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).
The menus at Sakimura's two locations change regularly in order to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ newest culinary muses. The Simsbury location is known to intermingle traditional Japanese flavors with contemporary flourishes, with specials taking forms such as foie gras with sweet miso sauce. Both locales’ sushi chefs also invent their own creative rolls, such as a deep-fried Godzilla roll and an Out of Control roll filled with shrimp tempura and topped with seared pepper tuna.
Diners seeking a hot dinner can gather around hibachi grills and watch as chefs sear their choice of shrimp, chicken, scallops, filet mignon, or any number of other gourmet ingredients. The hibachi rooms' smokeless grills and modern yet warm decor combine to create a pleasant dining experience.
At Min Ghung Asian Bistro, bartenders shuffle back and forth in front of the sake wall, a towering display of premium sakes illumed by neon-lit shelves. The impressive selection of spirits accompanies a menu populated by Japanese and Korean entrees with meats or tofu drizzled in a variety of marinades. A separate sushi menu boasts hand-rolled creations that encase everything from apple and mango to egg custard and sea urchin.
Inside the dining room, a rotating selection of art hangs upon crimson walls. Each piece purchased sponsors Min Ghung's Art in Red Room program, which aims to increase awareness of work by local artists. Outside, strings of colorful paper lanterns decorate a patio freckled with sun sifting through nearby tree branches or flocks of cheesecloth flying overhead.
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.
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.
With practiced flips and slices, a Yume hibachi chef sears scallops and filet mignon on sizzling Hibachi grill with equal parts showmanship and culinary prowess. A billow of flames funnels steam into an overhead ventilation chamber whose polished metal reflects carved wooden ceiling borders, a labyrinth of glowing lights, and hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the windows. When the kitchen doors fly open, a friendly server erupts into the dining room, his arms lined with made-to-order udon noodles, tender teriyaki chicken, and shrimp and veggies in light tempura breading. These entrees join artfully wrapped sushi and sashimi on tables, the grain of whose wood is so prominent it could be carved from tiger's eye stone.