full. Then we came here: Asari しゃぶしゃぶあさり. The names are super similar but we don’t know if it is an outlet or not because we cannot communicate well. The chef-owner, however, can speak a splattering of English. Over the course of the meal, the friendly boss chatted with us.

Photo credit: Taken from their website

As we were driving, there is a carpark with a gantry just opposite the restaurant. Park there and you can redeem the parking from the restaurant.

The restaurant serves shabu shabu (water hotpot) and sukiyaki (soy sauce based hotpot). They sell sets starting from ¥2300 per pax, but most people order their premium beef set ranging from ¥3200 to ¥5200 depending on the cut of meat. We ordered the assorted set, which is about ¥4800 each.

The set comes with vegetables. I’m not a big fan of greens, but these are beautiful. Pristine, very clean, superbly fresh and crisp. The tofu is already pan-fried on one side and the leeks are sweet. There is a noodle here too, which I think is gelatinous Shirataki noodles made from Konnayaku. It’s almost 0 calories and bland but it soaks up whatever material it is in; super yummy.

But enough about the greens. Here’s the star plated beautifully. For the assorted set we ordered, there are 4 cuts, each person has 2 pieces; so a total of 8 slices a person. You may think the portion is little but by the end of the meal, we were full.

The set also comes with choice of rice or noodles and a dessert. The rice is served together with the hotpot but if you order noodles, the noodles come later when the meal is almost done so that the noodles is cooked in the hotpot. If you come in a pair, it’s a good idea that one of you orders the rice and the other noodles, so you can share.

We weren’t quite sure what the cuts of beef were (because language barrier), but we found out from our conversation with the owner that the beef is from Tochigi wagyu.

A piece of beef fat is used to grease the pan, and then SIZZLE! ON YOUR SOUND to watch the video:

The meal was FANTASTIC. The beef is refined and juicy without being greasy. The seasoning is perfect, never had we such a great sukiyaki broth.

By the end of the meal, we were chatting happily with the chef. He asked where we are from. “Singapore,” he said, “I want to open a shop in Singapore!” Definitely more than welcome! The food is way too delicious to be kept only in Hokkaido. Come to Singapore! We paid ¥20000 for four persons.

Asari しゃぶしゃぶあさり
9-24 Honchō, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō 040-0011, Japan
北海道函館市本町9-24 〒040-0011
tel: +81-138-56-6371
11.30am-2pm, 5-9.30pm, closed M

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Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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