Culinary Artistry at Sakana Japanese Cuisine

With the opening of Sakana Japanese Cuisine, culinary artists have taken up residence on North Avenue near Quaker Ridge Road in New Rochelle, where pristinely fresh Japanese food is presented for your dining pleasure.

It is said that Japanese cuisine is considered both fuel for the body as well as food for the soul. Upon chatting with Jason Lin, I learned that, “great emphasis is placed on quality and freshness of ingredients. We get our fish 4 times a week and we offer great service, fresh fish and creative presentations. We look forward to the residents of the area to get to know us as we become part of the neighborhood and become better and better. We even have a special refrigerator in our kitchen which keeps the delicate fish at the correct temperature.”

The décor at Sakana is simple. As you enter a large sign announcing Sakana hangs above the sushi bar at the rear of the space, which seats 5 guests. Here you can observe the sushi chefs busy at their craft. There are modern black booths, tables and a banquette seating about 49 guests. A tall bamboo plant graces the sushi bar, a token of good luck. One wall has a wavy framed art installation which lends a calming and peaceful atmosphere.

The executive sushi chef is Brian Chen, whose creations are as appealing to the eyes as to the palate. My suggestion is to start your meal with selections of sushi appetizers and hot appetizers. Several of these choices are traditional such as gyoza, edamame, crispy calamari, yakatori, sashimi appetizer and assorted Japanese pickles. We chose some of the more creative beginnings. Outstanding was the crispy famous pancake. The thin, crisp, glasslike pancake sat at the bottom of the plate, and was topped with julienne strips of the freshest of seafood, tuna and other pristine fish, mango and avocado. It was a delicate and delicious starter. We also loved the lobster wrap. Here, a rectangular strip of fresh salmon was filled with lobster salad and matchstick strips of Sakana5cucumber. It was rolled up, and was a lovely combination of textures, with the smooth salmon, chunky lobster salad and crunchy cucumber. Pepper tuna acted as a wrapper for several vegetables. It was rolled up and resulted in a savory bite. The cool vegetables paired well with the spicy tuna. Rock shrimp arrived on a bed of greens in a white bowl. The shrimp were lightly fried and topped with a fragrant creamy sauce. If you wish, several soups are offered, from the traditional miso soup to hot and sour miso soup, seafood soup, shitake mushroom soup and shrimp won ton soup. Salads are varied, as well.

It was time to sample the vast selection of rolls. There are the classics of California roll, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, eel cucumber, king crab and the list numbers about 40 possibilities. For the more adventuresome, I suggest working your way through the 22 house special rolls. With names like angry dragon, sexy girl, fire and ice, volcano roll, ocean roll and Godzilla roll, it is hard to choose. We made 3 very fine selections. The Madonna roll was composed of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and asparagus filled with a wrap of yellowtail and white tuna sprinkled with tobiko and scallion. A perfect complement was a slightly sweet house made sauce. The marble trio was worth a try, as well. Here seaweed infused soy paper which was marbleized in appearance, encased tuna, salmon, yellowtail and avocado was quite good and pretty as well. Our third choice was the signature Sakana Roll. Here, black salmon and asparagus was the filling, topped with tuna, eel, salmon, yellowtail and avocado. It was finished with red and black tobiko and was a nice and spicy offering. Sushi and sashimi are also available a la carte or on a platter with miso soup or salad.

Sakana1If hot dishes are your desire, enjoy the hibachi offerings prepared on the kitchen hibachi table. Chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp, vegetable, scallops and lobster tail are available. The tempura is excellent, very crisp and cooked a la minute. The shrimp and vegetable tempura were both light and non-oily. Absorbent paper beneath them picked up any extra oil. The shrimp were cut lengthwise before being dipped into the batter and broccoli, squash, and sweet potato worked well when cooked tempura style. Katsu dishes, also lightly crusted, were tasty, as well when sprinkled with fresh lemon juice. Teriyaki can be ordered with tofu, shrimp, chicken, beef, salmon, tuna or seafood. Our chicken variety was grilled and sliced and paired with fresh vegetables and topped with sesame seeds. Bento boxes of teriyaki, tempura, beef negimaki, katsu, sushi or sashimi offer a nice tasting. If you visit at lunch, there are lunch specials, lunch boxes and hibachi lunches.

Complete your meal with mocha ice cream, fried banana or tempura ice cream.

Enjoy the artistic preparations of pristinely fresh ingredients at the new Sakana Japanese Restaurant which offers takeout and delivery, as well.

Sakana Japanese CuisineSakanaInterior
1287 North Avenue
New Rochelle
914 637 8888

Katsu Chicken

3 chicken breasts
¾-1 cup cooking oil
1 cup flour divided
2/3 cup panko crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
Pinch salt and pepper

Place chicken breasts one at a time in a plastic bag. Flatten each one using a rolling pin or a meat hammer to ½ to ¾ inches thick uniformly. Repeat until each breast is pounded out. Cut breasts into palm sized pieces. Mix together ½ cup of the flour, panko, salt, garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne and onion powder. Set aside. In another bowl mix egg and milk. In a third bowl place ½ cup flour with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Mix well. Using a fork, dunk each piece of the chicken into the flour, then the egg wash and then into the panko mixture. Be sure that at each step the chicken is completely coated. Fry in medium or medium high heat in preheated oil in a skillet until golden brown on both sides and the inside is no longer pink. It should take about 6 to 7 minutes depending upon your stove. Remove from the oil and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes on a wire rack before serving.