Searching for Sushi at Sapporo

25 Sep

Fresh off a trip to San Francisco with visions (or is it just intense cravings?) of fresh sushi dancing in our heads, my captive dining partner and I decided to search for some fresh catch in Portland. Knowing this would be a tough task we decided to head down to Sapporo on Commercial Street because we went there about a year and a half ago and Mark remembered it being a, “good bang for the buck.” That statement usually means cheap, bad food in my experience, but I was willing to hear him out and give it a shot.

We were promptly seated upon arrival. Being one of only three tables dining there gave me little hope for what was to come. The place is aptly decorated, though a little too cliché for my taste. I think it could use more real bamboo or actual Japanese style booths to create a better ambiance. Granted I have never been to Japan, so I don’t know what the “authentic” décor would look like, but in my mind I don’t think this is it.

When our waitress finally came to take our order we decided on house salads with homemade ginger dressing to start, and Mark ordered three of the most boring sushi rolls ever— spicy tuna, spicy scallop and tuna avocado. I think he was hoping there was no way they could screw them up.

Sapporo Portland, Maine

Rolls at Sapporo

I ordered the sashimi platter. It came with Albacore, Salmon, Yellowtail, Mackerel and Tuna.

Sapporo in Portland, Maine

Sashimi Platter

The salad was by far the best part of the meal. I must say this sushi and the rolls were lackluster. My sashimi was definitely not the freshest I have had. The yellowtail was by far the best one on the platter. The mackerel was oily and tasted fishy, something I have never experienced while eating sushi before. I only ate one piece of it.

For the price (in defense of Sapporo, it is really cheap) I guess it could fall into the “bang for your buck” category. I am just not sure that I would return. Lately, I have really lamenting the fact that Portland doesn’t have a reasonably priced sushi place for me to patronize. I mean who can afford to go to Mikaye all the time? Does anyone have suggestions of some other places to try? We haven’t been to Benkay in a while…maybe it’s time to give that another go?

Restaurant Sapporo on Urbanspoon

3 Responses to “Searching for Sushi at Sapporo”

  1. forefrontfash September 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    king of the roll is also cheap.
    yosaku is my go to – not too expensive and fresh sashimi.

    although if you want the best sushi in maine – and the best i’ve ever had, even moreso than in san fran – get thee to suzuki’s in rockland. WOW.

  2. Eat Here. Go There. November 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Makes me want to drive up there this weekend and check it out ;)

  3. noone October 17, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    You must have had a very off night at Sapporo. That’s our favorite spot for sushi in Portland, we’ve never had anything that wasn’t fresh and tasty. You should give them another try.

    I’m not sure what you were looking for in decor, I think you’d be severely dissapointed if you ever went to a sushi place in Japan, as most of the places I’ve been to don’t seem to worry much about how they look inside.

    Suzuki’s has pretty good food, but it’s far more expensive than Sapporo and the owner is about as friendly as a rock. No, actually a rock is more friendly. We’ll never go back again.

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