Review: Sapporo Sushi

There is one universal, and perhaps blatantly obvious truth in the foodie world – raw fish is best eaten fresh (not for all species though, some actually taste better after a few days of aging). Yet for me, learning the taste of “fresh” sashimi is a paradox which lies in my lack of dispensable income and the fact that fresh fish don’t come cheap. If it weren’t for Sapporo Sushi, it would have probably taken me much longer to understand the true joy of sashimi beyond the all-you-can-eat sushi joints and the hundreds of  sub-par Japanese restaurants out there.

I have previously made a brief mention of Sapporo Sushi in my review of Solo Sushi Bekkan, where I noted my discovery of this suburban gem while waiting for the BF to finish his interview across the street. Ever since then, I’ve been eager to go back and introduce the BF to the restaurant; hoping, wishing, and crossing my fingers that the fresh fish that day wasn’t just a fluke.

After my third visit, I can confirm that Sapporo Sushi is indeed a restaurant that somehow manages to serve higher quality food at a very, very reasonable price.

One of the sushi chefs at Sapporo sushi. He noticed me creeping some pictures of him. :P

One of the sushi chefs at Sapporo sushi. He noticed me creeping some pictures of him. :P

My second visit was with the BF, after a workout. I ordered the Super Bento, mostly because I wanted to try uni (sea urchin) for the first time. The combo came with salmon, tuna, red snapper, yellowtail, and uni sashimi; salmon, eel, and yellowtail nigiri, California and spicy rolls, spicy/crispy hand roll, as well as miso soup, salad, and dessert. All for only $14.95. God, I must sound like an infomercial, but the value you get is just incredible for how tasty the fish is. I’m guessing that they must have a great supplier for their salmon because their salmon sashimi items are priced crazy low (20 pieces of sashimi for $10 including salad, miso soup and dessert), without compromising freshness.

Spicy Hand Roll

Spicy Hand Roll

My hunger overtook my blogger instincts when the Spicy Hand Roll arrived. I was almost 1/3 of the way through the roll before realizing that I had to take a picture. Fortunately, I started at the bottom of the roll and resorted to sticking the roll back into the tray to take a picture (which explains the frayed pieces at the bottom of the roll). I have never been a fan of hand rolls because I always found that the nori was too soggy, too tough to chew through or got stuck to my lips. But this hand-roll had a good amount of well-seasoned spicy salmon nestled in rice and wrapped in perfectly crispy nori.

Super Bento

Super Bento

I can’t say much about the uni because I have no basis of comparison. But I really liked it – creamy, rich, and no fishy aftertaste.

Double Dragon Bento

Double Dragon Bento

The BF ordered the Double Dragon bento, which came with a Black dragon roll, a Red dragon roll, and a Spicy/Crispy Hand Roll plus salad, miso soup, and dessert as per usual for $10.95. He really liked his bento, and said that it tasted very “different” from the usual Japanese getups. One thing that was lacking though, was the amount of salmon on the Red dragon.

Green Tea Ice-cream

Green Tea Ice-cream

Green tea ice-cream was served for dessert. It was – meh, green tea ice-cream, nothing special. The scoops were small, and had small chunks of ice in them. But all is forgiven, as dessert is not Sapporo’s specialty.

For my third visit, I went with a friend and ordered the small sashimi (24 pieces for $19.95) and BBQ Galbi. The sashimi was good as usual, with salmon being the star of the lot, and the BBQ Galbi was on the sweeter side and could have endured a shorter cooking time. Although that’s just personal preference. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the third visit because I forgot my camera. But I can assure you that the quality of the food was consistent with my first two visits. Service was always fast and the waiters are moderately attentive but definitely polite.

One thing to note, however, about Sapporo is that their sashimi slices and nigiri are thinner and smaller compared to some other sushi restaurants, like Solo Sushi Bekkan for example. It may be because the restaurant is skimping on ingredients, but I find that most of the time the size of the fish slices just depends on the sushi chef and the style of the restaurant. Solo, as an example, has larger slices of sashimi and larger nigiri compared to most other japanese restaurants I’ve been to. personally, I prefer smaller slices of sashimi and smaller nigiri because it’s easier to eat. The quality of the fish is, admittedly, not the best, but is only a couple narrow steps below that of much higher-end sushi restaurants and much better than other Japanese restaurants at the same price point

You can probably tell by now that Sapporo Sushi has impressed me a good deal. It’s one of those places that I’ll go back to again and again, a great discovery that I will gladly share with all of my friends. I highly recommend this restaurant and encourage you to try it, and possibly be revealed to the world of delicious, fresh sashimi as I have.

Food: 4/5

Service: 3/5

Value: 5/5

Atmosphere: 3/5

Sapporo Sushi on Urbanspoon

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