Sakura 2 Church St

Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 863-1988

Last night after a long day of classes, my girlfriend and I decided to treat ourselves to an early sushi dinner before beginning a long night of studying. Both Jacqui and I maintain an allegiance to Burlington’s most esteemed and most delicious Japanese restaurant, Asiana House, though in an effort “to change things up” we decided to dine at Sakura. Additionally, Sakura offers lower prices than their neighboring competitor, and being jobless students, we are frequently drawn to relatively inexpensive offerings.

Arriving around 5:30 PM, the restaurant was virtually empty. I had never stepped foot in Sakura, in fact I did not even know that it existed until recently. My first impression of the restaurant certainly was not greatly impressive in terms of aesthetics. Especially when dinning in a Japanese restaurant, I appreciate simply, yet authentic signs that you are enjoying a foreign cuisine. Other than the sushi bar, this place did not suggest Japanese food. Going to the bathroom was yet more indicative of this rather plain establishment, which appeared to have been a recently converted restaurant from a college town bar.

Our waiter arrived promptly, and knowing what we wanted ahead of time, we ordered our meals. Being the cutesy couple which we are, we ordered two of the same meals – Miso soup, and “Sushi Pond”. The Sushi Pond meal was a simple chief’s choice 6 piece sushi nigiri with an additional tuna maki. It was a cold evening, and the miso soup did a great job of warming us up and preparing us for our sushi. Good and traditional miso soup. The sushi arrived soon after we finished our soups, and much like the restaurant, its appearance was less than visually stunning. The sushi looked fine, though again, I appreciate some sense of authenticity or adornment in my meal’s preparation, and such was not presented. The plain blue plate certainly did not prompt the same enthusiasm in me as say – a boat platter, or even just a simple decorative dish. Aesthetics aside, the sushi itself was not bad. The tuna roll was standard, light and tasty. The nigri was respectable, filling and flavorsome, though it was simply not as good as what is offered at Asiana House. It seemed fresh, though the high quality was just not there. I have certainly eaten less appealing and worse tasting sushi in my day, so Sakura is not on my bad list – I should say, not even close to being on it. Though for my next sushi endeavor – with sufficient funds, of course – I will most likely opt for a fine meal at the Asiana House.


Sakura Rating: 3-phones


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