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