Neighbour to Don Don Donki, Hokkaido Marche is a Japanese food court in Orchard Central serving up quality food from the Hokkaido prefecture. With eight stalls currently in operation, you’re guaranteed a taste of the most iconic dishes from Hokkaido.
Hokkaido Marche is capable of seating over 80 people, in a setting that’s true to its purpose as a food court; with shops lining the sides of the establishment, and a central seating area.
There are so many delicious Japanese dishes to choose from, so here’s a list of four stalls to make it easier for you to decide. But be warned – the affordability and authenticity of the food here will keep you coming back for more.
1. Kaisen Natsume
The first thing that usually comes to mind when you think of Hokkaido is all the fresh seafood, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Kaisen Natsume. The menu is simple, offering only Kaisen Don, and a couple of types of grilled fish.
What’s special is that they have DIY Kaisen Don, which allows you to select the types of seafood to include in your rice bowl. The variety of seafood in your bowl depends on the size that you go for: A Small ($8.50) will get you two kinds of fish, Medium ($15.50) will give you four, and Large ($18.50), five.
We decided on another option, which was Today’s Special Kaisen Don ($13.50). It comes with a different combination of seafood depending on the day’s shipment.
Ours came with Salmon, Tuna, Yellow Tail, Shrimp Roe, Octopus, and Salmon Roe. Other additions may include Scallops and Uni.
In addition to the Kaisen Don sauce that can be added to your bowl, Kaisen Natsume has a special spicy sauce for those who want their Kaisen Don to have a little heat. The spicy sauce was faintly numbing and tasted nutty due to the ground sesame.
When drizzled over the Don, the light Kaisen Don sauce gave the fresh sashimi a slight sweetness that was a refreshing twist of the usual soy sauce.
2. Soba Maruki
Following the theme of refreshing dishes, the Mori Soba (Regular: $8, Large: $10.50) from Soba Maruki is a must-try.
Unlike a lot of soba noodles that we’ve eaten, the soba from Soba Maruki was smooth and chewy. The cold dipping sauce made the soba noodles even more appetising, and we couldn’t stop at one bite.
Soba isn’t the only thing that Soba Maruki sells; the stall also whips up piping hot bowls of Tendon ($9.50) and Tempura pieces that you can get to have with your noodles.
We opted for Eggplant ($1.50), Lotus Root ($1.50), and Sweet Potato ($1.50) Tempura. Of course, if you’re looking to add protein to your meal, Ebi ($2.50), Chicken ($2) and Tamago ($1.50) Tempura are also available.
Out of the three, we liked the Sweet Potato Tempura the best as the batter coating it was thin and crispy while the inside was soft and fluffy. The variety of sweet potato used was also super sweet, which contrasted well with the salty soba sauce.
3. Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou
If ramen noodles are more your thing, Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou sells ramen in flavours that are popular in different parts of Hokkaido. The stall serves up Shio Ramen ($12) that’s popular in Hakodate, Shoyu Ramen ($12) that’s popular in Asahikawa, and Miso Ramen ($13) that’s popular in Sapporo.
We tried the Miso Ramen and were pretty impressed with the bowl of noodles. The miso broth was flavourful and savoury, while the thick noodles were delightfully chewy.
Every bowl of noodles comes with a boiled egg which you collect from a basket after making your payment. Although we were disappointed that ours didn’t have a runny yolk, we gobbled the egg down anyway.
The one thing we were disappointed about was the fact that the ramen only came with a few cubes of meat, and you had to top up $3 for more Char Siu. But other than that, the ramen at Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou made for a warm and comforting meal.
4. Yakitori Tsuyoshi
Located at the corner of the food court, this small booth serves up food that’s big on flavour. As its name suggests, Yakitori Tsuyoshi does indeed sell yakitori ($1.10 – $2.30), as well as other fried dishes. However, the dish that you have to try, is the Buta Don.
To get Buta Don from a stall that specialises in yakitori sounds absurd, but trust us when we say that it’s worth it. We got the Buta Don With Poached Egg ($10.50), which came with a generous portion of pork, and a perfectly runny egg.
Every piece of pork was fatty, juicy, slightly charred, and was coated in a sweet glaze. Mixed with the runny yolk, the pork and rice combo was so flavoursome that we would have gotten a second bowl if not for the fact that we were bursting at the seams.
There’s so much more to gobble down at Hokkaido Marche, but you should start with these dishes from these four stalls. Have a whole outing and head to this food court for some affordable Hokkaido specialities after checking out all the random stuff at Don Don Donki!
Expected Damage: $8 – $20 per pax