The ancient art of dining meets modern ingredients and design at Feng Asian Bistro, where delicate geometric forms adorn both the walls and rice-covered plates. Cozy up in a stone-spangled alcove and dip into Feng’s lunch and dinner offerings to find yellow-tail jalapeño starters ($12), eel-cucumber sushi rolls ($6), and entrees such as miso-glazed Chilean sea bass ($16 lunch, $27 dinner). Enterprising eaters can tackle their fare in the main dining room, the lounge, or the sushi bar.
Natural wood crowns the entrance to Ichiban Japanese & Korean Restaurant, and inside the eatery’s spacious dining room, soft lights and white tablecloths set an inviting scene. In the kitchen, cooks draw on years of experience to prepare Japanese and Korean specialties. They roll fresh sushi, grill short ribs and beef bulgogi, and simmer seafood tableside in hot pots. Patrons can wash back each bite with wine, sake, and imported Asian beers.
Ginza's menu fuses classic Japanese dishes with contemporary adaptations, earning its Bloomfield location second place for Best Japanese Restaurant in the 2011 Hartford Advocate Readers' Poll. A sushi dinner arrives tableside with an assortment of nine sushi pieces around either a tuna roll or a california roll ($20), and the french dragon lights up the night with smoked eel and avocado atop nori-wrapped shrimp tempura ($15). At the Ginza's Bloomfield location, chefs man hibachi stations to cook up grilled chicken ($17), steak and scallops ($22), and lobster tail ($29) fresh, and made-to-order. Other fusion-inspired eats include sake-marinated short ribs accompanied by Holland leeks, wild mushrooms, baby carrots, and red-wine demi glaze ($18), and the miso-broiled Atlantic salmon with baby bok choy and Peruvian corn bathing in miso as well as a sweet and spicy yet vulnerable sauce ($20).
Patrons shouldn't be fooled by the sleek white and grey exterior of Sakura Garden?there's plenty of color inside. Through the doors, blossoming pink cherry trees mark a path to the dining room, where a sea-blue glass ceiling hints at the variety of oceanic fare served up at the all-you-can eat buffet. Here, wall-mounted fish provide pairing suggestions as diners dish up hot items such as steamed snow crab legs and teriyaki salmon, as well as cold options such as shrimp cocktails. Seafood also reigns supreme at the sushi bar, where chefs slice sashimi and create rolls fresh to order. After guests have filled their plates, they continue on to the softly-lit dining room, where red lights cast a glow on murals depicting misty, pastoral vistas.
A full bar offers Japanese beer and a selection of sake, and a private room is available for events and special occasions. The buffet is closed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and happy hour runs from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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Waiters are usually the bridge between diners and their food, but that's not always true at Umi Sushi + Tapas. Sure, they serve some of Chef Kohei Kishida's meticulous dishes, but so do moving conveyor belts. Color-coded according to price, the belt's plates sport both sushi and non-sushi bites, from shrimp tempura rolls to spicy tuna and salmon dumplings.
The rest of Umi's Japanese feasts emerge from the kitchen. Here, Chef Kohei draws inspiration from Japanese gastropubs to craft small plates like fried octopus fritters and edamame croquettes. He also assembles build-your-own sushi rolls, which diners can create from an extensive selection of fixings that includes crawfish salad and sweet mustard miso. Likewise, patrons can assemble their own bubble tea from flavors like lychee and honeydew, or enjoy myriad other libations, such as sake-spiked cocktails.
At Ichiro Hibachi & Sushi Bar, presentation is nearly as important as flavor. Sushi rolls leave the sushi bar tightly wrapped and garnished with colorful sauces, fresh flowers, and crunchy masago. Chefs manning the hibachi grill sear and flip meats, seafood, and veggies in an almost choreographed style, all amid a pyrotechnics display of bright orange flames.