For over 30 years, Sakura has been a Westport favorite. It’s a go-to place for celebrations, from birthdays and graduations to family reunions. Kids never tire of the hibachi tables, while the tatami rooms in back are great for private dining.
But for many Westporters, Japanese food can still be difficult to figure out. As part of “06880”‘s continuing series on healthy eating, Dietician Heather Bauer offers tips on the best dishes to order at the Post Road landmark.
- Start with onion soup or salad (if you order salad, use ½ dressing)
- Choose shrimp or chicken as your protein, and enjoy the veggies. The oil/sauce entree is cooked in and will count as your carb, so try to skip the rice at this meal. Also, avoid the extra dipping sauces they give you on the side.
- Alternative: Order the sushi recommendations below at the hibachi table.
Appetizer (select one):
- Miso soup (if you are not salt-sensitive)
- Mixed green salad (with a half-serving of ginger dressing)
- Edamame (share)
- Seaweed salad
Entree (choose one):
- Order your favorite roll Naruto style (wrapped in cucumber instead of rice). I love tuna/avocado, yellowtail/jalapeno or salmon/avocado. You can also order 1 hand roll of your choice (optional request: use cucumber instead of rice).
- 6-piece maki roll (request to be cut into 8 pieces; this helps slow you down), with 4 pieces of sashimi.
- 6 pieces of sashimi, and a side order of oshitashi (spinach).
- Chirashi sushi (comes with 6 pieces of sashimi over steamed rice; eat one-quarter to one-half of the rice; leave the rest over. This is a great option for naturally slower eaters).
- Chicken or salmon teriyaki, with double steamed veggies (skip the rice, as the sauce counts as your carb here. This is a great option for anyone who does not like sushi).
Things to Avoid
- Tempura, spider, dynamite, spicy rolls and eel.
- Dishes described as Agemono or tempura; both are deep-fried.
- Sushi rolls made with cream cheese and too much avocado.
- Look for rolls wrapped in cucumber instead of rice (Naruto style).
- Order your maki roll (usually 6 pieces) to be cut into 8 pieces; this helps you take smaller bites. Also, ordering rolls inside out adds more rice (better with the seaweed on the outside).
- If you switch your roll from white to brown rice you add fiber, which makes it more filling. Note: brown and white rice calories are about the same.
- Edamame usually comes salted; it is soybeans, so this works best for vegetarians or slower eaters who will only have a few pieces. If you are a fast eater and not good at sharing food, don’t start the edamame until there is a quarter or half left (in case you have trouble stopping!).
- You can also always sub the rice in a hand roll for cucumber or other veggies.
- Always request lite soy sauce. Add wasabi and ice cubes to help dilute it. No refills!
- Eating with chopsticks helps slow you down.
- Be careful with sake. It has more calories than you realize. Six ounces of sake is about 240 calories (there are 150 calories in 6 ounces of wine).