I’ve driven by Sakura Sushi countless times and thought to myself “I have to try that sometime”. It only took Local Restaurant Week to finally get me in there, and am I glad I did!
Back in the day my husband worked out of an office located in Cheektowaga, where many offices are located. We would met for lunch at several places around the area, but somehow never got into Sakura Sushi. When I noticed it was participating in Local Restaurant Week, I figured now was the time to try it.
Local Restaurant Week pays off in one swift meal: I will most certainly be back to Sakura Sushi!
The restaurant is small and clean but has ample seating. It’s been designed to accommodate several tables comfortably in a layout that’s not crowded.
Since it was LRW that drew me in, I already knew what I wanted, but the lunch menu had me second-guessing. The prices for lunch specials were very reasonable, most including an appetizer and 2 regular sushi rolls or a specialty sushi roll for just under $10. The rolls grabbed my attention because there are EIGHT vegetarian rolls! Eight, people! I’ve never been to a sushi place with so many vegetarian options! I thought about switching my order to the Lunch Special 1 which included an appetizer and 2 regular sushi rolls (which was what my husband ended up going with), but I stuck to my guns and went with the LRW special: the ‘Tulip’ option for $20.14.
The Tulip includes a Spicy Kani Tempura appetizer, a Cheektowaga Roll, and your choice of 1 Coppa Mascapone or 1 Coppa Pistachio for dessert.
The spicy kani tempura was nori-wrapped spicy crab mix and flash fried in a tempura batter. It was served with a light ponzu sauce, which the spicy crab basically overpowered, but still, the tempura was crispy and light. The flavors were very good without being overpowering, and as it was cut in half, the entire appetizer could be eaten in two very large bites–which after some difficulty trying to nibble my first bite off I realized was the best approach to eat it. My husband ordered the goyza, and while he made no comment, he made no complaint either and finished the potstickers with the dipping sauce.
In quick order our rolls came out. I looked up what the Cheektowaga Roll involved online (Crunch roll topped with salmon, crab stick, white tuna, avocado, masago with spicy sauce) but it still didn’t prepare me for what came out.
It was delicious! The sauce had a nice deep, slow burn that wasn’t overpowering at first bite, but it stays with you. The fish and avocado were uniformly chopped and tossed in the spicy sauce before being served over the crunch roll. The crunch roll itself was a typical roll wrapped up around a thin portion of crab stick and very fine tempura crispies. While I’m not a fan of fried rolls or rolls that include tempura, this crunch roll was definitely the way to go. The spicy sauce was plentiful and the crunch inside the roll helped soak it up and even keep some of the fish in place. The fish topping was so much that of course it all didn’t stay on, but it was definitely nice to pick at the pieces with chopsticks and eat them bit by bit. It was a good way to slowly eat a meal and fill up, because I am definitely one of those people who can chow down a meal in about 5 minutes flat. Hey, I went to public school, I was raised to scarf down a meal.
My husband ordered the Philadelphia Roll and White Tuna Roll. Both came out looking fresh, beautiful, and very tasty. My husband and I switched rolls so we could try each others and the Philadelphia Roll was certainly different; perhaps made with smoked salmon rather than sushi raw salmon? It really worked, it was incredibly tasty.
After the kani tempura and Cheektowaga roll, I was actually full, but I still had dessert coming. I chose the Coppa Mascarpone and was expecting, based on the dessert brochure sitting on the table, a pre-made frozen desert thawed and served to me. Again, my expectations were not correct: the coppa was larger than I imagined with a gorgeous delicate amaretto-flavored mascarpone cream a top of a Hershey-like chocolate sauce, topped with a fine cookie crumble and dozens of bits of shaved chocolate. Every spoonful came out fresh and tasting homemade which leads me to question did they actually make it in house? Because it was truly something special that I haven’t gotten at any Asian restaurant I worked at–excuse me, dined at.
Since I had desert, my husband went ahead and ordered the Dream…Bomba? I knew I should have written down exactly what it was called. But we can refer to it as ‘delicious massive ball of peanut butter ice cream in a chocolate casing.’ Because that’s what it was.
It. Was. Awesome. And once again, the dessert brochure on the table was misleading in size, because this thing was large enough for the two of us to split easily.
Everything at Sakura Sushi was incredible. The spicy kani tempura, the goyza (not vegetarian or pescetarian), the Cheektowaga Roll, Philadelphia Roll, Yellow Tuna Roll, Coppa Mascarpone, and Dream Bomba was all absolutely amazing and out of this world. This Local Restaurant Week experience is exactly what I love about this event: I found an incredible place, tried some amazing food I wouldn’t normally order, and enjoyed every little thing about it! The ambiance is perfect, the service was amazing, the food was fantastic, and I found 8 vegetarian rolls to come back and try.
If you love sushi, love personable servers, and love supporting local restaurants, this is the place for you. It’s amazing and I’m so happy I finally made it out there! Without a doubt Sakura Sushi is one of my top favorite restaurants in the Buffalo area!
Check out our review of Sakura Sushi on Yelp!