We went out to lunch today at our favorite sushi restaurant, Sakura, in Providence.
Bill's birthday was earlier this week, and this was how he wanted to celebrate. We bought a couple bottles of sake and headed north early in the afternoon.
We've been to Sakura several times in the past, and every meal has been a lovely experience. The food and service have always been excellent, and this is why Sakura is our special occasion restaurant.
Best of all was when we walked in and the two sushi chefs recognized us and called – to Alex – "Lotsa sushi!" They remembered his appetite on previous occasions. We gave one of the bottles of sake to the sushi chefs, and our waitress heated the other one up and served portions of it to us throughout the meal.
After we'd ordered the first round of items, we were sent a sampler platter that included an octopus salad and a little whitefish tartare appetizer. The platter was drizzled with a wasabi dressing and a soy dressing, and the appetizers were served on a leaf (banana)? with a bit of shredded daikon radish and a bit of curly kale for garnish. There was also one of those little paper umbrellas in the kale, which Julia claimed. The waitress brought her a handful of extra umbrellas once she saw Julia's delight.
While we waited for the rest of the food to arrive, Julia was, for some reason, choosing between Bill and Alex for something. Maybe it was who she would give an extra umbrella to. I don't even remember. But she was doing the "Eeeny, meeny, miny, mo" thing, and Alex said she wasn't doing it right, and that she'd said "mo" when she was pointing one place instead of another. They debated this back and forth for a while, until finally one of them – Julia, I think – demanded to know "Where is Mo?" At least they weren't fighting about anything. Just pondering the location of the elusive Mo.
Next up we had their oyster tempura special (fabulous), their Samurai roll (shrimp tempura and avocado inside, and lobster, tobiko and little crunchy bits of tempura batter on top), more tobiko, baby octopus, and sea urchin. I think that was it for that round. Bill also had a huge bowl of an udon noodle soup with duck and onions. He shared that with anyone of us who wanted a taste. The broth was fabulous – rich, flavorful and slightly sweet.
We ordered a bit more, because we knew Alex – our Lotsa Sushi boy – was looking forward to some tuna and salmon sashimi, so we ordered that, eel sashimi, more tobiko (flying fish roe) and a tuna and avocado roll.
Julia, by the way, LOVES tobiko. I think she loves it more than I do – the little tiny crunchy flying fish roe. I glanced at her at one point during the meal and she was bent over her plate, guiding the roe into her mouth with one chopstick.
After that, the kids (of course) wanted dessert. Julia requested strawberry ice cream, and then the waitress suggested ice cream tempura – either green tea or red bean. So I requested one of each. We all tasted a bit of everything – the deep fried ice cream was the favorite – both flavors – and finally rolled out of Sakura with appetites sated.
Alex wants to go back to Sakura on his birthday. I think that's a distinct possibility.