Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Louisville - Sapporo

Some of you reading this may know that I used to live in Japan and that I often cook Japanese food at home. As such I tend to be really critical of Japanese restaurants, though I still enjoy going out and trying to relive my happy days spent on Lake Shinji. To start, let me say that Sapporo is extremely convenient, but certainly not the place most recommended for a good Japanese meal. We decided to go with a few others and see what it had to offer.

From the outside, Sapporo does not look like what I expected to see. In fact walking in it is much larger and nicer than one would think. There is a huge drinks bar at the front and they have a great selection of Japanese beer (not just the standard Sapporo rice beer or Kirin Ichiban). As you wander in further you see to the right a big open area where teppanyaki (Japanese grills) are set up. About halfway back on the left a huge sushi bar along the wall with probably a dozen seats. My group sat at a regular (non-sushi, non-teppanyaki) table.

Probably 2/3 of the menu were various sushi rolls, so we figured we had to start there. We decided to go with the eel roll and the Thai chili roll, if only because I liked all the ingredients and didn't want something fried. Both were delicious and were huge. They ranged in price from about $6 - 15. I could easily have made a meal out of one plus some soup and miso or edamame. There really are a ton of options for rolls, and even the pickiest of eaters could find something they liked. Next time I would maybe try the $35 sushi and sashimi chef's special because it looked pretty impressive and the chef chooses what to give you. This is always a great option at a sushi restaurant because sushi chefs will often give you the freshest, top-quality fish.

When it comes to entree options I would definitely say that Sapporo is not the place to get Japanese food. They had a few teriyaki dishes - something I never once at while living in Japan - a few udon/soba options and a few tempura options. To me those are very American-friendly Japanese dishes, so I can't say I was impressed. Additionally, they were very expensive ranging from $10 - 16.

Overall I would give Sapporo 3 stars (out of 5) but I would say I probably will go back. Why? Because it's convenient and has a great atmosphere. I think I'll stick to the rolls next time and get my fill that way. For more standard Japanese fare, I think I'll keep looking.

Sapporo Japanese Grill and Sushi

1 comment:

Marty said...

Hi. You're certainly doing a great job of exploring and commenting on the city's restaurants. If you haven't yet tried Maido Essential Japanese Cuisine, you should; I would guess it's much more akin to your Japanese experience than the city's sushi bars.

-- Marty