Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sapporo Food: Hamburger RISA

Man, I was so glad to find out that this place had opened up again.

Hamburger RISA used to be out West on the Tozai line (and I wrote about it on this blog way back when), but it closed down a couple of years ago in order to relocate to these new premises. That sounded awesome to me, especially since the new place was near the Namboku line and therefore far more convenient (for me at least). But it took so long to reopen that I just figured something had gone awry and that it would never open its doors again. I even went down there last year to check it out only to find that it was still under construction.

But thankfully it did reopen last August. I only thought to check what was going on with the place recently though, so it came as a surprise to me that it'd been open again for a while, and I immediately wanted to check out the new place. The answer - it's bigger and nicer than the old place but with just as much character, and just as small a menu.

You can go back and read my old post from the link up there to find out a bit more about Hamburger RISA, but I suppose I should cover some key points here too. It's run by a jazz/blues guitarist who my girlfriend remembered as being somewhat grumpy, but who seemed very smiley and happy when we went the other day. The menu consists of one item - a hamburger for 700 yen; and the place is a tip. Actually the new place is nicer and less messy than the old one was, but there's still tons of random musical equipment lying around, and piles of weird looking transistors and tubes and stuff. It's great! In fact there's a full band set-up in the corner and it looks like for a while they were doing live music there every Saturday night.

This post is gonna be pretty light on photos, so to take a look go to the link at the top. That's because he actually has a sign on the wall asking people not to take photos, and I ain't gonna argue with him. I also remember talking to him at the old restaurant and him being pretty withering about students who always took pictures of their burgers before they ate them. Don't tell him I take pictures of food all the time, will you? Then again the sign on the wall, like the menus on the tables, is hand written in marker on a tatty, torn-off bit of a cardboard box. So really I could've feigned ignorance if I hadn't already known his feeling about taking snaps of your food.

If I remember correctly he lived in the States for a while and his burger is the kind of burger he couldn't find when he came back to Japan. It's a straight-up burger - 100% beef, lettuce, a big slice of tomato, onions, and home-made pickles. No cheese, but plenty of sauces to put on it if you want. I love it; it's not subtle and it's not perfect, but  it's satisfying and delicious. Plus it's the only thing on the menu.

As for drinks, I think he has an old juicer there that he uses to make delicious fresh orange juice, and the coffee is just coffee, but you can get free refills which is some kind of miracle for me.

Hamburger RISA is pretty easy to get to. It's at North 13, West 1, and the closest station would be Kita 12 Jo (EDIT! I just realised that the closest station is Kita 13 Higashi on the Toho line, but I never get the Toho line so the location of its stations is a mystery to me). It is hidden away a bit though, tucked away from the road behind another building. You should be able to see a sign, and a big rickety-looking metal arch from the road though. I'll stick it on my map of course. I really like the place, and if you like burgers or weird, eccentric looking places you should really take a look.

Hamburger RISA - North 13, West 1
Open: midday to 8pm.
Closed: Thursdays