Garaku is another one of the more famous soup curry shops that I've been meaning to go to forever. In fact, I have actually tried to go there on a number of occasions only for there to be far too long a waiting list, or for the soup to actually have run out. The place was full while we were there and people were constantly coming and going so it's clearly a very popular place. Plenty of celebrity autograph cards on the walls too.
The place smelled great and the menu looked so good it was hard to choose. But sadly in the end Garaku was just 'good'. I wouldn't put it up there with the best soup curry I've had in Sapporo. It was, however, absolutely soup curry. I was griping about Soup Curry S being really popular while not really looking or tasting much like 99% of the soup curry shops out there. Garaku is a perfect example of soup curry, it's just that the soup is not that amazing.
What is amazing though? Everything in the soup.
I got the kakuni (slow cooked pork chunks) which I tend to get at a lot of places, and which lets me compare between places pretty well. On their menu it was marked as being the most popular dish. I got it with extra broccoli as a topping, which was great as was everything in the soup. The meat and the vegetables were all wonderful, the pork was soft and juicy and everything was cooked to perfection. The big let down for me was that the actual flavour of the soup was... just ok. It's a shame because it looked so good, but from the first spoonful to the end of the soup I wasn't really digging it. When I was eating the ingredients in the soup... oh that was great.
Yuki got a vegetable soup with a sausage topping and her opinion was exactly the same as mine. Everything was amazing except the soup. Which, I stress, wasn't bad, just wasn't great.
So I think we'll go back if the place isn't too busy, but it's another of the more famous Sapporo Soup Curry places that didn't impress me as much as I'd hoped. It's very centrally located in Odori though, which is good, and if you're in town visiting then I'm sure you'll like the place. And as always with Soup Curry, your mileage may (probably will) vary wildly so you should go check it out yourself. It's just south of Tanuki Koji and I'll mark it on my map. Oh! I just noticed that you can use google streetview to go inside the place, so check that out too.