Sapporo Ichiban: Kingston’s best sushi adventure
As a born and raised Torontonian, I hesitate to share a truth that has slowly crept up on me during my undergrad here: Kingston is actually not the worst. It is home to some great (and some terrible) things. Queen’s is surely one of those.
By now I have probably hit most of the things on anyone’s local bucket list. Some of the items I have crossed off include: the Haunted Walk, the Wolfe Island Grille, the Corn Maze, Fort Fright, Rock Dunder, Fronts games, and far too many Princess Promenades. But there are still a few hidden gems Kingston is not yet famous for.
One such gem is a small all you can eat sushi restaurant called Sapporo. You can find it at 277 Bath Road, nestled in a plaza that also houses Kingston’s best laundromat, Surf’s Up, and Sinsations Adult Boutique. It is not really much to look at, but Sapporo is a gustatory experience that is entirely unique in Kingston.
Like many sushi restaurants here it is run by Koreans and as a result offers a mix of both Japanese and Korean cuisine. However, it is the only restaurant in Kingston that offers a take on omakase.
Omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you”, and means the chef determines the menu. At Sapporo, $20.00 will get you a standardized set of 6 courses. After that you can pay an additional $5.00 and continue eating indefinitely. Each successive course is increasingly intricate, and you will certainly encounter things you would never order. I realize that those of you that want two spicy salmon rolls and 20 pieces of salmon sashimi might object to relinquishing control of your dining experience. Unfortunately if you are like that then sadly you know nothing.
If all you can eat sushi is not for you, then I recommend trying the chef’s personal favourite, hwe dup bap. It is essentially a spicy sashimi salad, and Sapporo is the only place in Kingston to get it.
Beyond the food, a big part of what makes Sapporo great is its owners, Mark and Karen. They are two of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting here. They give their customers an extraordinary level of care and attention. I have been there four times in the last three years, and Karen still calls me by name every time I walk in.