Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sapporo Food: Voyage Soup Curry

Ok! It's the holidays and I am finally on holiday. Therefore I should be able to find the time to post something, right? Well here is something, and this something is long overdue.

Soup curry, that glorious and uniquely Sapporo fusion of 'curry' and 'soup' is a great love of mine. That said I know a lot of really great soup curry places but I wouldn't go so far as to label any of them 'the best'. No one soup curry place is exactly like any other and subjectivity has a huge part to play, as you can see from some old comments I got saying they didn't like the place I liked, and recommending a couple of places that I really want to go to, but still haven't been able to since I neither live, nor work, anywhere near them.

The best soup curry I can remember having was at Lavi Lavi in Kita 24 Jo, but it was their monthly special and so it was gone almost as soon as I found it. After that I found Lavi Lavi to be a great place, but one day I went and it just wasn't as good for some reason, and it's never reached the heights it used to since. Oh, but the new branch in Sapporo Station's ESTA mall is a really convenient place to get a decent dish.

So soup curry shops vary wildly in quality, style and reliability, but the place that I would recommend to pretty much anybody is Voyage in Kita 24 Jo.

I'm sorry, soup calyi, my mistake.

Voyage is run by the same people that run Xysa nearby and Picante, which has a couple of locations now. All three are similar I think, but not exactly the same, and I like Voyage, possibly because I've been there much more often.

The food at voyage is great, and it seems to be consistently great. I've never had a lousy curry there, and I always leave glad that I made the trip. Their vegetables and meat are delicious and well cooked (something which seems a little hit and miss with some places) and they don't skimp on the veggies too, which is something I'm always happy to see. You can always choose a basic soup or a rich soup (the rich soup varies by day of the week too, just to keep things interesting) and both are delicious. It costs more to take your curry above spice level 2, but spice level 2 seems just perfect so I never bother. Add to this the tremendous toppings they do and while Voyage might not be the best I really find it hard to believe anyone would be disappointed to go there.

Oh look! Photos!

Crunchy herb chicken with  fried gyoza and potato dumpling with cheese toppings. That potato and cheese thing... oh my God.

Herb Lamb with... um, the same toppings.

Basic vegetable with just the gyoza topping. They also do a deluxe vegetable curry just crammed with stuff.

The menu at Voyage seems to change pretty regularly, but some things, like the crunchy herb chicken above are always there. Voyage soups are served in these unique bowls with this big raised section in the middle. You can't see them in those photos but imagine that the actual soup is in a donut shaped section, while the middle acts like a kind of table for you to cut things up on. It's interesting, and pretty useful when you get used to it. A cynical man might say it makes it look like you get more than you do, but I am not that man, and I always leave sated so I have no complaints.

I'll say it again, I'm not promising that Voyage will blow you away but in my experience it is always very, very good. I've been meaning to blog about it ever since I started this thing and it comes strongly recommended. It's a three or four minute walk from Kita 24 Jo station on the Namboku line of the subway, and I've marked it on my map.


  1. wow, really?! i thought the portion sizes in that place were really small! I recommend hiri hiri by Sapporo eki :D and the one in esta... so yummy :)

    (sorry randomly came across your blog and had to comment!)

  2. Thanks for the comment, and this is exactly what I mean about Soup Curry being so subjective! I've been to a few different Hiri Hiri stores and it's always good (I think I wrote about the Oh! Dori branch...) but I'm not crazy about it. I much prefer Voyage, but I reckon people can see that opinions vary wildly. There's only one solution - everyone in Sapporo needs to go eat as much soup curry as possible at as many different places as possible. Like, right now.

    1. My main problem with voyage was that they had this misleading bowl where it looked like you had a lot of soup, but actually because it had this weird mound in the middle you actually didn't have that much. Apart from that it was tasty - though all the spice seemed to have clumped up or something... so I had one extremely spicy spoonful in an otherwise mild soup.

      And I'll definitely be taking this recommendation from now on. Actually, I'm ashamed to admit apart from the ones I mentioned in my first comment I actually haven't been to any other soup curry places. Any advice on the best?!