BEST SAUSAGE NISEKO
What appears to be a little old cottage tucked away on a short street sitting below the ski base of Niseko’s Annupuri Resort. A little sign on the front boasts “Ham & Sausages”. Climb the stairs and a world you never thought would exist in Niseko will open before your eyes. A vintage wood piano with music notes sitting above its keys greets you as you slip through the door. There is a German sensibility about the room with decorative embroidery, paintings and beer steins scattered strategically throughout the room Rough hewn wood tables and air filled with sweet smokey aromas set the mood for the diner or take-out customer.
Eff Eff functions as both a small restaurant on the second floor and a sausage factory on the first floor.
A wood stove radiating warmth in the center of the store reinforces the comfort once feels in escaping the winter weather. EFF EFF means “the best” in German and here at the restaurant customers can taste fresh sausages and ham made the traditional German method but with a refined and more sensitive Japanese taste.
A small glass showcase at the front of the store is filled with packets of house cured meats, hand-made sausages and ham. It’s all produced down on the first level of the building by Minoru Sasaki. He has studied ham and sausage-making in Japan as well as in Nurmberg, Germany. After which he decided to open his own restaurant in Niseko. His reason for choosing Niseko was because of the quality of the local climate, the purity of the water and the clean air. On first taste it is quite apparent that he is a craftsman who values purity of taste with a subtle finesse. Our tasting involved some very particular Germans who were self-described afficionados. They rated both the sausages including bratwurst and frankfurter as superb examples. They were also impressed by the smoked ham and bacon. All of the products were consistent and tasted clean and pure.
At the restaurant on can order sliced speck with a good firm texture and lovely aromatics. Seven slices are draped over a petite salad of crisp lettuce and tomatoes with a well balanced vinegar dressing. Hot off the grill comes Weisswurst – a German style white sausage, a Bratwurst and Frankfurters. They are all served with traditional grain mustard, ketchup, potato salad and sliced gherkin pickles. This is a great place to enjoy a beer and a snack after a summer hike on Mt. Annupuri or to feed the apres ski hunger and chill.
A special type of pork breed raised with care on a farm in Japan is first selected for the ham making process. Once cleaned the hams are placed on a bed of salt and turned each day for up to one month. Next the cured hams are dry aged for 7 to 8 months. Careful selection combined with traditional style curing and dry aging results in a ham of superior quality with a refined taste on par with the best of Europe.
First a high-quality pork loin is selected then brined with salt for 7 to 12 days.
Next the cured bacon is hung and carefully smoked over oak wood sawdust for 8-10 hours to give a wonderful scented aroma. Finally it is finished with heat treatment. By patiently crafting this bacon the result is a sensitive aromatic smokey character that is neither forceful nor overpowering. Unforgettable.
Fat from fresh pork provides the white streaks in each sausage. All meat has any cartilage removed to ensure the best texture. Raw meat and spices are well combined and mixed then deep chilled before cutting to ensure the fat does not melt. Once ground the meat batter is stuffed into pig intestines and sheep casing.
Following that the sausages are softly smoked for 5 to 6 hours over sawdust of oak wood. Finally it is finished by heat treatment.
Eff Eff does not use synthetic preservatives nor take any modern shortcuts. Additionally, because it does not use chemical seasoning the meats authentic taste shines through. It is rare to find an authentically crafted meat product made from high quality ingredients anywhere today. Niseko has been blessed to have a highly skilled craftsman like Minoru Sasaki providing such a luxury product within the village. This is an absolute must purchase for your lodge for breakfast or aprés ski dinner with beer or wine. All the produce is made using the finest Hokkaido ingredients and can be delivered to your house.
Summertime opening hours are limited but if you can make it note there is also dining at the back terrace. It is a perfect setting to enjoy sunny day surrounded by a beautiful flower garden.
NAME: NISEKO EFF EFF
LOCATION: 〒048-1511 483-1 Annupuri Village, Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
Opening Hour： 9:00-18:00
WEBSITE: ニセコ effeff 花キャベツ店