The Ezo Story
Ezo Seafoods Oyster Bar We began our journey as an Oyster Bar in 2009 with the aim of offering Hokkaido's best seafood to visitors to Niseko. We didn't know so much about seafood in those early days so just started with fresh shucked oysters, King Crab and Soy Rockfish. We relied on Keiko's cooking skills in the kitchen and my commitment to making sure that everything we served was pristine fresh. I made it a habit of visiting the Sapporo Seafood Markets on a daily basis to ensure that our customers enjoyed the freshest and most seasonal seafood available. After several seasons, many mistakes, blood, sweat and tears (literally), and thanks to many loyal customers from the world, Ezo Seafoods Oyster Bar became an institution in Niseko.
Ezo Seafoods Summer, Izu Peninsula After six years in 2015 we expanded to a second location on Japan's Izu Peninsula opening an oceanfront restaurant overlooking Suruga Bay under the concept of "Pasta, Paella & Craft Beer." Like Hokkaido, Izu is well known for its seafood and we have incorporated many of the local fish and shellfish into a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Ezo Seafoods Summer operates from June till September each year and enjoys a strong following amongst local Japanese.
"Team Ezo" Beach Cleaning Group In response to the growing problem of ocean rubbish in Izu, and Japan generally, we established "Team Ezo" with the help of like-minded local people, including some of our restaurant patrons. Currently, a group of around 10 volunteers spends one hour every second Sunday cleaning rubbish from the local coastline. Our activities over 7 years have been credited with making a difference in reducing the level of rubbish on the local seashores.
Ezo Seafoods Fresh
With the advent of Covid, Ezo Seafoods Niseko had to operate at a reduced capacity for two seasons. Finally we were unable to retain our team of veteran staff who had supported our operation for many years. And reflecting the critical shortage of hospitality workers globally going forward, we were forced to consider an operation that could be scaled down if necessary.
We also considered the current dining scene in Niseko, its changing needs, and how we could continue to offer guests delicious seafood. The idea of a high quality retail and takeout operation began to take shape.
Our vision for EZO FRESH is to offer great food experiences in Niseko without the hassle of making reservations months in advance. We want to sync with our customers who like to socialize and entertain in the comfort of their own lodgings. We want to offer seafood products for people who like to cook at home.
We have also obtained a bottle shop license and will now offer our restaurant wine program at retail prices.
James Gallagher, Keiko Takaoka Gallagher Co-Owners
Ezo Seafoods Fresh and Ezo Seafoods Summer are operated by The Katori Company.