On the Japanese island of Hokkaido are two restaurants named Uni Murakami in the cities of Hakodate and Sapporo. The restaurants specialize in Uni (sea urchin) dishes — and they are possibly the best in the world.
Uni Murakami is operated directly by a sea urchin processing plant founded in 1954. It’s been one of the primary vendors of uni at Japan’s famous Tsukiji Market for over 50 years.
The plant processes a few tons of uni per day, giving the restaurants access to some of the freshest supplies of sea urchin.
Uni is extremely delicate after you take it out of it’s shell, so most vendors use a preservative called “myoban” to keep its form. However, uni becomes rather bitter in taste once myoban is used. It’s very likely that the true taste of uni gets lost in the process.
Uni Murakami prides themselves in not having to use any preservatives and only orders enough uni to feed their guests for the day, so no storage is necessary.
Recently, NextShark was able to pay a visit to Uni Murakami’s location in Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido. The location is literally minutes away from the Sapporo train station.
Uni Murakami is located in the Nissay Sapporo Building where they advertise their special in front of their restaurant.
While known to be packed on occasion– reservations are recommended — we were lucky enough to go late on a weekday where we were met with a nearly empty restaurant.
The menu is absolute heaven for any uni lover out there. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t wait to get all this in my belly.
While there was a set dinner course, we opted to order à la carte based on the waitress’s recommendations.
We first ordered a daikon salad to start. Nothing incredible about it, but it was tasty and refreshing.
Next came the sashimi platter, which was extremely fresh and had a more robust meaty taste than typical sushi restaurant quality.
The uni was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Typically, the uni I eat back in the states has a slightly more fishy taste that might be unfavorable to some people. There was literally no hint of fishiness in this uni, and all I could taste was the pure freshness of the sea. This particular uni had a unique fluffiness to it. The fresh quality of it can be seen in how it maintains its shape and vibrant color.
Then came the uni egg rolls, which while they didn’t look like much, tasted absolutely AMAZING. Imagine a warm, perfectly crisp shell on the outside, then tasting the slightly cool, soft fresh uni on the inside. Absolute perfection.
Next was Uni Au Gratin served inside an actual uni shell — what more can you ask more?
And of course, we had to try their uni and ikura bowl. It was heavenly.