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Sakura in East Meadow, New York


Ranking: N/ARead Full Review


  • Food6
  • Pricing8
  • Atmosphere6
  • Service9
  • Selection7
  • Value6/7

The Review

On our latest sushi adventure we ended up at Sakura in East Meadow. It was their Grand Opening and we wish them the best of luck. It is one of the smaller and more modest sushi places we have been to, tucked away in a small shopping strip on Newbridge Road. They tried to make the most of the space, placing a long bench along one side of the restaurant and tables on the other. They have modern lights and flooring, a large TV, comfortable tables and chairs and large pictures of sushi on the wall. There is a small sushi bar in the back and a full kitchen behind it. Kenny, the manager, warmly welcomes us and Christy our waitress seats us in the back.

Kenny says he is going to prepare us some special beverages and to my delight it is bubble tea! Bubble tea is a favorite of mine and finding it on Long Island is no easy task. Bubble Tea, also known as Pearl Milk Tea, originated in the 1980s in Taiwan and has slowly made its way over here. While it can vary bubble tea is usually composed of a tea base mixed with fruit or fruit syrup, ice and often milk though some varieties do not include milk. The drink contains "pearls" which are small chewy balls made from a tapioca starch or jelly. You drink it through a thick straw so you get both the tea and the pearls all at once, but do not pull too hard and choke on the pearls. Many different fruit varieties are available and some even use different teas -- green, red and black. I love the smooth texture of the drink combined with the tasty chewy pearls.

We get both Coconut and Taro Bubble Tea. The coconut is quite sweet. It contains little bits of coconut but not many pearls. It is very refreshing.

The taro is smoother and not as sweet. In general taro kind of taste like a sweet potato and the root itself is used in many different ways. The tea is very light with a distinct flavor. Very enjoyable.

  • Clam Soup Afterwards we are brought a bowl of Clam Soup. The soup is a clear broth with surf clams and vegetables. The dish is very colorful containing vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, onions, radishes and mushrooms. It is full of small clams still in their shells. Surf clams have white meat with a mild, sweet flavor. It is light and flavorful. The clams are deliciously salty and moist from the broth. It is the first time we have had Clam Soup and I have a feeling it will not be the last.

  • Sashimi We are next brought a plate of sushi and sashimi. The thick slices of fish arrive on a large plate which was been decorated with an artistic flowering tree created out of eel and wasabi sauce. There is also a flower crafted from large pieces of tuna. On the plate is tuna, salmon, fluke, yellowtail and shrimp. Here is our breakdown.

    Tuna The tuna is large and soft with a strong flavor.

    Salmon The salmon is tender and flavorful.

    Fluke The fluke is very tasty, both light and mild.

    Yellowtail The yellowtail is the best of the bunch, being tender, light and oily.

    Shrimp The shrimp is subtle and enjoyable.

  • Avocado Salad Next we are brought an Avocado Salad. It is a bowl of lettuce with slices of avocado and ginger dressing on top. The ginger dressing is thick and has a great tangy sweet flavor. The lettuce is crisp and the avocado is fresh and creamy. If you don't like a lot of dressing I would ask for it on the side. The salad is very enjoyable and quite healthy as ginger and avocado are both super healthy and chock full of antioxidants and vitamins.

  • Sushi Rolls Next we are served some sushi rolls.

  • Avocado Roll A simple yet delicious Avocado Roll arrives. It is creamy and flavorful. For non sushi eaters, or it you just want something pure and light, this is a good choice.

  • Spicy Tuna Roll We dig into a Spicy Tuna Roll. The spicy tuna has an enjoyable good texture but is a little bland and needs more spice. The nori on this roll is also a little tough.

  • Lover Roll The Lover Roll is served next and it is one of their specials that evening. It contains shrimp tempura, cooked salmon and avocado inside. It is topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce and crunchy tempura flakes. Shrimp tempura is shrimp that has been coated in tempura and then fried. While still fried, tempura is lighter than other types of bread crumbs or coatings. Tempura batter is composed of cold water and wheat flour that is barely mixed and left lumpy so it remains fluffy and crisp when placed in hot oil. At times other ingredients like spices, eggs, baking powder or starch is added. The dish is beautifully plated with two pieces of the rolls making little hearts along the plate. We haven�t really had cooked salmon inside a roll before and enjoy it very much. The roll is warm, crunchy and spicy. It is a little on the heavy side but quite delicious.

  • Closer up.

  • Tuna Tataki Next we sample Tuna Tataki. Tataki, Japanese for "hit into pieces" is traditional method of cooking where raw fish is briefly seared and marinated in vinegar. It is then thinly sliced and seasoned with ginger. In our dish the large pieces are seared and served with a house ponzu sauce. The ponzu is light and not overly sweet, but tasty. The tuna while enjoyable is slightly overcooked.

  • Chicken Negimaki Then we try the Chicken Negimaki. It is slices of cooked chicken wrapped around neatly folded large pieces of scallions. It is covered with sesame seeds and teriyaki sauce. We had Beef Negimaki for the first time recently and were eager to try it with chicken. The chicken and scallions are both thick and well cooked. The dish is very tasty and has a nice flavor.

  • Sushi Pizza Sushi Pizza arrives next. It starts with a deep fried tortilla. It is then covered with avocado, shredded kani, tuna, tobiko, spicy mayo and eel sauce. Kani is Japanese for crab. The tortilla is a tad soggy and could have used less oil. However the toppings make up for that. The tuna and avocado are creamy. The kani is incredibly light, flavorful and the best part of the pizza.

  • Spicy Girl We try another sushi roll, the Spicy Girl. This roll is loaded with delicious fish. It has spicy white tuna, red snapper, salmon and tempura flakes inside. It is then topped with a giant heap of spicy tuna and drizzled with tempura flakes and wasabi mayo. The combination of fish inside all work very well together. The spicy tuna on top is quite thick but again a little short on flavor, however the wasabi mayo helps with this. Overall the roll is very tasty.

  • Crazy Fly Dragon We make room for one more roll, The Crazy Fly Dragon, and are glad that we did. The roll has shrimp tempura inside. It is then loaded with a little spicy tuna, slices of avocado and eel. This roll is serious in size. The eel on top is plentiful and has a great sweet flavor and an enjoyable tender texture. In general eel is a firmer fish and does not flake the ways other can. The roll is crispy and sweet and the perfect ending to our meal. It's very tasty.

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