On August 10, 2012 our last evening in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Katsuo and Sumiko Kimura picked us up by taxi and we went to the above named restaurant.
Reservations must be made well in advance as the meal is "omakase" style. This is like being invited to someone's home and having a multiple course meal served to you one course at a time. The major difference between this and a multi-course meal you would get at an "onsen" or hot spring resort is that the latter tends to serve multiple dishes in two to three sets as opposed to individual dishes.
We have had similar experiences before including Winnipeg's Gluttons where Makoto Ono served us an "omakase" style meal. Previously in Japan I remember going to a tofu restaurant where many variations of tofu were served to us, not necessarily one course at a time. But what became embedded in my memory about that occasion is the timing of the service. We were in a private room with sliding doors all around us. Whenever you completed a dish, someone appeared to remove the plates and others were brought in. I have never witnessed such impeccable timing before.
Anyway back to this occasion the chef who is married to a relative of the Kimura's, would come in early in the morning to begin some preparations for the few groups of guests who would be arriving that evening. Because it was summer where practical the dishes were served cold. These dishes were prepared and stored until the evening. The few hot dishes were efficiently prepared on a charcoal grill and gas burners behind the bar the four of us sat at. The dessert was created by the chef's wife, whom we regrettably did not meet.
As a result of all the work that had taken place before we got there, we never had to worry about choosing from a menu and we did not have to wait for food to be prepared. And as can be expected the food was "oishkata" or delicious.
"Omakase" is the ultimate Japanese way to eat.
Click on Santoku Rokumi Restaurant to see photographs on Picasa.