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Sakura, Hauppauge: New ownership, same name

Chirashi at Sakura in Hauppauge

Chirashi at Sakura in Hauppauge Photo Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

When I learned that Sakura Japanese Restaurant in Hauppauge had recently undergone a change in ownership, I decided to drop by and check it out.

For starters, my companion and I shared the ornate Hauppauge roll ($12): tuna, salmon, spicy crunchy salmon and mango with a sweet-spicy chili sauce. All was fresh, nicely put together. But what was that flashing blue neon light doing on the plate?  Even more mystifying was my chirashi ($18). While everything served me was clearly fresh — although not so generously portioned —  I couldn't fathom why the slices of fish were draped atop ice cubes piled into a little glass dish. Again, everything was illuminated by blue neon. A mound of  rice was plated way on the side.

So much needless artifice in the name of trendiness. Chirashi, by definition, means fish over rice; and ideally, that fish should be served at room temperature.

On the other hand, a kitchen dish, chicken yaki udon, was a savory success, the noodles just resistant enough to the tooth, the pieces of poultry moist and tender. Nothing fancy here; just simple, good food.

Sakura Japanese Restaurant is at 580 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge, 631-366-4054.

Above: Chirashi illuminated by blue light at Sakura Japanese Restaurant in Hauppauge
 

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