Monday, 9 May 2011

Sakai - Japanese & Korean restaurant

Sakai - a Japanese and Korean restaurant in Burlington (Burlington is a suburb next to Hamilton). The restaurant came as a recommendation from some regular customers of the restaurant I work in. These customers opinion I trust as when they visit we often get talking about food and wine and cooking and I can tell they know what they are on about. So off we went to Sakai to celebrate my recent job offer and to pig out. 
I thought it was a very cute Japanese restaurant. You can see the sushi chefs right there in front of the customers preparing the sushi & sashimi. On the way out of the restaurant I heard what sounded like regular customers request a table in front of the sushi chef's, something I might need to request next time!
I loved the placemat and metal chop sticks (not wood, yay)! Of course everything on the menu we wanted so we ordered what we thought was a lot and it turned out to be even more than we thought. The lady actually stopped us from ordering one dish as we had so much already, thank goodness for that. There are a few missing food photos, I got a little carried away by the food and forgot!
Starting off with a salad. The sauces in the background are for the other dishes to come. I also love the china they use, really cute. Salad was yum, delicious dressing.
The sashimi starter plate - $10, very impressed with the price (13 pieces of sashimi). Salmon, tuna, white tuna, then there was another sort of tuna (can't remember the name) and butterfish. Never had butterfish before but I loved it. The pieces of fish were also massive. Not sure the photo does it justice. Oh and the fish was all amazing and fresh and delicate!
Sushi starter - $8.00
The fish next to the salmon was the tuna type fish, it seemed to be seared and was yummy.
Another bad photo (sorry) this dish was AMAZING and really different. Poky salad - $6 (so cheap). Tuna sashimi, with fish roe, seaweed, chilli, radish. It had quite a kick to it.
Tempura prawns (or in Canada they call all prawns shrimp.... not sure why, it does not make sense to me, I always thought shrimp were those really little prawns). Anyway, this was lovely crisp tempura with delicious sauce.
This is beef sashimi (sort of like tataki) was probably the worst dish, but in saying that was still pretty good. The meat was a little tough, and the sauce just did not cut it. I was probably comparing it to the tataki at Ocha which is the best! It is also probably not fair of me to compare it with Ocha as Ocha is just the best!

Oh my goodness this was probably one of the best dishes, Ebi Shumai - $6.00, minced shrimp and scallop inside, with yummy Japanese bbq sauce.

Dol shot bee bim bap - $13, came with rice and miso soup, it was nice but I have had better dishes similar to this. What I loved was that it came with all the above extras, kim chi, chilli pickled veg, and the bean shoots. I also love the whole mix it at your table thing, you put the bowl of rice in and then you mix it all up and cook the egg. I also love the concept of the egg in the dish, it makes it so creamy and it reminds me of many of the staff meals at Ocha most often cooked by the Korean chefs. I also love kim chi and the way Koreans use chilli and I think that improved the dish for me.
There was one dish I did not take a photo of and that was soft shell crab. It was really tasty and I asked for Japanese Mayo, I mean who can resist it. Overall a really great place that I will definitely be going back to. Perhaps next time I will order less and try some different dishes, and request the table in front of the sushi chefs! I will also be asking the regular customers for some more restaurant recommendations.


  1. All I can say is YUM! I want the Ebi Shumai now! :)

  2. I think the trend here in your blog is that one day you might open your own Restaurant. Could I be right ?

  3. Yummm can you send a doggy bag over?

  4. It was all so yummy, and yes opening a restaurant is something that has crossed my mind. One day maybe, or having my own farm like Maggie Beer. I love Maggie beer.