We had dinner at Sapporo last Tuesday night. We chose Sapporo since 1) we haven’t been there for a while, 2) we were in the mood for Japanese food and 3) we felt like something simple and homestyle, in a relaxed environment. Sapporo is a little restaurant, on the corner of Rutland Ave and a street I can’t remember the name of (it’s opposite the Carlisle train station), run by a little old woman and her little old hubby (a “mom and pop store”). She looks after front of house, he cooks in the corner. Neither speaks very good English, but they are friendly and smiley and are always so sincere and earnest about wanting to please you (and they usually do!).
Jac ordered a sashimi combination. I don’t care for sashimi, but I thought this was exquisitely presented, just so appealingly colourful and fresh. The octopus had been placed on thin slices of lemon, and according to Jac, this simple detail really enhanced the natural flavour of the octopus – it had absorbed some of the flavour of the lemon. She enjoyed the salmon and tuna (the salmon looked so shiny and “eat me”, but don’t you think the tuna looks like watermelon?), but her favourite of the fish was the silvery-skinned mackerel. Jac’s sashimi craving was well and truly satisfied by this beautiful and deceptively filling dish.
I ordered the chicken and vegetable stir-fry. There wasn’t a lot of chicken included, but what was there was tender and delicious. The vegies, especially the beansprouts, tasted wonderfully fresh. The sauce was drinkable, and I mean literally drinkable. There was a pool of sauce left at the bottom of the dish when I finished all the vegies and chicken, and I was compelled to drink it. I just couldn’t leave it there to be thrown out. I thought the sight of me lifting the large dish to my mouth to drink the sauce down would seem somewhat uncouth (and pose a serious risk to my shirt front’s current clean status), so I carefully tipped the sauce into the much smaller empty rice bowl and drank it from there, very much like a cup of
We also shared a serve of vegetable gyoza. The chewiness of the gyoza skin is my favourite part. For me, a satisfying chew is almost as important as flavour. When I crave gyoza, it’s usually the chew I long for, rather than its taste. (But of course, if it tasted terrible, I wouldn’t care for the chew either!)
There’s no side salad listed on the menu, but Jac really felt like salad, and asked if they’d be able to make one up for her. The little bowl of salad they put together was lovely, with lettuce, carrot, red and green capsicum, sliced snowpeas, mushrooms and avocado, with a light creamy dressing and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds – everything was just so colourful. Have you noticed how much I appreciate the colourfulness of food? That’s not to say I like food with bright but unnatural colours, like… blue anything. (But then my brain is saying “I’d eat blue fried chicken if it tasted really good…”). I didn’t write the prices of the individual dishes down, but all of the food pictured plus two small bowls of rice and a can of green tea drink shared between us came to AU$38.00, which we were very happy to pay.
After our lovely Japanese meal, we really felt like something sweet (I seriously needed something, after drinking all the stir-fry sauce!). We drove into Vic Park to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Jac chose a scoop of peanut butter ‘n chocolate. Ohhhh, this was wonderful. The chocolate ice cream was gorgeously rich, and the peanut butter really was buttery and creamy. There were lovely chunks of peanut butter throughout the chocolate ice cream. But “chunks” isn’t the best word to describe the presence of the peanut butter – I think the most appropriate term is the Blytonesque “lashings”.
I had a scoop of citrus twist ice, a sorbet of lemon and lime. It was lovely and smooth, fresh-tasting and tangy, but I could only get through half of it – the intense sugaryness left an overly sweet aftertaste in my mouth (well, sorbet is mostly sugar after all!).
There’s something really wonderful about sitting eating ice cream out of a cardboard cup with your favourite person in the whole world. It’s nice having someone you don’t mind sharing your spoon with, isn’t it?
And you know, I think I’ve used the word “lovely” too many times in this post. But then I think that’s just a reflection of how
lovely enjoyable the meal was.
Thank you so much for all your recent comments, especially on my feeling mushy post. I love reading your shared mushy moments :). I
will reply to commentshave replied to comments and will respond to emails (some from last week too) soon!