The best and most convenient places to eat Uni are the Seafood Markets in Hokkaido, where it’s often the freshest and most reasonably priced. Even if you can’t go Hokkaido, Seafood Markets in Japan are generally where you should head to for fresh seafood. There are always restaurants around these Seafood Markets where you can easily have Uni Don if you prefer that over buying a tray of Uni.
These 3 locations are where I ate the best Uni when I was travelling solo in Hokkaido in 2018:
Takechan Sushi (Restaurant at Rebun Ferry Terminal)
Takechan Sushi is where I finally tasted Uni that surpassed what I had in 2009. Each Uni was bursting with flavours and it wasn’t in peak season yet! I hope to revisit and eat Uni when it’s at the peak season, but it’s not an easy location to travel to. For such deliciousness, this Uni Don Set was really very reasonable at JPY3,000.
Shokudo Maruzan (Restaurant at Rishiri Ferry Terminal)
Shokudo Maruzen are known for their Uni Meshi which consisted of Uni Ikura toppings over Uni rice. The Uni rice was nice, though I’ve to admit that having more Uni on the rice (like in Rebun) would be more satisfying. The Uni Meshi Lunch cost JPY1,400.
The next day, I bought a tray of Uni (JPY2,650) from one of the seafood stalls on the 1st floor of Rausu Roadside Rest Area. The stall keeper was very generous with his sample tastings, and helped slice open the Kegani (Horsehair Crab JPY1,000) I bought, making it easier to extract the meat.
My dream open-faced sandwich, created with the Uni, Kegani crab meat and some butter bread I’d bought. It’s inspired by Singapore Ice Cream Bread, but I preferred Uni and Kani as toppings 😋 instead of ice cream.
Sapporo and Hakodate
Sapporo and Hakodate are probably easier to get to than the above locations. During our Hokkaido Feb 2017 trip, we were eating Uni almost every other day. Can’t remember how much we paid per Uni Don Set but probably in the JPY3,000-JPY4,000 range.
Sapporo Curb Market
Sapporo Curb Market is one of 2 Seafood Markets in Sapporo and situated opposite the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market. The place is quite big with many shops selling seafood, fruits as well as dried scallops.
We had Uni Ikura Don and had also ordered a Kegani (Horsehair Crab). I decided to create my own Sansen Don (3 seafood rice bowl) with the crab meat.
Nijo Market is the other Seafood Market in Sapporo. There are also many shops around, so pick one that appeals to you. We’d walked around to check the menus and prices and decided to eat Uni Ikura Don again. The feature photo is a close up of this Uni Ikura Don.
蟹商 is a crab specialist shop, we went there to try the King Crab and had it half grilled, half boiled. At the same time, we order a Hotate sashimi to share and I got a Uni Ika Don. There are many shops around this area, so take your time to see what appeals to you.
Hakodate Uni Murakami
The first time we tried to eat at Hakodate Uni Murakami, the queue was too long, and we decided not to wait. The next day, we went half an hour before opening time to queue and was the first in line.
Hakodate Uni Murakami prides themselves for serving raw Uni that has not been preserved in Alum, where the original flavours can be tasted. They now have 3 shops – 2 in Hakodate and 1 in Sapporo. Dinner reservations are accepted at one of the Hakodate restaurants.
I went for the Uni Hotate Don and the Uni was creamy and sweet. My friend ordered the Uni Tempura too but can’t really see the Uni in the photo.
2 other locations in Hokkaido with popular Seafood Markets are Otaru and Kushiro.