Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sakura (East Memphis)

4840 Poplar

On Saturday, Jiro (age 8) had one word for us, "Sushi." He'd been sick all week and barely able to eat anything, so we readily agreed. Warren needed to run some errands out east, so I had the genius idea to check out the new Sakura in East Memphis. Sakura used to be one of our favorites when the monkeys were younger and we were more frequent visitors to Germantown. (That location is around the corner from my mom's house.) However, I was surprised to see that it has been seven years since my original review!

The new location is on Poplar between Perkins and Mendenhall. It is set back off the street a bit in a small strip behind a liquor store.


We arrived around 7:00pm and it was pretty busy, thus parking was a little crazytown. Inside, we had to wait for about fifteen minutes to get a table. The restaurant looks very much like it's original in Germantown. Warren said he liked that they weren't "trying to look all Asian>" He was referring the very flashy Osaka near Highland.

They have the signature bowl of candy in the front. Parents of toddlers, consider yourselves warned.


When we were seated, Warren liked that there was a table full of "real Asians" nearby. You can also see the sushi bar in this picture. Off camera to the right is a full bar so you can enjoy any beverage you like with dinner. (There were quite a few dressed up ladies and people on dates in the bar, but we also saw several families.)


Ok, let's talk about the food. Jiro wanted his standard crunhy crab roll, but was 100% convinced that it would be different and he wouldn't like it. They didn't technically have the same roll as Sekisui, but there was something similar. However, after perusing the kids' menu, I convinced him that getting the crab tempura with a side of seaweed was the way to go.


Warren wanted donburi, so I was tasked with selecting sushi that I could actually eat by myself. The rolls at Sakura are very large. I must have spent ten minutes reading through the choices, but everything started to sound the same. I texted Chip, who has meticulously photographed all of the rolls over the last few years, and got a few suggestions. Still, I couldn't decide. In the end I just went with a basic spicy tuna, spicy crawfish, and a tuna salad.

The first thing to come out was my tuna salad. Since it was from the sushi bar, i was expecting something a little more exciting. I am not a fan of mincing the tuna. It was ok. I gave most of it to Warren.


The next thing to arrive was some oshinko, or assorted Japanese pickles.


I know, horrible photo. There were cucumber, daikon, and eggplant. Warren gave it a thumbs up.

We had a bit of a lull while we waited on the rest of the food. Jiro was super hungry, but managed to hold it together. I blamed the table next to us. They ordered so much food! I really wanted to go sit with them! I think the funnest thing at Sakura is watching all of the beautiful sushi rolls go by on platters. They really do it up.

You totally would not know that from my order! I just ordered basic rolls. I promise everything else is beautiful!


They were not exciting, but they were good. I noticed that there were no small bowls for soy sauce on the table, but it was fine since I don't dip.

Warren's donburi bowl is also not pretty, but he found it very tasty. Underneath the egg is a bowl of rice with slice pork tonkatsu. (Warren said he'd order it without the egg next time.)


The star of the meal, was Jiro's kids' meal. What a bargain.


He was very happy with his sushi burrito.


All in all, we were very satisfied and the service was fine. Our bill was about $48 which is on the low end for us at a Japanese restaurant. I don't know that the prices are any lower than other restaurants. It's probably 99% due to the fact that Satchel (age 10) was not with us. He usually racks up $15-$20 on his own at Sekisui.

Jiro and I made a run to the restrooms to wash our hands. I can vouch for the ladies room. It was very clean and fancy. I was surprised that there was not a changing table though, since it is new. Mothers of infants, consider yourself warned!

p.s. On Sunday night, we had take out from Sekisui Midtown. Jiro still needed his sushi fix and Satchel was mad he missed out!

Sakura Japanese on Urbanspoon

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