Sannie Chinese & Japanese Cuisine is all about options?its sprawling menu boasts more than 230 Asian specialties. More than 120 of those options are Chinese, ranging from traditional hot-and-sour soup to the chef's Snow White Princess entree filled with chicken, scallops, and shrimp. The Japanese portion of the menu includes more than 100 items, including unagi don (broiled eel) and sushi rolls stuffed with cream cheese, avocado, and crab. For those watching their weight, the chefs cook up health-conscious entrees that pair seasoned proteins, such as jumbo shrimp, with brown rice and a special diet sauce.
A casual sit-down or take-out Japanese spot, Koi satisfies the sushi cravings of Northern Liberties dwellers. The cheerful interior mixes orange walls, white tables, and red chairs, punctuated with a “koi crossing” sign. Salads venture beyond greens with ginger dressing and often incorporate an assortment of pickled vegetables. Sushi comes a la carte or in various sizes of samplers, and while you’ll find spicy tuna and California rolls, it’s Koi’s special creations that stand out. The Volcano roll combines eel, salmon, avocado and tobiko with broiled scallops, and is topped in a rich, spicy sauce. Every month features a special roll – some months are thematic, like February’s heart-shaped version. A selection of hot entrées like beef bulgogi and noodles complete the menu.
Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine's signature square sushi or peking-duck hand roll pairs well with selections from the sake bar, and the chefs' whimsically flavorful preparations have earned nominations for Best Sushi from CityVoter. The restaurant has also garnered a Zagat rating of 26/30 for its breadth of flavors, which diners can explore as they rest in a space rife with colorful history: the warm walnut accents and handmade leather banquettes are reminiscent of its time as a turn-of-the-century wholesale teahouse, and towering brick walls and love notes written on kites remain from the building?s origin as the house of Benjamin Franklin?s mistress. As eyes ascend toward the ceiling 40 feet overhead, they alight upon a custom-designed, three-tiered chandelier and a two-story feature wall boasting panels whose tooled leather recalls vintage wallpaper designs.
Roe Thai and Japanese Contemporary Cuisine blends the culinary traditions of its namesake cultures, serving creative sushi rolls alongside classic Thai noodles and sauces. The eatery's signature rolls include the Golden Pop roll, loaded with king crabmeat, seared salmon, and creamy masago aioli, and the Kiss of Fire, with marinated shrimp, jalapeños, and caviar. Thai favorites include pad thai, pad see ew, and coconut-milk curries.
With roots firmly planted in the tradition of the izakaya—Japanese pubs designed for unwinding and socializing with friends over a modest sake and street-food selection—Yakitori Boy focuses its culinary philosophy on interaction above all else. In this spirit, the menu brims with modestly priced tapas-style dishes meant for sharing—sushi comes in miniature four-piece rolls, tempura plates bear only a half-dozen or so of the crispy morsels, and diners order the eatery's signature creation, yakitori, by the single skewer. Of course, guests can still splurge on a full entrée, as head sushi chef Tasaka Yasuhiko calls on his 40 years of experience to craft full 12-piece helpings of specialty caviar- and tempura-topped maki, while chefs in the bustling kitchen whip up traditional don, or creative meat preparations served over a bowl of rice. A floor above the dining room's geometric lines and romantic lighting, a karaoke lounge urges diners to keep the celebration rolling with a public stage and eight private rooms ideal for parties of up to 20 or solo performances of "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" on repeat.
Philadelphia calls Madame Saito the Queen of Sushi, and it's easy to see why. Armed with formal culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and experience from apprenticeships under premier Tokyo sushi chefs, she has committed the last 26 years to spreading her love for Japanese culture and contemporary fusion cuisine. Although she leaves time in her schedule to manage Tokio Sushi Bar—her sushi restaurant with French culinary influences—, The HeadHouse Cafe, and to conduct an annual sushi-making competition, Madame Saito counts education as one of her highest priorities. She regularly commits her quadrilingual tongue to demystifying the art of sushi during classes for aspiring chefs and casual students alike, teaching them how to hand roll maki and slice fish into perfectly uniform dodecahedrons.