My cousin shot a short film “Takeaway” which was being shown alongside “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” at the Glasgow Film Theatre. After salivating and having grumbling stomachs while watching a film about perfectly-formed sushi (at about £20 per piece!), the group of us had no choice but to head for (comparatively affordable) Japanese food afterwards!
We went to Sapporo Teppanyaki under my auntie’s recommendation. I had never been before, having been told by a few people that the food there is average and that it’s more about the atmosphere and theatrical entertainment of watching the teppanyaki chefs throwing food and cooking implements into the air. However, my auntie said that the sushi there was excellent so we gave it a try.
As we didn’t plan to have anything from the teppanyaki menu, we were sat at the bar area which I wouldn’t normally like the sound of, but it was perfectly pleasant and comfortable. From comparing the menus on the website, it appears that the bar menu is far less extensive than the a la carte menu but I am almost certain that the bar menus we were given had everything that the a la carte menus offers except the teppanyaki options at the front.
Between the five of us, we ordered a variety of sushi and hot appetisers to share.
With there being so many sushi-lovers dining with me, I think I was lucky to have managed to snatch a piece of mackerel nigiri and few bits of salmon and seabass sashimi before it was all gone! Everything I tasted was fantastic though, especially the mackerel nigiri - perfectly cooked and seasoned rice topped with a delicious piece of fish. I think raw mackerel might be the most “fishy-tasting” compared to salmon, tuna and seabass, but I happen to love that flavour which is different to how fish tastes when it’s not that fresh… I can’t describe it! Just try it for yourself!
I think I prefer the soft shell crab sushi at Nanakusa but that might have something to do with the fact that I normally eat all four pieces there, and at Sapporo, I only got to eat one. This sounds like I’m saying that quantity rules over quality but I don’t mean that at all! What I’m trying to say is that different parts of the crab taste differently so the piece I got at Sapporo might not have been the most flavourful part. Nothing to do with greed at all. Also, the sauce was quite spicy and perhaps overpowered all the other flavours.
Beautifully fresh fish and cut to just the right thickness. As much as I love sashimi, I can’t really say much more about raw fish… At £13.25, it is perhaps a bit on the pricey side especially since Nanakusa’s equivalent 9-piece set (but with salmon, tuna and mackerel) is a few pounds cheaper. However, I think the quality and freshness of the fish at Sapporo surpass the standards at Nanakusa so if you can afford to splurge a little, definitely go to Sapporo for sashimi.
I think I only got to taste the sweet potato which was very good. I can’t decide if the tempura batter is better here or at Nanakusa. Another try at Sapporo is definitely required (oh, what a shame…) to test consistency but for now, I would say that in terms of quality, they are on par but you get slightly more variety of vegetables and a larger portion at Sapporo (at almost twice the cost).
I tasted the squid and sea bass, and was very happy with both. The squid was cooked to perfection and not rubbery at all, and the sea bass was still nice and moist. I do like that, compared with Nanakusa which only does vegetable and king prawn tempura, you get more of a selection of seafood tempura at Sapporo.
This was very nice and again, I am undecided as to whether I prefer this at Sapporo or Nanakusa as they’re both delicious. With Nanakusa, since all you get is the aubergine, you have the option of just having this as a side dish, whereas at Sapporo, you get served fried rice (delicious) and potatoes as well so it really is a filling main dish.
These were by far the best gyoza I have ever had at a UK restaurant! I have always been satisfied with Nanakusa’s deep-fried version and the steamed ones and deep-fried duck ones at Wagamama (although it has been about a year since I have been there) but I was blown away by Sapporo’s chicken gyoza, to the point that I was craving these babies for days afterwards! They were plump with a delicious, moist filling and the skin (or wrapper if you think that “skin” is a bit weird) was just the right thickness with amazing texture and bite having been both pan-fried and steamed (just the way it’s meant to be done, as far as my non-existent Japanese expertise can tell you!). To me, even the dumplings at Chop Chop in Edinburgh (finalists for best Chinese restaurant on Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word”) are inferior in comparison, but I acknowledge that one is Japanese and the other is Chinese. The Hubby reckons that Chop Chop is better.
Together with three bottles of Asahi and two pots of green tea, the bill came to £84.30 (after deducting the 20% discount (off food only) we got from booking through 5pm.co.uk) plus an included service charge of £10.15 (10% of the original total of £101.45), bringing the total to £94.45. I think that considering we didn’t have any desserts (and that although what we ordered was sufficient, we could have easily fitted in another dish), the meal may be creeping towards the pricey side for some people but with the 20% discount, it was a steal. Bit cheeky to automatically add the 10% service charge though. We would have left 10% tip anyway but I never like it when restaurants just expect it. The service was fine, nothing special.
It would be obvious to say that I really enjoyed my meal at Sapporo, and I’m gutted that I didn’t try it sooner! Suffice to say that I’ll definitely be back (and hopefully soon!) and perhaps I might even give the teppanyaki a try. Sapporo has hands-down knocked Nanakusa off the top spot of my favourite sushi restaurants in Glasgow. I really do hope that it wasn’t just a one-off and that next time will be just as good.