Genghis Khan Lamb BBQ with Sapporo Beer, perfect combination!
One of the popular dishes that originated in Hokkaido is the Jingisukan, which is lamb bbq or mutton bbq. Instead of the usual open grill on charcoal used in western barbeques, the Japanese use a non-smoke pan like the one in the photo, sometimes also come in a convex version.
Jingisukan, or otherwise translated as Genghis Khan, came from the belief that lamb was a favorite dish of the Mongolian soldiers and they used to cook it using their helmets. Interesting :-)
Having the grilled meat paired with beer is perfect combination. You can have it dish in many places in Hokkaido, but the popular Sapporo Beer Garden offers a delicious meal combined with the original Sapporo beer, oldest and most popular beer in Japan.
There are two restaurants in the Sapporo Beer Garden, the Genghis Hall which has the noisier beer hall type environment, and Garden Grill, which is a more relaxed family oriented environment.
We chose the Garden Grill so that we can have a relaxing conversation during dinner :-) We had a plate of delicious lamb bbq, some wagyu beef and a glass of Sapporo Five Star, a beer that you get to taste only the Garden since it's a limited edition beer that was sold only in the 70's. The lamb was tender and fresh, flavorful yet rid of the gamey smell that are sometimes found in lamb.
In the same complex (used to be the old Sapporo Brewery) is the Sapporo Beer Museum. And nearby is also the Ario shopping mall. It's approx 20 minutes from Sapporo JR Station.