Fresh, tasty Japanese
26 Ardmore St, Wanaka 03 443 6474
Yes and BYO wine 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm8.30pm. Saturday: 5.30pm8.30pm. Closed Sunday. Japanese food is one of my favourite cooking styles. My partner, however, isn’t such a fan. So for him to label Wanaka’s Sasanoki Japanese Kitchen ‘‘good Japanese’’ is quite a compliment. And a deserved one – the food is fresh and delicious and beautifully presented, although some of the portions are a little leaner and the prices a tad higher when compared to Japanese restaurants in larger centres. We had gyoza to start. Not very adventurous, I know, but I just can’t go past those delicious little morsels. At Sasanoki you get five house-made steamed pork dumplings with a dipping sauce for $8. My partner had the bento box for his main ($32). It was perfectly presented and included tempura battered vegetables and a couple of tempura prawns, teriyaki chicken, sushi and sashimi. It was served with rice and miso soup. Everything was really fresh and tasty, but a little small for the price. I ordered the assorted sashimi ($16) and the teriyaki chicken and avocado sushi roll (10 pieces for $12) for my main course. The sashimi included salmon, tuna, mackerel and a prawn. I couldn’t fault it – the sushi was fantastic and very generously-sized. We couldn’t resist another platter of the sushi, this time choosing the California roll – 10 pieces of sushi filled with salmon, avocado, cucumber, lettuce and mayonnaise ($14). Sasanoki has a good range of the traditional Japanese dishes on its menu including JFC (or Japanese Fried Chicken $6.50) and Sexy Squid Legs, or deep fried calamari ($6.50), I’ve eaten here several times and, from the main course menu, can also vouch for the Teriyaki Salmon ($17) and the Chicken Katsu ($14)–- the sauce, onions and egg in this dish are a great combination. These dishes used to be served with rice, but Sasonoki recently replaced the rice with a generous and interesting salad. The Japanese Curry ’n’ Rice, which is thick and not too rich or spicy, is also really good and comes with rice and salad ($18). The restaurant also has a variety of udon noodle dishes and Ramen on the menu, with the prices ranging from $12 to $14.50. Sasanoki is licensed or your can bring your own wine.
I’ve always experienced good service. The staff are very welcoming, can explain the menu options well and you don’t feel hurried, as can be the case in some Asian restaurants. Our last minute order of a second round of sushi, as the kitchen staff were cleaning up, was not a problem.
Sasonoki is a small restaurant and a bit cramped, but they’ve created a few different spaces using partition walls. If you’re wanting a more intimate dining experience and are lucky enough to nab a booth, it’s quite private.
Delicious and fresh traditional Japanese food, which has a few unique twists.
Sasanoki Japanese Kitchen Address: Phone: Licensed:
Rating: Food: 3/4, Service: 4/4, Atmosphere: 1/2