© Picchu

© Picchu

Tiny Picchu is tucked inconspicuously into the alley bisecting Sapporo’s Nijo Ichiba. With its understated exterior and almost complete lack of signage, it would be easy for Picchu2014年8月6日に移転オープンしたレストラン「ピチュ」。その控えめな外観から、通りかがりの人がその存在に気づかずに通り過ぎてしまうほどだ。




Picchu (ピチュ)

Text and photo: Kelly Britton
Translation: Mariko Takei
to go unnoticed by passersby.

In the open kitchen, the presence of Picchu’s stoic chef, Mori Takaaki, adds to the restaurant’s mystery. Mori says little – orders and questions are deftly fielded by his lone employee, who acts as combination server, sommelier, dishwasher, and prep cook. Instead, the chef’s focus remains intent on the main attraction: creating some of the most inventive and flavorful Italian-inspired cuisine in Sapporo.

Though there is a standing menu, the best way to enjoy Picchu is to order the omakase, a multi-course selection of the night’s seasonal specialties customized to your level of hunger. From fresh, Hokkaido sea urchin and succulent Biratori beef to tender, truffle-topped pasta and barely seared duck breast, all of the dishes here are executed to perfection.

A meal at Picchu can easily become an evening-long affair, with chef Mori painstakingly preparing each item, one or two plates at a time. He moves with the precision of a surgeon, efficient but never rushed. It’s not uncommon to see him dip a spoon into a dish in progress; if dissatisfied, he unequivocally throws it out and starts again.

Picchu’s food resists our attempts at simple classification: it is both contemporary fusion and undeniably authentic; exquisitely prepared yet borne from a hole-in-the-wall kitchen; flawlessly Italian but prepared by a chef who has never set foot in Italy. Still one thing is certain, you’ll leave Picchu dreaming about the next occasion to merit a visit.

Address: South 4 West 5-5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Opening Hours: Bar(1F)17:00-01:00, Dinner(2F)18:00-23:00 (Closed on Sunday)
Tel: 011-222-6144

Text and photo: Kelly Britton

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