Uni Murakami, Hakodate

Having observed the crowd situation in Hakodate Morning Market yesterday, we concluded that we could afford to wake up later and join the queue for Uni Murakami from 10am onwards (the shop opens at 11am).

When we arrived at the shop around 10.15am, there was 1 Chinese couple in the queue ahead of us. They came with their luggage in tow, probably came from the JR Station which is a short walk away or planning to leave Hakodate after their breakfast.

This sea urchin specialty restaurant is operated directly by a sea urchin processing plant and the key selling point is their preservative-free fresh sea urchin. Alum, a chemical compound, is often used when processing sea urchins. By eliminating the use of this preservative, the restaurant allows customers to enjoy the original sweetness and soft texture of organic sea urchins.

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The queue started to grow more substantially only after 10.30am and by the time the shop opens, all seats in the house were occupied with long queue of people waiting for their turn. There are traditional Japanese table seats and Western table seats in the restaurant which can accommodate around 30 pax in a seating. Since we were at an uni specialty place, it is expected that we would try as many variety of uni preparation as possible. Before having our mains, we tried the Uni Gratin and the Grilled Uni.

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The uni gratin uses Hokkaido potatoes covered in white sauce made from king crab, topped with a piece of uni. It was rich and creamy with subtle uni flavour. The flame-grilled uni was lukewarm and the uni was firm, my first time eating uni prepared using this method.

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Now for the don, we had the ikura/uni don and crab/uni don. The ikura portion was generous but the uni didn’t really cover the rice fully. Wished they were more generous to cover the whole surface and make the don look more luxurious. Nonetheless the uni served here was certainly the freshest I’ve ever tasted! For folks who fear eating uni because of it’s briny taste will find joy in savouring the sweet and buttery uni with absolutely no hint of any briny taste here!

If you have some spare time, it is worth the effort to invest in queuing to try their unique alum-free uni.

With so many fresh seafood eateries in the Morning Market, we were off for Round 2 of our brunch feast!

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