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Published September 15th 2013
Classic and elegant with 80s-90s nostalgic restaurant
Tucked away in a quiet office building at night, this classic outlook of Japanese small eatery catches our attention. It is Sakuratei Japanese Restaurant, one of very few authentic Japanese skewer grilled restaurants.
The interior is quite romantic and quiet, without the smoke or busy noise that you'll normally find in a BBQ restaurant. In fact, the wooden decoration, olden style of tables and chairs, and dimmed hanging lamps give off the romantic look of 1980s to 1990s. The image of ladies wearing what we now know as vintage dresses with big hair has quickly sunk in.
Quickly we went through the drinking menus which offered quite a substantial choice of sake, wines, beers, teas, etc. My fiancée went for Suishin sake that's made out of famous soft water that's welled out of Buna forest of Hiroshima, his hometown. Just like its name, it is a good, fragrant sake, yet the taste is soft and gentle. While on the other hand, I went for yumeshu, an easy to drink classic plum wine that's sweet and refreshing.
Moving on to the food, we ordered many classic and authentic Japanese "kushiage" and "kushiyaki" (skewered deep fried and grilled dish). A few uncommon dishes such as chicken soft bones kushiyaki, okra (salt marinated and smoked - simple yet delicious), squid (dried under the sun, lightly seasoned, smoked, with a touch of mayonnaise, a light smokey smell and cooked to perfect texture) are worth a try.
A few more special dishes are their asparagus wrapped with soft pork slices kushiage. Great textured asparagus (not crunchy, but gentle) with a good dash of egg mayonnaise, dipped with provided sauce.
The seaweed salad comprises fresh authentic various types of seaweed. It is definitely different from the common seaweed salad sold in normal sushi stands. In fact, you get to sample different types of this sea greenery.
Tucked away in a closed off office building, Sakuratei is like a secret find for people who want to travel back to 80s-90s dining. You'll find a quiet and pleasant meal and an elegant grill restaurant that's definitely worth a try for special occasions.
I wouldn't have used 'Romantic' 'classic' 'nostalgic' or '80's-90's' to describe this place. The title is a tad misleading for what's really a BBQ Japanese restaurant. I might give it a go if I want a quiet BBQ Japanese meal, but not a nostalgic and romantic experience.