Sakada Japanese Steak House Manager Dana Zhu lives at roughly the same latitude she grew up on in Fu Jian, China, only now it is halfway across the world in St. Augustine. Zhu, whose family owns Sakada, says between the good fishing and the subtropical weather, St. Augustine suits her family.
In between Fu Jian and St. Augustine, Zhu made a two-year stop in New York City’s China Town where she got her feet wet working in a family restaurant.
Sakada Japanese Steak House features Chinese, Thai and Japanese food.
Tucked nicely into the floor plan is a hibachi surrounded on three sides by 25 seats where everything is cooked fresh before your eyes.
Inside, Sakada feels snug. As soon as you walk in, bamboo sets the Asian tone and there is a comfortable feeling with both large and small tables that nicely anchor the space.
Beer, wine and specialty sake cocktails are served, and if you have an event, Sakada will happily send along a sushi chef.
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
We want to make the customer feel happy and comfortable. It’s a little bit American and a little bit Asian. Before we purchased the building there was no one here for years. We put a lot of money into redecorating.
What is your food philosophy?
We give the customer quality. We always order the best food. We want to offer the best quality food in a variety of Asian dishes and have you say it was the best you have ever tasted.
What types of cuisine do you specialize in?
Japanese, Thai and Chinese. For instance, we have sushi and sashimi from Japan, red and green curry from Thailand and classic Chinese dishes like wanton soup or General Tso’s Chicken with chunks of fried chicken cooked in Tso’s sauce. And for drinks, we have specialty sake cocktails like the ginger crush with sake, mixed with ginger ale and muddled ginger served over ice.
What is you signature dish?
People love our chef’s specials and our chef’s special sushi rolls. Our pad Thai is served with your choice of chicken or shrimp with rice noodles, ground peanuts, bean sprouts, egg and green onion. If you prefer sushi, have our sakura roll with shrimp tempura, asparagus, cream cheese topped with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and crab meat.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
I’d start with my favorite, a sake cocktail. They are all delicious ways to try sake. For an appetizer, I’d say try the tuna tataki, and for dinner, you have lots of choices from China, Japan and Thailand. I’d recommend Thai red or green curry, and we can make it as hot as you want. For a traditional Asian dessert try the green tea or red bean ice cream.