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Hello, I'm Cliff Anderson! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy! Anyway, for every 50 posts I come up with, and every 25,000 pageviews, I'm donating a sum of money to the World Food Programme. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

JPN: Waraku (和楽)

Big-sized salmon roe on your sushi!

Still in Hokkaido, after taking an evening stroll along the Otaru canal, we were trying to walk to Minami Otaru station. Along the way, we had a simple meal at Waraku. Different from the Waraku chain of restaurants in Singapore, the one that I visited in Otaru, Hokkaido is a kaiten zushi, or conveyor belt sushi, restaurant. As usual, the colours of the plates indicate the prices, and I'm going to start with the more costly items that I tried.


Yellowtail Teriyaki (ぶり照り焼き) ¥329 (~S$4.00)
Taste: 8.5/10

Glazed with teriyaki sauce which was pleasant on the tongue as it wasn't cloyingly sweet, the yellowtail had a delectably soft texture, dissolving slowly in my mouth. The size of the fish wasn't dissapointing either.


King Crab Tempura (たらばの天ぷら) ¥329 (~S$4.00)
Taste: 6.5/10

As if I still hadn't had enough of crabs after such a sumptuous lunch at Hyousetsu no Mon (氷雪の門), I took a plate of the deep-fried king crab sushi. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything special about it. While the crab meat was somewhat succulent, it wasn't that sweet.


Triple Aburi (炙り三楽皿) ¥259 (~S$3.10)
Taste: 8.5/10

Aburi sushi are those which have flame-seared fish toppings. I especially enjoyed the burnt taste that was lingering on the flatfish sushi in the middle. I'm not sure what type of fish was the one with the miso (Japanese fermented rice, barley and/or soybean) and spring onions topping, but it was really tender. The long slice of salmon was good too.


Salmon Roe (イクラ) ¥259 (~S$3.10)
Taste: 8.5/10

Just look at the size of the salmon roe! They were literally bursting in the mouth, being slightly salty due to the addition of soy sauce. I wonder where I could get salmon roe that big in Singapore.


Salmon Belly (トロサーモン) ¥189 (~S$2.30)
Taste: 7.5/10

The salmon belly didn't have much of the melt-in-the-mouth quality that I was looking for, but I was glad that it was at least fresh.


Banana Crepê (バナナクレープ) ¥189 (~S$2.30)
Taste: 8.5/10

Usually I won't write about a dessert dish in the middle of the review, but as previously mentioned, I'm ordering the dishes based on their prices. Anyway, I enjoyed the crepê which had a chewy texture, filled with aromatic and sweet bananas. Served with melted chocolate and whipped cream, it was such a value-for-money dessert.


Squid with Yuzu Salt (いかゆず塩) ¥139 (~S$1.70)
Taste: 8.5/10

The squid was fresh and by no means rubbery. It went really well with the yuzu (a species of aromatic Asiatic citron) salt which really had that citrusy goodness and wasn't thirst-inducing salty.


Ebi Mayonnaise (えびマヨ) ¥126 (~S$1.50)
Taste: 8/10

The juicy mashed shrimps mixed with light mayonnaise weren't disappointing at all. On top of that, there was an equally luscious medium-sized shrimp placed on top of each sushi.


Tears of Octopus (たこの涙)  ¥126 (~S$1.50)
Taste: 8.5/10

I was really amused with the name of this particular dish when it appeared in front of me. Without thinking much, one piece landed on my mouth. Explosion occurred after one bite. The wasabi (Japanese horseradish) was really strong, but good. The octopus (more like jellyfish) was delightfully chewy and slippery. Well, true enough, tears welled up in my eyes!


Hamburg Steak (ハンバーグ) ¥126 (~S$1.50)
Taste: 7/10

It was my first time having a beef patty on top of vinegared rice. While the outer layer of the patty was a bit dry, the inside was a bit moist. The beefy taste was somewhat pleasing though. Did they purposely squeeze the tomato sauce to make that well-known curved letter 'M'? :P

Melon's Rating
Taste: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10
Overall: 7.5/10

At the end of the meal, one of the waitresses used a super cool scanning machine on the stacks, recording the numbers of the different coloured plates in no time. Since I only took the plates from the conveyor belt without directly ordering anything from the sushi chefs, I'm not rating their service. Pika's advice: Be on the lookout for interesting dessert items appearing on the belt!

Below is but a shot of the Otaru canal!


Waraku
(和楽)

3-1 Sakaimachi
Otaru, Hokkaido
Japan
(Daily: 11.00am - 11.00pm)


*Prices quoted are nett prices.

Have a nice meal,
Cliff(y)

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