Sakura Japanese Restaurant
124 Fifth Avenue, Pelham 278-9996
BY CLAUDIA LUTZKY
Sakura Japanese Restaurant is dishing up some of the town’s most beautiful food. This comfortable spot serves at your table or the communal sushi bar. If you sit at the counter you will be fascinated as they make their spectacular creations: Exotic rolls made from fish and rice and other incredibly fresh ingredients. Sushi making and preparation is not an easy craft to learn. Chef Raymond trained for 19 years to obtain his level of skill. He learned the craft from a Sushi Master in Manhattan where he worked for more than 10 years before coming to Pelham.
The lunch special at Sakura features two or three rolls, sushi or sashimi with a choice of soup or salad. Not everything is raw. Traditional Japanese options are the Tempura Bento Box (a combination plate of assorted tempura, fried dumplings, a small California roll and rice) or teriyaki vegetables with a choice of meat or shrimp with rice and salad. All are bargain priced for weekday lunches. But be adventurous and order the Katsu. If you have never tried it, do so here. It is a thin pork or chicken cutlet, breaded and fried. A Japanese take on the German Wiener Schnitzel or Italian Milanese.
Expect Chef Raymond to go way outside the box when he knows what you like. He certainly got me with a special Uni (Sea Urchin) sashimi. It was a jewel, sitting on top of an incredibly delicious oyster surrounded by caviar and dribbled with hot sauce. It just could be the most amazing bite of sushi I have ever tasted. The combination is creamy and succulent – a gift from the ocean. I’m hooked on their seafood (most of which is air-shipped from Tokyo’s Tsukji market daily) and I’m going back for more.
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