Now we have a night wandering around by ourselves in Sapporo, we immediately head for Suskino. It's quite overwhelming. All these 5 or 6 story high buildings with various signs out the front (all in Japanese of course) and no real idea what is inside. We wander around for a while but honestly don't even know where to start. We give M2 a call.. He points us in the direction of Commelier, a little wine bar over the other side of Route 36. The instructions were pretty clear, we just need to find the alley way behind KFC and about half way down will be a green sign saying Commelier. We find it rather easily, it of course is in one of these anonymous 6 story buildings. We head on up the elevator and emerge in a rather bare corridor. Heading down to the end we find a too-cute little door with the sign. Opening up the door there's a large communal table that is full of Japanese business men and ladies. We are warmly greeted by the host and walked over to a little booth in the corner.
Firstly we ask for recommendation on a nice glass of wine. Kim tries a glass of Razor's Edge Cabernet Shiraz, which happens to be one of the wines M2 supplies to Commelier. I try a glass of Hokkaido wine, a Furano white. It's quite sweet, but very easy to drink. We then manage to speak a few words with the host and say we would like to share some smaller dishes. We then leave it in his hands.
We both have a little giggle at the sausage dog hashi rest ....
The first dish to hit the table, a version of 'corned beef'. It was set almost like a rillette, cut into little squares, nice and rich with that pickle and salty flavour of corned beef. Served alongside some crusty baguette and a little pot of seeded mustard.
The next to arrived was a beautiful little omelet. It had a pile of Japanese mushrooms on top with a butter sauce surrounding it. The filling was to be a surprise. We both delicately cut into either end of the omelet and take our first bite. The sweet sweet flavour of Hokkaido crab is like nothing else. The egg is cooked perfectly, still a little runny in the middle. The delicate crab meat sticking to the inside of the omelet, and the mushrooms and butter sauce adding nice body and roundness to the dish.
It's about now that M2 actually arrives. He said he might see us there later ..... We've all ready had another glass of wine each, but now that M2 is here we go and order a bottle of Alsace riesling. Mmm, one Kim and my favorites, and definitely M2's favorite! It's here where the photo's lagged a bit. I know we ate a few other dishes, but we don't seem to have any pic's. The last pic we have is of some delicious crispy grilled Hokkaido chicken. This is simplicity at it's finest. We have had this dish a few times at different places. The Hokkaido chicken has such a nice flavour to begin with. It's skin is so crispy, like chicken crackling, yet the flesh is so tender and juicy. It's possibly cooked the whole way through on the skin side. Served cut into a few smaller bite sized pieces with a generous mound of Adonai Hokkaido salt to dip into before savouring each bite. The salt bringing out the delicate flavour even more.
We then bid Commelier goodnight, but the night has only just begun. We wander downstairs looking for a yakitori place, which is another of M2's faves. We find one, but it's spanking new ... wandering in, it doesn't seem familiar. Turns out it was the same place, just completely re-done. It's at this stage that we venture over the road to Giulio's. We didn't even make the association that we had met Giulio before. We sit down and order a glass of wine. He has a few specials, all using 'Dennis the pig'. (Dennis is a local farmer you can read about in one of our earlier posts). We order Giulio's home made fennel cured leg ham, and also the hand-made sausage with liver and braised beans. Both using Dennis the pig and both delicious! We ordered a few other dishes, all very traditionally Italian, simple and tasty.
We then head back to a place that happens to be just around the corner. This particular place had taken our fancy earlier on this trip. It was after Sushi with M1 that we were all craving a little something sweet. M1 couldn't really think of a place we could just go to for dessert. He even made a few phone calls, but no luck. It was then after having soup curry for lunch one day, that we had stumbled upon a little place called 'Tsubaki Dessert Bar'. So here we are, on our third stop for the night.
In the little alley way that runs just behind McDonalds, on the Ekimae Rt 36 intersection is Tsubaki Dessert Bar. You enter from the street and go down a set of stairs. Off to the right, there's a little restaurant, Dining Kuwana, and to the left you enter through a curtain for desserts.....oh sweet desserts.
They have a nice lists of spirits, liquors and shochu's. They also have a few herbal teas. I get a pot of the rose and hibiscus tea, the smell as it's placed in front of me intoxicating......
Kim gets a glass of shochu on the rocks, a deliciously sweet plum wine. On the little menu, the star attraction is their bowl of ice-cream with 12 flavored syrups. There are a few other offerings, including cake and parfait.
We go straight for the main event, the bowl of ice-cream. Firstly a small tray is placed in front of us. There's a large bowl with a few good scoops of plain milk ice-cream. There are 2 spoons, with a little spoon rest to build you tasty treat on and to the side is a little bowl of crushed peanuts.
Then there's the custom made little tray, holding 12 cute little ceramic pots. Each pot has an individual little spoon. There is a small label on the front, but it is in Japanese. Our waiter is extremely friendly and does a very good job of explaining the flavours to us. With our little broken Japenglish we work out the most part and fill in the gaps by tasting.
The flavours included, chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, berry, cassis, gin, tequila, grape, whiskey, soy, apple and one other ......
It was delicious, the most fun was making our own little flavour combinations. Some favorites were maple and apple, cassis & gin, and the milk ice-cream, soy & crushed peanuts seemed to work quite well.
All in all, not bad for a night wandering around Sapporo.