For the Most Convenient Taste of Sapporo's Fresh Seafood: Maido!
After a long, happy day seeing the sights of Hokkaido, the last thing you want to do is wander the city on tired feet, searching for a good-looking Sapporo restaurant for dinner. That's why, on our recent excursion to Japan's north, we were so happy to find Maido! just steps from the south exit of downtown Sapporo Station. And, better yet, it turned out to be the perfect place to sample some of the flavors that most represent Hokkaido: fresh-caught seafood, Hokkaido butter and soy sauce, even a little slurp of Hokkaido melon. Delicious and easily-accessible to boot, this Sapporo izakaya restaurant comes highly-recommended.
Eating the Best Seafood in Japan
As a nation of islands, seafood abounds in Japanese cuisine, but ask the country's citizens and the consensus is clear: thanks to the cold northern waters, Hokkaido has some of the best marine cuisine around.
- The waters off the shores of Hokkaido are teeming with life, an atmosphere that creates delicious, richly flavored seafood. We've talked about the reason for that before, so today we're going to talk about how all that great seafood is gathered right in Hokkaido's capital, Sapporo, and within the walls of Maido!
It's an Izakaya - Kick Back and Relax, with Drinks and Seafood!
If you’ve never been to an izakaya before, they’re Japan’s own variety of bar/restaurant, where happy crowds gather to drink up and chow down. So that’s exactly what we did after touring Sapporo, ordering ourselves a feast of seafood, drinks, and more.
- We knew we’d made a good choice as soon as the first dishes made it to our table. This might be a casual izakaya, but look at that plating! And of course our first round included a couple of local drink specialties: a Hokkaido melon cocktail, and a “Napolin sour,” which uses "Napolin," a Japanese soda that originated in Sapporo (and is still most easily found in this region).
- We had quite a spread, but this tower of sushi and sashimi, crowned with a whole shrimp, was a real conversation starter!
Our Next Course? Shellfish Of Course!
- Even among the many kinds of delicious seafood available in Hokkaido, there’s no doubt that the local scallops are known throughout Japan. We knew we had to try one!
- Our scallop came cooked in a delicious mix of soy sauce and Hokkaido's famous butter. That's right, not only is Hokkaido a seafood destination, the area's dairy is also known for its high quality.
- This combination of local butter and local scallop... you'd better believe it was an explosion of savory flavor. We should have ordered more!
Drinks, Seafood, and... a Charcoal Grill!?
- If you're traveling with any picky eaters who want to avoid seafood, Maido's skewers of meat and chicken cooked over a charcoal grill are sure to please. With the alluring aromas drifting over from the grill, even our group of seafood lovers couldn't help but order some.
- Try it Japanese-style, and dip a skewer into the egg yolk plated alongside. It adds a creamy glaze to the deliciously charred chunks of meat.
To Top it All off: House-Made Tofu!
- Less a Hokkaido specialty, and more of a Maido! specialty, we were very glad we tried the fresh tofu made on-site. Smooth and silky, the soft tofu was creamy and delicious, with a light soy flavor.
- After waitstaff scoop the tofu out tableside, we recommend you try the toppings that come along with it. The kicks of bright flavor combined with the creamy, subtle tofu surprised us - we didn't know how addictive tofu could be!
Cozy Seats and Comfortable Spaces
- Maido! is an izakaya with a whole selection of different seating, and when we walked through the restaurant to our seats, we noticed comfortable two tops for couples, along with long tables handy for bigger parties.
- Coolest of all? These private igloos, which create little enclaves perfect for conversation. We beelined straight towards them, and the thick walls blocked out a lot of the buzz and chatter from the rest of the customers, while amplifying the voices of those inside. With the drinks flowing thanks to Maido's all-you-can-drink options, our conversation continued long into the night!
- Maido! has four different locations around Sapporo, so it's pretty convenient even when you're not at Sapporo Station. Wherever you are in the city, we'd definitely recommend you stop in for some of Hokkaido's fresh seafood, local drinks, smoky-savory skewers off the grill, and creamy house-made tofu!
Maido! Sapporo Station South Exit (まいど！札幌駅南口店)
2-1 Jonishi, 4 Kita, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Hours: 16:00 - 1:00 next day (L.O. 24:00) (Sat, Sun, Holidays: 13:00~)
Official Website (jp)
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