I like a good buffet now and then where I can stuff my face with different kinds of food until I can’t walk anymore. Especially with all the delicious food available in Sapporo Japan, I sometimes find myself in a pickle as to what to fill my belly with. So when I have this conundrum (which is usually about once a month) I head down to The Buffet at Daimaru at Sapporo station.
They have everything here from soba to ramen to soup curry to sushi to pasta to pizza to Chinese food to tempura to ………….. the list goes on and on. Admittedly the food isn’t as great as it would be if you went to a specialized restaurant, but is it ever at buffets?
In Japan, the Japanese call a buffet a Viking or Baiking (the Japanese find it difficult to pronounce “V”). I heard this came from the very first buffet style restaurant in Japan which was in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and aptly named “Imperial Viking”. However, the Viking restaurant at Daimaru is called The Buffet.
Not only is there tonnes of great food here but the restaurant is also very nice located on the 8th floor of Daimaru department store and has a huge glass window with a view of downtown Sapporo city. A seat at the counter along the window would make a very romantic dinner date. Stuffing your face will not.
A common scene I have experienced is couples, usually small, slim Japanese couples piling as many plates as their table allows with a bit of every food from the buffet and then systematically eat everything. Then they repeat this a couple more times.
I was absolutely amazed to see this tiny couple just devouring everything in sight. The girl was hot too! What is it with Japanese people with their tiny waistlines and “I can eat anything any time I like, especially Macdonald’s French fries”, and not get fat? It must be something in the water, or perhaps their metabolism slows down when they die. I’m not complaining, because I have a high metabolism, I’ve just noticed I haven’t seen any fat people for a while, which is great of course!
My favourite thing about the Daimaru Buffet is that every thirty minutes or so there is a bell, like a cow bell, and the chef brings out a “special” dish. This can range from a nabemono
hot pot to a slab of roast beef that the chef carves for you. It’s hilarious watching everyone stop eating, jump out of their seats and run to form a queue like hungry scavengers. I love it!
Another reason why I like to come here about once a month is to get my fruit fill. Fruit in Japan is expensive, apart from bananas (I’m over them) but I love lychees and melon and grapes and the Daimaru Buffet has these in abundance, so I definitely get my money’s worth just from the fruit I consume.
Opening times and prices:
Lunch time:- 11:00 – 16:30 (last entrance time 15:30) Adults 1,490 yen and children 880 yen (90 minutes)
Dinner time:- 17:00 – 22:00 (last entrance 21:00) Adults 2,150 yen and children 1,300 yen (90 minutes)
There are also extra costs for drinks but water is free!
No reservation required, and the wait in line is about 15 minutes.
The Buffet, Daimaru department store 8th Floor, Sapporo station, North 5 West 4