The hubby and I headed into Sakura for a late lunch/early dinner one Saturday. There was a sprinkling of other patrons, but the background noise consisted of pipped music overlaid with the splashing of a fountain near the door. Which sounds more serene than it actually was since those two were loud enough to make it difficult to carry on a conversation.
We had been asked by the host whether we wanted to sit at a hibachi table or elsewhere. We opted for elsewhere as part of the hibachi experience is talking with the other patrons near you and there was no one over there. We were seating in a squishy booth with a view of two large fish tanks and the dimensional tiles on the walls.
Having opted out of the hibachi, our menu choices included udon, tempura, teriyaki, and sushi. I ordered the chicken tempura, while the hubby went with the chicken teriyaki. We also selected an appetizer of edamame. Our dinners came with salad, soup, and white rice, so there was no shortage of food.
Our soup and salads came out together.
The soup featured sliced mushrooms, green onion, and sauteed white onion in a brown broth. The salty broth had a good clarity and the soft onion slices were just a touch sweet. The hubby reported the mushroom slices as fair.
The salad was a small bowl of iceburg lettuce with shredded carrots and cabbage topped with a pasty orange ginger dressing. The dressing was bright and flavorful, lending some pizazz to to ingredients whose main feature was that they went crunchy.
Our edamame (shown at the top of the post) arrived next. The beans were firm, leaning just to the dry side, and wonderfully fresh. Just the right amount of coarse salt was sprinkled along the pods.
Our entrees arrived as we were finishing the edamame.
My tempura was artfully arranged in a neat stack. I was happy to see vegetables included with my chicken as it hadn’t been indicated on the menu. Fresh and delicious, crisp broccoli, delicate sweet potato, sweet onion, tender zuchini, and dense but mild taro crowded together. All were coated with the thin, crunchy tempura batter. Despite the grease from frying, the dish felt remarkably light. The chicken was fantastic, tender, high quality white meat made especially moist and flavorful by the frying. The accompanying sauce was a thin, soy based sauce, gentler than your standard soy sauce and cooler than the food. The tempura went well with the sauce, but I didn’t find it necessary. The flavor was a subtle enough contribution as to be easily missed. The included sticky rice was lightly oiled and plump grained.
They hubby enjoyed his teriyaki. He was taken with the freshness of the vegetables and the sprinkling of sesame seeds decorating the top of his dish.
Although not inexpensive, we had a lovely time at Sakura. Our server was both on the ball and friendly, answering our questions with patience. That the hibachi menu includes filet mignon illustrates the market they are targeting but they also offer kids tempura options which makes them a good option for family friendly celebrations and events. This is enhanced by their offerings of sake, wine, and beer (including beers imported from Japan). I would happily go back, for a semi-fancy dinner or an agreeable lunch. And whatever I do, I’ll make sure to order something that includes a salad, just for the outstanding ginger dressing.
Total for the meal: $40.44 (Included two dinner entrees, one order of edamame, and two soft drinks)
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