The Sakura Sushi and Teppanyaki Grill, Winchester

Posted on August 12, 2019

Ever since learning to cook a bit (I am only average at best) I have found going out to eat, increasingly tedious. Finding good food places is not easy, especially amongst countless restaurants and pubs where mediocre fayre is the norm.

I guess this is partly down to the consumer wanting to be safe with the dishes. This I assume, leaves chefs in fear of being adventurous with regards to experimentation with herbs and spices etc. This can often mean that bland replaces interesting. This can also result in spending a tidy sum eating something you could have cooked better yourself for about a tenth of the price.

As an example, who has ever had Sunday roast or chilli con carne in a pub and concluded that is better than what they can cook themselves? Unless you can’t cook at all, I’d be surprised. A chilli costs about a fiver to make four portions. Yet, in a pub, you can pay up to £15.00 for what is basically a bowl of mince.

I have got bored of bland food in exchange for open wallet surgery.

Therefore, it was refreshing to go to the Sakura Sushi and Teppanyaki Grill, a Japanese restaurant in Jewry Street, Winchester, last night. As soon as we walked downstairs and were introduced to the staff, I knew we were in for an interesting evening.

What happens is that they cook your meal on a big grill, right in front of you. They let you join in with the cooking and explain what’s in the dishes as well demonstrating their skills with the utensils. They are a good laugh as well, teasing and joking with genuine, rather than enforced wit.

The chef doing his egg trick whilst making rice

The food is sublime. It feels fresh (because it is of course) and has that canny knack of making you feel content rather than bloated and a bit sickly. The wine I sipped was decent too, although I stuck to Asahi lager which is ice cold and refreshing.

It wasn’t cheap but we had a right good laugh and enjoyed an excellent and memorable night of food and entertainment for that additional bit of money. I would highly recommend it for a small group having a birthday celebration or something of the like.

It was good fun and I know I couldn’t have cooked it.

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