If you could only eat three things in Sapporo, make it the seafood, miso ramen and soup curry. They’re what the city is most famous for, although if I were pressed to choose just one item from that list, it would be the soup curry. We stumbled on Treasure (not the yarrr gold and diamonds variety, unfortunately) while we were exploring the area on our first day here – it was conveniently just across the street from our hotel.
The pictures in the sign by the sidewalk looked really tempting, so we headed down to the basement to give it a try. And we’re glad we did, because now it’s our mostest, favoritest soup curry ever. Before finding Treasure (the name is starting to sound like genius), our go-to fix was Yoshimi, another famous Sapporo name, but the instant we put that first spoonful of Treasure’s soup curry into our mouths, we knew that the King is dead, long live the King.
OK, pause. Just what exactly is soup curry? Honestly, when I first heard the term it didn’t sound all that appealing. I like my curry thick, hot and spicy, and soup curry sounds like something they would serve Oliver Twist, who would never ask for more and get into SO MUCH TROUBLE. But of course, once I tried it, I was in love.
Soup curry is a mild curry and spice infused soup with meat (usually chicken or seafood) and heaps of fresh vegetables like long beans, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin, broccoli and eggplant.
It’s not as potent as Indian curry, and it’s not the extra mild Japanese curry either. I would say it’s a mix of both. What makes it so good though, is that because it’s quite light, you can slurp up all that warm, yummy broth and not feel regret sock you in the stomach afterwards.
Treasure’s serves its soup curry in a variety of styles: grilled chicken, herb chicken, seafood, hamburg (Japanese for meat patties), bouillabaisse and vegetarian. We tried the grilled chicken and herb chicken. The former came with a whole grilled chicken leg in their signature stock, while the latter had pieces of juicy pan-fried chicken thigh with a punchier, richer flavour thanks to the herb seasoning. I preferred the herb chicken because of that, but the grilled chicken was no slouch and is a must-try on your first visit.
The restaurant only uses farm-fresh Hokkaido produce, and it makes all the difference. Everything just tastes fresh and good. The ambience is warm and rustic, with lots of wood and clay bricks that fit the theme really well. The service was great too.
Interestingly, Treasure is an offshoot of Garaku, a famous local soup curry joint just a few blocks away. We were told by the friendly girl at the cashier that the concept and recipes are different, so we decided to try Garaku the next day. Unfortunately, when we got there it was closed for the new year holidays. 🙁 So if you ever get to try both Treasure and Garaku, do let us know how they compare in the comments!
For an extra burst of flavor, why not top up your soup curry with a whole grilled tomato? It goes really well with the rest of the dish!
B1F Togashi Building, 10 South 2 West 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Odori Station (Namboku, Tozai and Toho subway lines), take exit 36
011 252 7690
11.30am – 10.30pm (L.O. 10.00pm) Monday – Saturday
11.30am – 9.30pm (L.O. 9.00pm) Sunday and Public Holidays
1,000 – 2,000 Yen