Issue 31 | 5 Minutes With

5 minutes With
Shinichi Maeda of An Dining/An Deli

Chef and owner of An Dining and An Deli, Shinichi Maeda, worked with some of the best chefs in Queensland, Australia for 12 years, before returning to Hokkaido 3 years ago to set up An Dining and An Deli. Shin-san recently returned from his well-deserved vacation after completing a personal oath of 1,000 days of continued (hard) work he committed to building up his business. Today, An Dining and An Deli have grown to be two of the most successful restaurants/cafes in Niseko.

Photo by Jacinta Sonja

Photo by Jacinta Sonja

How has your menu evolved over the years?

From my travels around South East Asia, I have come to understand that the idea of dining involves coming together and sharing a feast. I visited Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand this year. I learnt about the differences in dining culture in Asia, Europe and Japan. I liked how Chinese tea is used to welcome you and its free-flow nature at yum-cha restauarnts in Hong Kong, which made it feel very warm and welcoming. In Japan, tea is not usually a complement to the meal, but rather something to be enjoyed on its own. This winter, I will be introducing a family feast menu with dishes to share and complimentary tea.

Will this be part of your Christmas menu?

Yes, at An Dining, our Christmas Eve dinner will include the new family feast/share-menu. Our Christmas dinner will be a course menu featuring sea cucumber, abalone, sea urchin, and Kutchan Wagyu beef.

Where do you source for local ingredients?

It’s very important for me to develop relationships with local farmers. I like to know where my produce comes from, and for the farmers to understand what I am trying to achieve with my cuisine. I travel all over Hokkaido and to Honshu (main island of Japan) to meet farmers.

What can your customers expect at An Dining this season?

We will have more vegetarian and vegan options at An Dining this season. We will expand our menu to include more options for the whole family, while keeping to the use of the best and freshest produce.

Interview by Clara Tan