Tuesday 12 July 2016

Sushi @ Sapporo Teppanyaki

You’ll find Sapporo Teppanyaki just down the road from Beetham Tower on Liverpool Road, not far after the MOSI.

I’ve eaten there before and would highly recommend the “experiential” restaurant to anyone. If you haven’t been before, or aren’t sure of the context, the premise is that you sit around a large square open kitchen, and the chefs chop and fry and season and sizzle your food right in front of you. The flames are explosive and the atmosphere is lively and really, really fun. It’s the perfect place to go with a big group of people for a birthday / leaving do (but maybe that’s because that’s the only capacity I’d visited it in, until last week…)

But if you don’t fancy catching potato pieces tossed to you by the chef, don’t panic! Last week, I was invited to try their summer cocktail and sushi menu. This suited me perfectly; I’d eaten out all weekend and have a few more meals out planned this week (it’s a tough life), so to try something light and semi-healthy was a winner.

First up, we were taken to the lounge, which I’d previously thought was just an area for drinks. It was a lovely, light part of the restaurant, and the back wall is all floor to ceiling glass. James Bay was playing in Castlefield Bowl behind us, so we pretty much got free seats to the gig! The only thing about sitting here was that you did slightly lose the upbeat vibe from the open grill, but actually, it was nice to be able to watch the madness from afar!

We kicked off with cocktails; I went for the Vanilla & Lychee Martini and James chose a Suntory Old Fashioned. His cocktail literally couldn’t have been better suited to him - oaky, tart and strong, it was exactly what he’d go for in a cocktail (i.e. it wasn't overtly girly with a floral garnish): whiskey with Cointreau, aloe vera, agave and orange. My martini (lychee, Cointreau, vanilla vodka with lemon and cherry) was great. Citrusy and a little bit sweet, I’d recommend this one to start your night.

Now, sushi is the type of food I always worry about when ordering, for fear of there not being enough. I don’t know if you’re like me but I always worry that I’ll still be hungry, and usually panic order loads. I always seem to forget that it’s *really* filling. With that in mind, we ordered…

  • Special Sapporo Sushi (nigiri, maki, California rolls and sashimi)
  • Chef's selection of Sashimi (tuna, salmon and sea bass with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce)
  • Edamame beans
  • Duck rolls
  • ...and barbecue spare ribs, because James loves them

I’m not a huge fan of ribs and granted it didn’t really go with the raw fish kind of vibe, but in fairness, I tried two and they were very meaty and the sauce was lovely, not slimy and fatty like I usually assume.

Needless to say, they weren’t the most photogenic of dishes, so I didn’t spend much time trying to get the perfect shot of these…

My favourites from the Special Sushi platter have to be the salmon nigiri (a classic but a goodie) and the California rolls.

The portions with the sashimi were very generous; huge hunks of salmon, tuna and seabass served with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. It was delicious. Cold, fresh and packed an absolute punch in taste sensations with a big hit of wasabi.

The duck rolls (duck breast wrapped in a pancake with mixed veg served with a raspberry coulis), were good, but really not what I was expecting. I was expecting what I traditionally assume duck pancakes are in an Asian restaurant - a light pancake with shredded meat. The pancake here was quite thick. The meat was lovely, but the raspberry coulis and thick pancake didn’t quite do it for me this time around.

The edamame beans deserve a shout out of their own because there were so many of them! Thick rock salt was crumbled atop the mountain of beans, making them a delicious interlude between fish dishes. I find it so satisfying popping the beans out of the shell!

What do you do when you're absolutely stuffed with sushi? Order another cocktail and have a look at the dessert menu, of course!

This time, I went for a Japanese Slipper (Midori, Cointreau and lemon juice), and James opted for an espresso martini. Mine literally tasted of holiday, but in a non-sickly sweet way. It was lush!

We definitely didn’t need dessert, but I saw the word ‘legendary’ on the description of the chocolate spring rolls, so we ordered that.. (legendary milk and white chocolate spring rolls served with homemade vanilla icecream) - Ooops!

Getting the fruit in focus to make it look healthy...ish

This was great. The chocolate oozed out from the crispy shell once we'd cracked it open, and ran all over the icecream, which we gladly mopped up. It was well worth it!

I was really impressed with the food, in particular the sashimi and California rolls, and I'd go back in a heartbeat. Thanks for having me, Sapporo Teppanyaki!

Sapporo Teppanyaki kindly paid for my food and drinks but as ever, all opinions are my own - you should definitely go here for dinner :)


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