Hokkaido’s Wagyu Beef, Cooked to Perfection in Sapporo: Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa

Hokkaido Food Sapporo 2019.12.03
Hokkaido is famous for its fresh food, with ample shoreline providing fresh-caught seafood for donburi, and broad pastures giving dairy and beef cattle room to graze. While travelers with a taste for Japan's super-high-quality wagyu beef might beeline towards Kobe, it really shouldn't be a surprise that Hokkaido's a great place to sample Japan's choicest cuts. That's why we made sure to add this Sapporo restaurant to our itinerary during our latest visit to Japan's northernmost island, and why we're recommending it now. Since yakiniku (Korean BBQ) gives the diner the chance to cook each morsel of beef to their own ideal level of rareness, we had an amazing meal at Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa, trying all kinds of wagyu!
Hokkaido's Very Own Wagyu
  • To start, one of the first things that attracted us to this Sapporo yakiniku spot was the chance to try local wagyu! Shiraoi is a small town in southern Hokkaido, and the wagyu from the area has only just become popular in recent years, meaning it's still a rare find outside of the region. We knew we had to stop by Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa (aka 焼肉和牛黒澤, or Korean BBQ Wagyu Kurosawa) to taste this up and coming Shiraoi beef, served up by a shop of friendly staff!
  • But once we arrived, we quickly learned that the restaurant had plenty more to offer!
Authentic Certified Japanese Wagyu Beef, 100% Guaranteed
The name “wagyu” (和牛) quite literally means “Japanese beef,” since 和 = Japanese, and 牛 = beef. But after chatting with Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa's outgoing owner, we learned that not just any beef from Japan qualifies as wagyu! Any beef producers that want to use the prestigious “wagyu” title have to submit to rigorous quality testing. Only the very best become certified!
  • So when you order wagyu at this yakiniku eatery, you know you're getting some pretty good stuff, and it's not just limited to Shiraoi's wagyu. Among the wide variety of beef cuts and platters Kurosawa offers, a handful of them are perfect for a wagyu “tasting,” since they have Shiraoi beef, Kobe beef (internationally renowned for its high quality), and Matsuzaka beef (often ranked #2 in Japan) all on one tray.
  • We really liked the shop's interior, especially the maps showing where in Japan the famous wagyu comes from, and a poster showing where each cut of beef comes from. A handy learning tool, if you're working on your Japanese!
  • The owner also told us with some frustration about how some restaurants in tourist hubs will try to trick customers into thinking that low-rank wagyu, or even normal every-day beef, is the real high-quality stuff. That's why staff at Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa are happy to prove, at the drop of a hat, that they only serve the best.
  • They'll literally pull out the official certification papers for each cut of wagyu they use, so you can see exactly how authentic the beef you're eating is. Then again, once we bit into the real Kobe beef at the restaurant, we really had no doubts!

All the Ways to Eat Wagyu

  • Diners generally try not to mask the flavor of wagyu, since there's already so much to savor, but we learned that just a bit of sauce or topping really brought out the essence of the meat.
  • We started with thicker slices of all three of the restaurant's wagyu varieties.
  • And while they were glorious on their own, just a dab of wasabi added a kick that really complimented the rich, meaty taste.
  • This thin-sliced beef brisket, Korean chadolbaegi style, was perfectly cooked after just a couple seconds being dragged over the flames of the barbeque. 
  • And a dip in Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa's original yakiniku sauce finished off the savory bite.

Completing the Meal with Sides and Drinks

  • Chatting with the staff, they agreed that since wagyu is really high quality (and therefore a pricier indulgence), the most practical way to go for most travelers was to order a wagyu sampler big enough for everyone to compare the different flavors, and then fill up everyone's stomachs with some of Japan's uncertified (but still tasty) normal beef.

    Then again, they have some other side dishes to add a little variety to the meal as well! These Korean pancakes, for example, had ground beef added to the mix before frying, which made them even more delicious than normal. We also recommend throwing some local vegetables on the grill alongside the meat, for some color and extra Hokkaido flavor.
  • And doesn't trying local food make you want a local drink to go along with? We went for Otaru Beer, a German-style pilsner that hails from the nearby town of Otaru!
  • With melt-in-your-mouth flavor that makes our mouths water just thinking about it now, you really shouldn't miss the variety of wagyu available at Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa. Bring a special someone or a group of friends along to share in the feast, and dig in to one luxurious meal next time you visit Sapporo!

    Yakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa (焼肉和牛黒澤/Korean BBQ Wagyu Kurosawa)
    Apollo Bld. B1F/B2F, 3 Jonishi, 7 Minami, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Hours: 16:00 - 23:30 (L.O. 22:30)
    Official Website (jp)

⇩ Take a peek at our little food tour of Sapporo! ⇩

Basic Info
NameYakiniku Wagyu Kurosawa (焼肉和牛黒澤/Korean BBQ Wagyu Kurosawa)
AddressApollo Bld. B1F/B2F, 3 Jonishi, 7 Minami, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
StationSusukino Station (すすきの駅)
Tel81) 11-215-0009
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