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“Food Quality is the Redeeming Feature”
Review of Sakura Restaurant

Sakura Restaurant
Ranked #135 of 429 Restaurants in Kingston
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Ontario
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Food Quality is the Redeeming Feature”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My first experience with Teppanyaki was about a hundred years ago in a great little restaurant in Ottawa - that has been my standard for years, and I am always hopeful of recreating that experience.

Sakura in Kingston certainly is an experience, but I am not sure it really measures up to my "ideal".

First and foremost though, the food is great - what I like about teppanyaki is that you can see how your food is cooked and know exactly what is (or is not) in it - like MSG or other yucky stuff.

The chef who performs at the grill is generally quite skilled at putting on the show - of course some have a little more showmanship and skill than others, and I have to say that if you have had the teppanyaki experience a few times, it would be nice to have the option of saying no show thanks, just do the cooking. Although first time diners (or those sufficiently "lubricated") may find it fun to have the chef try to flip bits of veggies from the grill into their open mouths, others who dont want to have food flung on their clothes or in their face or hair do not.

On our last trip to celebrate my daughters birthday on April 4th at about 630pm, we were told that we couldnt have steak, as they were all sold out. Really? That early? We were disappointed, and had to settle for chicken and seafood, which was wonderful anyway. But still....

The atmosphere is where the restaurant really loses points. When the fans go on over the flat top, you can kiss any thought of conversation goodbye, as you simply cannot hear over the noise. Add to that boisterous diners at each of the four food stations (seating 10 people at each) and all you can do is smile and nod.

The pace of the service is just a little too quick - like "eat your soup and get going". But the soup is good!! Salad is a little dull - garden variety with what - 1000 islands dressing? Surely there are Japanese salads that can be substituted for this weak offering. Not all of us have plebian taste buds! Give me choice!

The staff - bless their hearts. Its hard to make a comment without sounding....you know. So I wont. BUT.....they dont appear to be happy to be there, or happy to have customers. I know that sounds a little vague, but when coupled with my comment about the pace of service, it creates a feeling of being rushed through the meal and out the door.

This restaurant can be pricey - its about $20 or more for steak and shrimp combo at the flat top per person. But that includes soup and salad (see above!), a big bowl of rice, and veggies. You can also order tempura bento boxes which are a little less expensive, and of course, you can order a la carte dishes, everything from sushi to sashimi, including eel and I think octopus. If you order alcohol you are really racking up the Air Miles.

If your children are food adventurous, then I encourage you to take them, but there are no burgers and fries here. Well, maybe there is a childrens menu, but I've never seen it. Older kids are the onew who really appreciate the flip the food into your mouth bit.

Would I go again? Yes, but not for a long time - it should really be a rare treat, because you can get good steak and seafood at other great restaurants in Kingston. There are other places that have an infinitely nicer, cozier ambiance. But when you have a real showman, no one puts on a display of culinary prowess like the chefs here, and then it is a real treat - the first couple of times.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cross2bear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    24
    19
    6
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
99 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Good value for $”
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

I have now eaten there a few times. The food is consistent, large portions seems like good quality fresh products used. The only problem is that the wait staff are not very friendly kinda generic, sit here, take ur order. I'll probably go back because of the food.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tamag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A good sushi restaurant”
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

compared to other sushi restaurant in kingston, Sakura was very good the service. It was very nice to spend my daughter's birthday there. The fish was fresh and the service was excellent.

Helpful?
Thank nassersaleh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Canada
Level Contributor
90 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“All you can eat sushi”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

The visits I have made to this restaurant have always been positive. The staff has always been good and the quality of the sushi and variety are quite acceptable. The visits are usually with family and everybody has always left satisfied. The price is not unreasonable

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Ted B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
65 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Ok for all u can eat (with sashimi only on weekends)”
Reviewed February 23, 2013 via mobile

It's not the best sushi in town by far but its fast and good for an all you can eat.
If I had to pay regular prices for what I eat here it would be more than double.
Sashimi is only available on weekends on the all you can eat($25 weekend I believe).
I never have a problem with service but there are a lot if repeat student customers that never tip even a little and are rude and demanding. Maybe people experiencing bad service fit this category. If not, no offence intended.
I am nice and friendly with the numerous staff and am treated the same.
You get what you pay for. When i want the best I go somewhere else and pay more.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anthonyfattony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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