MEDICINEMAN soup curry

by Ben
(Sapporo, Japan)

Pork and vegetable soup curry

Pork and vegetable soup curry

It’s soup curry at the Medicineman! This is a very well known, popular place among soup curry enthusiasts. Every time I speak to people about soup curry (every time I meet someone new), especially Japanese, the name Medicineman comes up a lot..... “Medicineman, Medicineman, Medicineman”.

For a long time I just couldn’t picture in my minds eye this place, but I was sure that I had been there before. And low and behold, I discovered that I had and it was in fact the second soup curry I had ever had since I had come to live in Sapporo. I was taken there by one my friends at the end of a day of shredding waist deep powder at one of the local moutains back in 2008. Medicineman is his favourite in Sapporo, Japan.

So, four years later a friend of mine suggested it because she had heard so many good things about it but had never been before.

The restaurant was busy, as it was a Sunday lunch time, but we got there just before the mad rush hour so didn’t have to wait for a table. The restaurant is nice and cozy with a bar and counter area and a back room with tables closely packed together. You can hear everyone’s conversations which made me feel a little self conscious, so that I found myself whispering at times.

There is only one kind of soup and few dishes on the menu, say about four or five options. The soup was the thin watery kind with a tomatoey, meaty flavour. I have noticed recently that the more popular places, i.e. those listed in charts online, or recommended by Japanese people, seem to have only one kind of soup and a small menu. If you don’t like the soup then you’re screwed and you probably wouldn’t go back there again.

I prefer places with a bit more variety on the menu, like Samurai for example, and usually I like my soup thick and rich.

We both went for the pork and vegetables. The spice levels were from Mild to Very Hot(no numbers at this place). I went for Hot and for me it was just perfect. Just enough to get that tingly feeling at the back of your throat before you cough.

The soup curry was massive! Lots of good vegetables with large succulent chunks of kakuni (braised pork belly) and the soup was almost to the brim. Now, I am a huge fan of large portions so I was impressed. Both of us couldn’t finish our food, which is an actual first for me……but I was hanging out my arse from staying out until 7am the previous night (that morning?).

I didn’t really like the soup as it was too watery and thin with not much substance. However, the pork was pretty good with lots of veggies, and it was very filling so I left with my tummy full and didn’t have to eat again until way past the usual time for dinner. My friend was disappointed as she had been quite excited after hearing good such good things. She really doesn’t like the thin kind of soup at all.

Bottom line, I thought Medicineman was alright, nothing special and I don’t really understand why it’s so popular. I guess most people in Sapporo really dig the soup. I don’t think I’ll be going back to Medicineman now that I can remember what it’s like.

Address: Chuoku, Minami 12 Nishi 10-1-18
It’s a bit out of the way so it’s better to drive there.

Opening times:
Weekdays 11:30 – 15:00, 17:00 – 22:00
Weekends and national holidays 11:30 – 22:00
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Telephone number: 011-552-5456

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Jan 05, 2016
by: Bob

I also think Medicineman is awesome. It's my favourite shop and the soup can get really spicy, which I love. Perfect for hangovers!

Dec 28, 2012
by: Alex

Oh man, I take issue! Medicineman is great. I know what you mean about the soup being thin, but I think it can really pack a punch. And the pork... man every time I go anywhere else and get kakuni I'm like - well it's good, but Medicineman's kakuni is better.

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