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“When you don't want break the bank”
Review of Sakura Sushi & Kitchen - CLOSED

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Sakura Sushi & Kitchen
Cuisines: Japanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed June 30, 2012

We just keep coming back again and again. This really is a no frills kinda place, and we usually do eat in, but service and quality is consistent and fresh. Don't expect jumbo sized really fancy rolls like some sushi house--but then again you won't have a jumbo of a bill. It's kind of like going to moms for dinner not big display but always good.

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Thank FoodieInVermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 15 of 15 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2012

The downtown Burlington Sakura-Bana on Church Street is no more. We mourn its loss. Sadly, the sushi bar and its expert staff from downtown were not moved to this related strip mall location in suburban Williston.

What's in a restaurant? Ambiance (outside and in), staff, and food, add up to an overall experience. This place is parked in a strip mall. Once through the door, one could be in a low-end pizzeria or doughnut shop. The fixtures look to be a mish-mosh of auction leftovers. Cold fluorescent tubes provide institutional lighting. But we love hidden gems, and ignored the low-rent ambiance.

There's no sushi bar, no freshly-cut fish on view. All the action takes place in a hidden kitchen. I stuck my head through the doorway, and quickly remembered why restaurant kitchens are best not seen.

Yet we remained hopeful. Sitting at a window table, we soon realised that this is an order-at-the-cash-register operation. At the counter, the sole front-room employee was utterly disinterested. No hello. Eye contact was bored and brief. She took our order in silence. But ever optimistic, we added 15 percent to the charge slip before signing.

Our food arrived (delivered to the table!). It was delicious, but not memorable. The shrimp dumplings were overly sweet. The sushi and maki rolls were fresh. The shrimp tempura was flavourful. But the small bowl of white rice (75 cents extra) was only half full. Had Ms. Utterly Disinterested perhaps been hungry, and eaten the other half?

When the second batch of our order arrived, we asked after our green tea, and were told that it's a do-it-yourself job at the counter. We found the hot water, but no tea bags. Ms. Utterly Disinterested was hunched in a chair, focused elsewhere. I gently prodded her to reveal where the bags were hidden (at the far end, by the register). How does she keep her job? (Hint to owner: we were there at 12:49pm on Saturday the 28th of January.)

One has to get up and search at the counter for chopsticks, plastic spoons and forks. But the really low-end aspect of this do-it-yourself restaurant is their demand that customers clean the tables. You'll make multiple trips, carrying your dirty plates to a grimy bussing station. Your final memory of lunch or dinner will be a black bin of dirty dishes and stained paper napkins. We felt like idiots for having added 15 percent to the slip.

The key ingredients in any restaurant are friendly staff and good food. This place has good food, though a bit overpriced for such a run-down setting. But the staff? Why, oh why, has the owner not focused on constructing a friendly, helpful customer experience?

We live locally, and would return often, IF we enjoyed the experience.

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1  Thank intrpdvygr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2011

Food is really good at a good price, great for lunch or take-out! Sushi and Teriyaki rice bowls, among other Japaneese.

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1  Thank Gl4027b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2010

This restaurant used to be called Sakura (a relative to the one in Burlington). They changed their name recently but nothing else has. If you are looking for a restaurant with frills, you are in the wrong place. It is in a strip mall and you order at a counter and then sit at little tables. You get your own drinks out of the coolers or make your own tea.
HOWEVER, if you are looking for some great food at resonable prices, you are in the right place. My husband and children are huge sushi fans and say that the sushi A platter rivals offerings they have had in San Fransisco and Vancouver. I can only take sushi in small doses, so I order the Salmon Teryaki Bento Box. This is served with miso, rice, California rolls, seaweed salad, and greens. It is tasty and filling at a reasonable price.
The food is always fresh and served quickly. We have never been disappointed here.

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4  Thank Love2travelVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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