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Samurai Mama: Willamsburg in a Japanese Mountain Hut

We stop for lunch in Sapporo, at a mountain hut marked only by a billowing yellow curtain. Inside the air is thin at this altitude, but the rising steam from the open kitchen softens the air, and beckons hunger.

 

These twisty glass lanterns light the room, and cast a soft glow.

You’re welcome to sit where you find room, whether it be in the tucked away booths, or at the massive wooden chow table in the center of the room.

The menu itself is wrought, wrinkly brown paper pages seem to turn themselves, sticking to one another. A sign of the food as a mainstay, rather than the flippant fair of plastic covered bistros, and cafes.

It is cold out these days, and food is energy. We knocked our boots at the entrance, and unraveled our faces from scarves. Blow on your hands, then wait for roasted rice tea.

The sushi is not fancy or pretentious, that is not to say it isn’t beautiful or captivating.


All the sushi plates are garnished with a florescent dollop of pickled red cabbage with yuzu. Pickled ginger has no place here, not for such a modern-minded escape.

The color is rare, contemporary and cool. Just a bit of tart, and citrus. A fresh, and bright pairing with the tender, and delicate Yellow Tail.

As well I had a salad of cabbage, and crisp baby sardines. You know it’s “rustic” when the eyes are staring back at you.

 

Equal to the food was the gracious “Lady of the Lodge”, a cool, whole-hearted renaissance woman running the room single-handedly.


Find time to escape to Samurai Mama- a $8 lunch menu complete with a salad and assortment of pickled vegetables is hard to find. Support things that are brimming with creation, and fancy. Samurai Mama hand rolls their dumplings, and pulls their own Udon noodles. 

Feed your hunger, and find a few moments of calm and cool at 

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