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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sakae Sushi 1st Avenue Penang

Before I begin writing about this blog posting, I would like to thank Criz, FOODSION & Sakae Sushi for inviting me to this sampling event of some of the items in their new revised menu. I have been to Sakae Sushi many times but this is the first time I have been to their outlet at 1st Avenue Mall in Penang. I guess it must really have been awhile as I just realized that their ordering system has now been upgraded to using Ipad's instead of the old computer! I also got to know that this is one of the fastest ordering system in the world for a food restaurant. Pretty amazing feat no less and for those that like to pinch and zoom on the photos at Sakae's Ipad's, this is something which you can do, albeit not on everypage (yes I tried doing that)
Anyway, I never knew before this review, how much effort the team at Sakae Sushi puts in to ensure we get some of the best ingredients and them also caring about our health welfare. Imagine that they are using fresh Norwegian salmon that is naturally bred and grown as well as adding extra vitamins to the sushi rice to ensure we get a more balance and healthy diet! Kudos to them. Well, I'm not just praising them because they invited me, but its really good to see such a big sushi chain making efforts, at least in small ways to give us better value for money yet at the same time caring about what we consume.
OK, so back to this blog entry. They have actually already launched their new menu and there is over 30 new items included but of course we didn't try each one of them but a select few. So keep reading to find out what I thought about Sakae Sushi ya!

A sneak preview?
The entrance, with the big green frog. Its located at the 4th floor, right across Carrefour.

They even have Froggie merchandise now!
At the counter, they have their popular "ma chee" or glutinous rice dessert with filling for sale!
A view of the restaurant. The kaiten (conveyor belt) goes to every table so you will not have to worry you do not get a piece of the sushi on plates action!
Yum yum. The endless stream of sushi plates!
Pretty spacious seating with different sizes arrangement. The max seating per "box" is about 6 person though.
Did I mention about the Ipad's? See, every table has one to make it easy to order and you also get an idea of what you are ordering as well as your total bill!
Another shot of the sushi belt!
I always like the green tea here. The ones here are called Genmaicha in which it is not just green tea but it has been infused with roast brown rice giving it a much richer flavor compared to just tea itself! It has a very earthly flavor with a roasted taste which just linger in the mouth! You can have it hot or cold.
The first item which we sampled was the Kaisen Salad (RM16.90). This salad comes with a variety of vegetables as well as large prawns, tuna flakes, snow crab leg and a good sprinkle of flying fish roe! The highlight of the salad would surely be its creamy goma dressing. Goma is sesame and you will get a very refreshing sesame taste to the dressing. We did find that the standard portion of dressing was abit too little and we ask for an additional portion (which I'm sure they will oblige). Overall, I like this salad as its very appetizing!
I just love the flying fish roe!
Pouring the creamy goma dressing! The fragrant sesame will already get you started!
For RM16.90, its worth it really
This is something which I propose to Sakae Sushi to serve. This is a sampling platter of 5 different sushi sets, which I will talk about below. But lets hope they do decide to serve such a platter as I feel this way one will be able to taste different kinds of sushi at a sitting. I'm sure many of you who goes to eat sushi alone, would wish to be able to sample as many as possible but always limited by the amount you can eat right? So, everyone who reads this, drop Sakae Sushi a comment!
The platter looks so inviting and eye catching!
This is the Hana Maki (RM9.99) where you have the fresh salmon wrapping a rice center with a mayonnaise topping. It looks beautiful with a floral design.
Next is the Sakae Blossom (RM9.99) and I have to say that this was my favorite of the lot! You get an intricately designed sushi with the lightly grilled salmon at the top making it look like a flower. The fact that its rice is covered in flying fish roe makes it taste so fresh as well! Excellent.

Ebi Crepe (RM5.99) is a crepe with a prawn center and assorted vegetables wrapped nicely. It is presented in such an interesting way where its as if the prawn is standing on its own! The prawn is nicely fried in some tempura batter and the crepe wrap makes it less heaty.
This is the Soft Shell Crab Maki (RM5.99). This one has soft shell crab wrapped with sushi rice, sweet beancurd and then smothered with spicy mayonnaise to give this maki a great taste. I like the mixture of crunchiness from the crab and then the mayo helps to give it some added moisture.
Another standing prawn sushi is the Inari Avocado Ebi which is basically a mixture of prawns and avocado stuffed in a sweet beancurd making this a very fresh tasting sushi. Of course this works because avocado has a creamy taste and texture to it and its kind of like a salad prawn Japanese style!
The next item is a soup dish. Its called the Kaisen Pirikara Nabe (RM24.90) where its a mixture of seafood which includes large prawns, fresh scallop, cuttlefish, salmon slices and lots and lots of vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, leek, chinese cabbage) in a spicy Kimchi hot pot. I really enjoyed this one and I do advise it to be shared as its pretty large. Its great that Sakae Sushi took the effort to put in more vegetables than seafood as I felt this gives the hot pot more balance and again, more healthy!
The Hotate Mentaiyaki (RM20.90) is a platter of grilled scallop covered with cod fish roe. I like the fact that they use whole scallops where one will get to enjoy every bit of the scallop. The cod fish roe gives it a creamy taste and being grilled, infuse it with a smoky aroma.
The last dish is the Curry Udon (RM12.90). This is Japanese udon noodles served in Japanese curry where you get pieces of chicken, vegetables and a few slices of the fish cake. I always like Japanese curry where its less spicy and have a slight sweetness to it. A very filling dish for those that love Japanese curry.
To round it off, we were served their famous ice creams. They have 2 new flavors besides the black sesame and the green tea flavor. These are the dragon fruit and passion fruit ice cream flavor. The dragon fruit looks very eye catching with its bright purple color and its not overly sweet but more taking up the natural sweetness from the dragon fruit. As for the passion fruit, its a little on the sour side but it does retain the unique taste of passion fruit. But I have to say that my favorite is still the black sesame version. I would probably give more points to the green tea version if they have served it with the sweetened red beans! But all in all, its a good attempt for the new flavors that are based on fruits.
Before we ended, I was surprised to see Froggie live! Whee! Its really nice to see Froggie in person. Too bad my daughter was not around! Well, do check out Sakae Sushi if you have some sushi cravings.

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