Restaurant review: Sakura is a place to visit if you’re craving Japanese


I don’t eat out that often, but whenever I do, I try my hardest to eat at a Japanese restaurant. Pelham’s Sakura is a perfect place to eat. It’s local, inexpensive, and has great quality in their dishes.

Whenever I walk into Sakura, I am always greeted by a waitress or waiter as soon as I walk in. This time was no exception. When I sat down, I ordered two rolls and a tempura appetizer. My food came in about 15 minutes,  which is a big plus, because whenever I want to eat somewhere, I want it fast.

The restaurant is somewhat small, definitely not as big as restaurants you can find in New York City or bigger towns. There’s a decorative water-filled light wall at the entrance. While the bubble are entertaining, it’s the only thing that really fascinates be decor-wise. Other than the wall, the atmosphere is simple and standard.

When my tempura appetizer came, I was surprised. I had not expected to see five pieces of vegetable tempura and two pieces of shrimp tempura for the price I paid. Unlike many restaurants I have been to, the tempura wasn’t soggy. It had a nice texture in your mouth that didn’t feel odd, and didn’t break apart as soon as I touched it, which can be a major flaw. The only thing I disliked about the tempura appetizer was that Sakura didn’t list what vegetables was in the dish. Nonetheless, this appetizer proved that Sakura is a place to go if you want high quality food without breaking the bank.

After my pleasant experience with the tempura, I had higher expectations for the sushi. I had ordered the yellowtail scallion roll and the salmon skin roll, two rolls that can easily taste bad if not done well. When both of the rolls came, they both looked delicious and appetizing. When I took a bite into the yellowtail roll, the fish had melted into my mouth and the seaweed and rice had a firm and chewy texture. The scallions were not overpowering, and fish tasted extremely fresh.

The salmon skin roll, however, is even harder to pull off because if the salmon skin isn’t cooked to perfection, it will be too soft to chew. Sakura nailed the cook on the salmon skin. The salmon skin had a perfect texture, just right for salmon skin rolls, and the cucumber added a soft crunch in the back of your mouth.

I don’t visit Sakura that often, but on that occasional day off from school, I always make sure to stop by and eat some lunch. Every Monday to Friday, Sakura provides a lunch special from 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. with multiple options from their dinner menu with a smaller cost. They have bento boxes for $10.95, maki lunches (sushi rolls) with two rolls or three rolls for $10.95 or $13.95, hibachi lunches depending on the meat, and they also provide sushi lunches of nigiri and other types of sushi.

Overall, I would give Sakura an 18.5/20. I would take off the 1.5 points because of the confusing tempura and the rather plain decor. But if you don’t mind these small flaws, this is the place for you. This restaurant is perfect for  dinners with family and friends, or even just a great place to enjoy a meal alone.