I like sushi. A lot. I’d eat it every day if I could afford it. When we moved here from Chicago, I was certain I wouldn’t find adequate sushi in Fort Wayne. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few gems in this community, and while Asakusa remains my absolute favorite, we’ve found another place that get high ranks: Sakura. My first trip to Sakura almost 10 years ago was underwhelming. In fact, they served us frozen sashimi. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but imagine biting into what you expect to be a succulent, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth-like-butter piece of salmon sashimi, only to be met with a mouthful of ice. I never went back – until a few weekends ago.
Our initial destination was not Sakura. In fact, we drove to a handful of local downtown spots before throwing up our hands in frustration. This town basically shuts down on Sundays. Everything was closed except for a few chain restaurants and Sakura.
It turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
For the best service, sit at the sushi bar. Not only does it give you a chance to watch the sushi chefs, but they’ll answer your questions and make recommendations as well.
Here are a few of my favorites from their menu:
Edamame ($4): A heaping bowl of fresh, unshelled, steamed and salted edamame. This dish is not only fun to eat and share, it’s fun to say, as well.
Tako Su ($8): Sliced octopus with vinegar sauce. It took me a long time to muster up the courage to try octopus, but once I did I was hooked. I like this dish because it is so simple – just fresh octopus in a light vinegar sauce. It’s the perfect kick off to a sushi feast
Black Diamond Roll ($11): Crab meat, avocado, and shrimp tempura rolled and deep fried, topped with green onion, caviar, eel sauce and spicy panzu sauce. This roll is a flavor explosion. There’s a little voice inside of me that says it’s totally wrong to deep fry a sushi roll, but my taste buds beg to differ. The contrasting textures – crunchy and smooth – complement the freshness of the seafood and avocado. The salty eel sauce and tangy panzu sauce round it out nicely.
Dragon Roll ($12): Shrimp tempura, spicy sauce, and cucumber topped with eel and avocado. While simpler in preparation than the Diamond Roll, this roll earns high marks for masterful combination of crunchy, spicy, smooth and savory. Just like octopus, eel freaked me out at first, but it has come to be one of my favorite ingredients for rolls.
Fire Island Roll ($13): Spicy tuna, jalapeno, and tempura crunch topped with salmon, spicy sauce, and caviar. Don’t let the name scare you. Yes, it is spicy, but not too spicy, and the heat keeps you going back for more. My mouth is watering just thinking about this roll. I love the texture of the tuna paired with the crunchy tempura, and the salty finish offered by the caviar.
Sakura offers rotating daily sushi roll specials as well, and you can’t go wrong with anything they put up the on board. Steer clear of anything with cream cheese in it, though; that’s just wrong. It also has a nice saké menu, offering both hot and cold versions, and a full entrée menu that includes bento boxes and other traditional Japanese dishes.
5828 W. Jefferson Blvd
11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-9:30 p.m.
11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-10 p.m. Sat.;
4:30-9 p.m. Sun
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June 20 • The Clyde