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Sake Sushi

201 Centre Dr

(540) 868-8571

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Thursday, May 31, 2012, I had lunch at the new Japanese Restaurant east of Stephens City called Sake Sushi & Hibachi Japanese Steak House. It's located at 201 Centre Drive, Suite 109, in the Sherando Town Centre at the intersection of Warrior Drive and Route 277, and is behind Walgreen's.

Hours are Monday-Thursday, 10:30 AM-10:00 PM; Friday & Saturday, 10:30 AM-10:30 PM; Sunday, 11:00 AM-9:00 PM. Dine in and takeout are available. The telephone is (540) 868-8571, and the Web Site is http://www.sake-sushi.com/.

The entrance in the center of the front of the building opened into a single large room channeled into three sections by waist-high dividers. The two side sections have booths along their walls and tables next to the dividers.

The center section has two food preparation areas; the one in the back is the sushi bar, and the hibachi grill is a few feet in front of it. An island structure is in front of the hibachi, but merely holds decorative items.

The tables had white tablecloths; the lighting was subdued, and the background instrumental music, which did not appear to be Oriental, was not obtrusive. The first thing I noticed was that the place settings included chopsticks along with silverware.

At all of the other Oriental restaurants in this area you either have to ask for chopsticks or the server offers them to you; I like the Sake arrangement; it takes for granted that you are there because you like the food and know how to eat it.

The multi-page menu lists Drinks, Soup and Salad, Appetizers, Tempura, Sushi and Sashimi à la carte, Chef's Combo, Dinner entrées, Asian Kitchen (Indian, Thai, and Chinese), Lunch entrées, and Maki Lunch Specials.

The majority of the dishes were Japanese, mostly of the sushi variety. Although I have eaten sushi once, I do not like it and decided to choose from the lunch entrees, which are cooked items.

I ordered shrimp, selecting soup instead of a salad, with fried rice and vegetables, along with a pot of hot tea. The food was served on a large, round heavy ceramic platter, with about half of it occupied by the rice.

The mound of vegetables was topped with six medium shrimp. Some of the vegetable pieces were a little large for handling with chopsticks, but I managed. The rice was a little bland, and I found that a bit of soy sauce was helpful.

I have mixed feelings about Oriental eateries with so-called fusion cuisines. Basically, places with menus that offer Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai may not do all of them well. I would think that a Japanese restaurant that also has Thai food would not be as good a place to order it as a Thai-only restaurant.

Sake Sushi and Hibachi is the only restaurant in the Sherando Town Centre. Based on this one visit, I would rate it several notches above merely OK, and would eat there again if I happened to be in the area for other reasons at lunch time. However, I would not make another trip all the way from home just to eat there; places that are equal or better are closer.

— Perry Crabill