Hachikyo seafood restaurant
About three minute’s walk from Susukino Station in Sapporo, there is a restaurant called Hachikyo. This seafood restaurant is known to serve overflowing bowls of ikura, also known as the salty salmon roe. The restaurant’s menu is packed with different types of seafood but their specialty is the tsukko meshi.
However, before you can order that, you would have to agree to the restaurant’s rules! That is, if you leave even one grain of rice on your bowl, you will have to pay a fine. Other than that, before the waiters serve the tsukko meshi, they serve the rice. You are not allowed to eat the rice or push the rice down in the bowl before the tsukko meshi is served on top. Disturbing the rice can lead to your tsukko meshi being revoked! But you don’t have to worry because hardly anyone leaves the dish unfinished! It is a really delicious meal!
The owner, Hitoshi Sugita, says that the reason for the fine is not for profit, but to pay respects to the fisherman who provided the tsukko meshi in your bowl. Fishing is a dangerous and potentially deadly profession, so you either pay respects to the fishermen with your stomach or your wallet.
After a short while, the waiters begin to serve the tsukko meshi. As they spoon the salmon roe on your rice, they yell out an old sea shanty, “Oi Sa! Oi Sa!”, in which the diners have to yell back. This, combined with the tight, shanty-like atmosphere, kind of makes you feel like you’re getting your food right off the docks. They’ll fill the bowl until the customers says “stop!” or until they can’t add anymore without spilling the salmon roe everywhere.
This store is extremely popular and it is very difficult to get a reservation, let alone walk in and sit down for a meal. So be sure to call ahead and put your name on the list! If you do go, be sure to try the “Tsukko Meshi”, which costs about 1890yen and enjoy the experience of the “Oi Sa!” chants!