The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Delicious Seafood @ Umi no Hana, Furano (Hokkaido)

Hokkaido is known for its high quality seafood (amongst other things), so naturally seafood had to be on our agenda during our Hokkaido trip. For our final night in Furano, even though we were tired from snowboarding all day (and I was also nursing a concussion from a bad fall on the slopes), we headed out again to downtown Furano for dinner at Umi no Hana for a seafood dinner. Umi no Hana (translates to "flower of the sea") is a Japanese restaurant serving sushi and seafood, and although only a little English is spoken, there is a hand-drawn and coloured A3-sized menu in English to help foreigners with ordering the food. Serving sizes are pretty small, but that meant that we got to taste a large variety of food. Good quality ingredients were used, and the seafood was fresh and tasty, as to be expected for the prices of the dishes.

Sashimi items: Ama-ebi ("sweet prawn", my favourite sashimi) and Kani (crab):

Non-seafood dishes: Kakuni (braised fatty pork belly) and Vegetable Tempura (it was one of the items on the daily menu):

Cooked seafood: Garlic Butter Squid and Butter Scallop - both were cooked perfect (i.e. not overcooked!), and the scallops in particular was lovely, fresh and juicy:

Steamed Oysters - I really enjoyed these even though they weren't au naturale (which is my favourite way to eat oysters):

Sushi items: Uni (sea urchin roe/gonads) and Tsubugai (whelk, a type of sea snail) - the uni was soft, sweet and creamy whereas the tsubugai was slightly crunchy. Both were delicious!

We were pretty satisfied with the food, but there were a couple of things we weren't too happy about. There was a charge of 400 yen per person to order alcohol, but we weren't informed about it until I saw it on the receipt - my problem isn't that we had to pay it, but that it was snuck upon us. There was also quite a lengthy wait between dishes, and the restaurant was barely even half full. Overall, it was a pretty good dining experience, with good food, and most important of all, the waitstaff were accommodating to our little one.

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