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My third visit to Hokkaido Marche and I was excited. I had recommended so many friends to this wonderful Japanese marketplace located in B2 of Orchard Central. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

My first stop was Sapporo Kaisen Natsume, a stall that serves sushi rolls, unagi don and special kaisen don (chopped sashimi on a bed of salad). I opted to start with the Kaisen Don as it was the special of the day.

Kaisen Don

Sapporo Kaisen Natsume

As all donburi dishes are served with miso soup and ginger, it is a full meal that is very satiating, well priced at a reasonable $17.50.

Especially in Singapore where temperatures are high, this is an amazingly refreshing meal to have. Cold rather than hot, raw rather than cooked, I had the choice of four dressings to top this donburi dish.

My favourite Japanese dressing is gome (sesame) so I heartily squeezed some of this onto my sashimi and savoured every mouthful. So many wonderful bits of different sashimi sat on this bed of salad. This is one for sashimi fans - a light and healthy lunch!

Hokkaido Marche

Donburi Maruya

If you are a “katsu” fan like I am, Donburi Maruya at Hokkaido Marche whips up so many varieties, the most famous one being “special black pig loin katsu don”.

A mouthful to pronounce, it was more than a mouthful to eat! The crumbed pork loin had a sweet onion gravy on top of it which oozed down the bed of rice.

I love the way Japanese cook rice. Soft and sticky, the sauce of this katsu dish soaked into it. So full of taste this was a large meal I would recommend for someone with a healthy appetite.

Priced at a princely sum of $19 this would be a great dish to share with another, after a salad or starter. Donburi Maruya also serves a variety of curry donburi bowls (for those with a higher appetite for spice this might suit you better).

There are options for the more adventurous patrons to try the grilled salmon head or belly set, all of which looked very appetizing.

Soba Maruki Cold

Soba Maruki Cold

I had been eyeing the Maruki stall on all my visits (Soba Maruki) to Hokkaido Marche as the tempura displayed looked very appetizing. This third generation business has been making soba for 130 years!

An outlet that everyone should certainly visit as they obviously have passed recipes down the generations. When you get to this stall you need to first choose from the more than ten varieties of tempura.

I decided on the prawn, lotus root and mixed vegetable fritter tempura. Next to choose my noodle – hot or cold then soba or udon. First tip when eating soba noodles.

Have it as soon as it hits the table. It’s al dente at its best. Next pick up a small amount of noodles with your chopsticks. As noodles are long, this might see your chopsticks high in mid-air.

Then dip half the length of noodles into the dipping sauce so the taste of the sauce does not overpower the noodle and slurp it all the way. I tried doing this. Not very successful I might add.

There is obviously an art to eating like this and a level of comfort in slurping at the table, quite contrary to my table manners rule book my parents ingrained in me!

My experience was yet again fulfilling. If you have not been to this Japanese enclave at Hokkaido Marche I believe it maybe time to…..

Synonymous with astounding sightseeing spots and stunning landscapes which attract countless visitors annually, Japan’s northernmost island has the ideal environment for producing crops and raising livestock. And now, expats, Singaporeans and visitors to our awesome Island can enjoy some of Sapporo, Hakodate and Asahikawa’s most well-loved food stores in Orchard Central at the Hokkaido Marche

At this marketplace-style food hall, you can enjoy a variety of authentic Hokkaido farewithout burning a hole in your pockets. The seven shops offer yummy donburi - "a rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients - topped with fresh seafood and pork, curry rice, soba, udon and not forgetting to mention a delicious slurp-worthy ramen.

More about Hokkaido Marche HERE

Comments

Rated
7.5
Richard
ELITE
727 comments
18 September 2019
Fantastic article on this amazing Japanese place!
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Rated
8
Hot Find
ELITE
72 comments
27 August 2019
More reviews of Hokkaido Marche by Sylvia Fernandez I was back at Hokkaido Marche, the amazing Japanese marketplace offering seven different cuisines in a relaxed food court setting. I love this place as it is so much more than a food court. Stepping out of the lift into this amazing buzzy atmosphere I felt I had been air dropped into Japan. Walking around I decided on three stalls, the first being Hokkaido Buta-Don. Don in Japanese food means a "rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. I decided to go for the Buta-Don with poached egg. Marinated pork with a sweet sauce lay on top of the usual soft cooked rice, which is very typical of Japanese style cooking. The egg perfectly poached was served on top of the pork. The trick is to very gently poke your chopstick into the egg and allow it to ooze over the pork and rice. A very sumptuous meal for $15 with a soy or miso sauce choice. This is what I like about Hokkaido Marche. It is so well priced that it becomes affordable to many. Also because of its central location, I could see myself popping down to basement two for a quick bite, if ever I was in the area. The food order came so fast I was amazed at how efficient these stalls were. So affordable, time efficient and delicious – a combo that many of us look for when we are running from pillar to post on weekdays. I thought a taste of fried chicken skin would be good so I tried it. Crunchy and much like the taste of lard I had a few pieces to complement my rice bowl. There are other variations like Buta-Don with cheese and another with kimchi. For Unagi lovers there is also grilled Unagi-Don (eel) which is one of my favourites. One thing to note is that this stall has been operating since 1934, for more than 80 years now. So they definitely know what they are doing! My next choice was the Hakodate Shio Ramen at the Ajisai Noodle Japan stall. Famous for their shio (salt) ramen this is a must try if you are a fan of this type of food. Located in Hakodate, the southern part of Hokkaido Ajisai have an 80 year history in making ramen. I decided to have some gyoza as a complement to this very different ramen I had never tried before. This dish was subtle and I loved it. My decision to have some gyoza was a great idea. A lovely complement I would highly recommend an add-on – char siew, egg, spring onion, bamboo shoots are all available. The different types of ramen range in pricing between $10 and $14 for lunch. Hokkaido Marche are currently having an offer. For every $25 spent in one receipt you get a $5 voucher on the spot. Having started the ramen trail I thought it a good idea to try another ramen stall. Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou unlike other ramen stalls make a clear Miso soup. The soup is a rich broth, most likely a pork bone-seafood blend but neither flavour overpowers. I was recommended the Karakuchi Ramen which is a spicy noodle soup. To cut the spice I ordered as an add-on, the very tempting Butakakuni (braised pork belly). It was gently braised and the meat melted in my mouth. This was in complete contrast to the subtle shio ramen I had tried earlier. Both have a place in my heart for different moods of the day. This stall is the most popular at the Hokkaido Marche with prices of each bowl at about $10. As I finished up the three meals in front of me I noticed the banner that screamed Member’s Premium Menu. All you need to do as you enter Hokkaido Marche is to scan the QR code on this banner to get monthly offers. J passport do promotions for Japanese restaurants so download their link and this QR code will give you access to a member’s premium menu. Why bother you might ask? Well, premium iberico udon/soba and premium black pig katsu curry/don amongst others are only available to members. So hurry on down to Hokkaido Marche to have your meal in this wonderful marketplace that feels like Japan.
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