I’m going to take a moment to be honest: I’ve never had sushi before. I always wanted to, but not a lot of people would join me on the trip. So, when I had the chance to visit Sakamoto Japanese Grill and Sushi, I was excited.
Located right off Route 34 near Fox Bend Golf Course in Oswego, Sakamoto seems like a restaurant that easily could be found in Naperville, or a hip, upscale Chicago neighborhood. My guest and I were greeted and seated promptly, with a waitress offering drinks shortly after we sat – I had a green tea, and my guest enjoyed many glasses of pink lemonade.
Being that this was my first time enjoying sushi, we took a little longer than the average guest at Sakamoto to decide on our dishes. However, our waitress was very accommodating, taking the time to explain the selections, how they would be prepared, and how many portions would be included. When guests are ready to order, they mark down the number of each serving that they would like on a menu, which the waiter or waitress provides to the kitchen. To taste a wide variety of offerings, my guest and I ordered plenty for the both of us.
We ordered several types of Maki rolls, each of which came with either six or eight pieces. My guest and I had the Boston Maki rolls, made of fresh yellow-fin tuna and avocado with a sprinkle of roe (fish eggs) over each piece. The Negi-hamachi was made of yellowtail and scallions; the Hoso Maki was a more simple roll, made of fresh salmon, rice, and seaweed. We also enjoyed Ika (squid) nigiri, tossed in roe, and Wasabi Fish Roe nigiri.
This was a whole bounty of tastes for me, and I was universally pleased – even though I accidentally decided to eat a serving of Wasabi Fish Roe in one bite. Each serving of maki or nigiri was freshly prepared, fresh-tasting and lightly flavorful. The avocado in the Boston roll provided a smooth texture to the meal, counteracting the crunchy roe and coating of rice. On the same note, the roe that coated the Ika provided a similarly interesting texture to the smooth and slippery squid servings. My guest and I were in agreement, though, that our favorite offerings were the Negi-hamachi and Hoso Maki. The scallions provided a nice layer of flavor, and the fish in both of the rolls was fresh and delicious.
To extend our time, and to continue to try new things, my guest and I both ordered dessert; he ordered the tempura (deep-fried) vanilla ice cream, and I ordered the green tea mochi ice cream – my first time trying green tea ice cream and my first time trying mochi. We were both highly pleased with our choices. The fried layer surrounding the creamy vanilla ice cream provided an interesting texture to the dish, which my guest enjoyed. My green tea ice cream was similarly creamy, while the green tea flavor was definitely present but not overwhelming.
For those who don’t know what Mochi is, it’s a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice that is pounded down into a paste and molded into a particular shape. The round mochi surrounded my servings of ice cream, and the slightly sweet, yet sticky mochi was a unique taste that I highly enjoyed.
Ultimately, my guest and I were very pleased with our first visit to Sakamoto Japanese Grill and Sushi. The staff was attentive and helpful, there was a steady stream of guests in and out of the restaurant, and the decor was upscale. Our meal was delicious, and made me happy that my first time having sushi was at Sakamoto. I can’t wait until I can come back for more.
Finally, I’d like to mention a point of pride from my visit – I used chopsticks for the first time without dropping anything or impaling myself, so I’m calling the day a success.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.
If you go
What: Sakamoto Japanese Grill and Sushi
Where: 2984 Route 34, Oswego
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
Info: 630-554-2388, or visit www.sakamotofun.com