Established way back in 1987, Sapporo Japanese Restaurant, in Crow's Nest, certainly has the history. Walking in, one feels a sort of slipping back into another age. A rugby age to be more precise.
The walls were completely covered in rugby jerseys. Along with the carpeted floors and TV screen, I wondered if I were in a pub or a sushi bar. Yes, I spotted the sushi counter but still...
The Wallabies were winning in the halycon days of Sapporo's opening years, so I imagine that life was pretty good for the owners of Sapporo. I wondered what the sushi would be like.
Settling ourselves at a table, my wife chose the Value Lunch Box ($14.80) while yours truly went the gluttonous route and ordered the Deluxe Wattle ($43).
Now, this Deluxe Wattle promised me 10 pieces of sushi plus 6 rolls. Scampi was included in this and when the staff brought out the plate, I must say it looked impressive.
Unfortunately, we chose to sit at a rather small table so the sushi plate, which was almost spear-like in its length, didn't really fit on the table. Given the table size, perhaps a different plate could have been used? Anyway, we managed.
Apparently in the old days, one started a sushi meal with tuna but these days, the gentler tastes of the white-fleshed fish tend to go first. I followed this modern tradition and started with the snapper, halibut and kingfish. The toppings were textured enough without being too memorable. Moving onto the more strongly flavoured pieces, the tuna, salmon, grilled salmon, scallop and scampi, I found myself searching for something to be awed by. I didn't really find it though I did appreciate the little bit of succulence that the seared scallop and the scampi offered.
I finished off with the egg and was wondering where the tenth sushi was before spying the salmon roe hidden behind the leafy decorative piece. Trying it, well, wow, I liked it. The scent of the ocean was not overpowering at all, suggestive, as it was, only after several bites. I quite enjoyed this and its fragrant release is something I suspect would be quite the showpiece when ordered ala carte.
Finally, I went through the remaining 6 salmon & avocado rolls. Avocado doesn't excite me at all and while not untasty, I just don't feel it has anything to do with sushi. But I appreciate that it has its fans.
Sapporo Japanese Restaurant also has its fans. It has some history too but for the price, I would have preferred a bit more bang for my buck.
Like the Wallabies, I think that Sapporo may be due for a much needed win.
Watch me return when it does.