Tuesday, February 10, 2015



SAMA Celebrates Grand Opening Today in Hong Kong


SAMA officially opens its doors on 9 February , bringing Sapporo’s famed soup curry to Hong Kong. Located in the hip and trendy neighbourhood of Gough Street, SAMA is founder Shuichi Takahashi’s first restaurant outside Japan.

SAMA brings to Hong Kong the much-loved Sapporo-style soup curry, which showcases the Indian and Southeast Asian cooking influence in Hokkaido since the 1970s.  

This foreign influence has continued to evolve to take on a more Japanese flavour and became popular in its own right as a quintessential Japanese dish since 2000.

“We have chosen to open SAMA’s first restaurant outside of Japan in Hong Kong, given the city’s love for Japanese food and culture, and also the surprising lack of Japanese restaurants dedicated to showcasing the flavours of Sapporo - particularly that of the soup curry,” says founder, Mr Shuichi Takahashi.

“We are excited to introduce this regional cuisine that is wholeheartedly loved by all in Hong Kong, a vibrant city known for its celebrated unique eateries.” 

SAMA’s dining experience is as fun as it is scrumptious and truly one of a kind.  Diners who visit the restaurant are invited to customise their own soup curry, beginning from selecting their desired soup curry base which includes Tomato, Coconut, or Prawn; followed by choosing the level of spiciness ranging from a scale of 1 to 30. 

Each of these hotness levels are represented by 3 bear characters : Baby Bear (Level 0-5), Adult Bear (Level 6-15), and Crazy Bear (Level 16-30).

Five different toppings can be added to the soup curry, including “Marathon Chicken” (HK$88), Pork Belly “Oink Oink” (HK$96), Seafood “Ocean Trophy” (HK$108), “Keema Natto” (HK$88), and Burger Patty “Curry Hamburg” (HK$90).

  Vegetarians are also treated to a “Vegetarian Bear” (HK$78) featuring seasonal vegetables.  Those who are feeling extra ravenous may choose to enjoy “Hungry Bear” (HK$128) which includes chicken and one additional topping.   

Each bespoke curry bears the signature markings of a Sapporo curry, which is a thin, soup-like texture that packs a punch in taste, and comes in a full or half portion at dinner times.

What makes SAMA’s dishes so consistently unique and memorable is that till today, all curry bases are made in one kitchen in Sapporo, under the guidance of Takahashi’s sharp and distinct palate.  

The rarity of this curry base also lies in the fact that this is Takahashi’s special secret recipe, which is what elevates SAMA’s soup curry experience.

Along with the curries come a serving of rice or udon with a complimentary second refill, with the option to add additional toppings such as vegetables, eggs, tempura, and meaty treats.
To celebrate the Grand Opening, new appetisers are added to the menu to enhance the dining experience.  

Small Hokkaido bites such as Otaru Crumbed Oysters (HK$58), Tempura Taraba Crab Legs (HK$198), Nagoya Style Curry Wings (HK$28), Curry Fries (HK$28), Hokkaido Corn Croquettes (HK$18), Creamy Garlic Prawns (HK$72), Traditional Pan Fried Gyoza (HK$38), Shishitou Brussel Sprouts (HK$58), Spiced Chicken Karaage (HK$68), Green Salad (HK$68), Hokkaido Popcorn (HK$28) and Hokkaido Spinach (HK$78) - all of which accentuate the unique flavours of Sapporo.

SAMA’s drink menu is designed to be savoured alongside their soup curries, acting as a refreshing way to cool the heat down. The yoghurt drink, Lassi, comes in Classic, Strawberry, Pineapple or Mango (HK$58), which perfectly exemplifies this complemental pairing.  

The restaurant also features a good range of Japanese beer, including Hitachino White Ale, IPA, Sweet Stout, Classic Ale, Ginger Ale, and Pale Ale.

For diners who cannot get enough of SAMA’s addictive soup curry, the restaurant showcases easy-to-make curries in microwavable pouches (HK$65), allowing diners to replicate the indulging soup at the convenience of their own home. 

What makes SAMA a fun venue to visit is also its playful art and decor, giving it a distinct personality which fits in with the hip vibe of Gough Street.  A chic minimalist design is adopted throughout the boutique cafĂ©, with light wooden interiors designed to mirror a neighbourhood joint one would expect to find in Japan.  

The traditional Japanese look is given a modern touch through bright blue and yellow tones, courtesy of plastic chairs and booth seatings in the restaurant.   The entrance of SAMA hints at this collision of tradition and fun with a playful stencil of a cartoon bear on the front door.

First opened in 2004 in the quaint Japanese town of Sapporo, SAMA is a boutique soup-curry restaurant which garnered a loyal following and critical acclaim, leading its current status of eight branches throughout Japan. 

SAMA is located at 51A Gough Street, Hong Kong. The restaurant opens from Monday to Thursday, 11:30a.m. to 3:00p.m., 6:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. and Friday to Sunday, 11:30a.m. to 11:00p.m.

For enquiries, please call (852) 2191-8850.  For more information, please visit http://sama.com.hk or www.facebook.com /samahongkong. 

About SAMA Hong Kong

Soft opened in October 2014, SAMA brings to Hong Kong the regional Sapporo style soup curry, courtesy of Chef and Founder Shuichi Takahashi, along with Hong Kong foodie Tony Tiong and Kelvin Yuen. 

Complementing the authentic soup curries are a selection of Hokkaido small plates, showcasing Southeast Asian and Indian influences in the region from the 1970s which has evolved into a quintessential Japanese culinary hallmark since 2000.

SAMA’s unique flavours can be sampled at its Gough Street eatery, which is designed to reflect traditional Japanese minimalism with modern Japanese accents.

This is SAMA’s first overseas branch outside of Japan.

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