Sakura Japanese

14 Rheinland Place, Colombo 03

You've heard of Sri Lankan Chinese food, but Sri Lankan Japanese? Well it exists and using the island's abundance of fresh sea food, Sakura has been serving up consistently good and affordable Japanese dishes since 1983.

Sakura is no longer at their old location. You can now find them at Kinjou on Amarasekara Mawatha.

Sakura is quite possibly the oldest Japanese restaurant in Colombo. It's not the best nor the most authentic Japanese we've had, but they're affordable and it was actually better than we expected.

The Food

Sakura has a  special place in the food scene Colombo, known to be the pioneer of Sri Lankanized Japanese cuisine. Basically, classic Japanese dishes with modifications to suit the local palate. The menu is as extensive as it can get, with pretty much any essential Japanese dish available. The prices vary quite a bit, but you won't find yourself spending more than Rs. 1500 per head and they've also got some pretty great value meals for lunch, priced between Rs. 900 - Rs. 1200.


The sushi teishoku (Rs. 1100) was the lunch deal we tried out. It comes with a assorted platter of nigiri shushi, tekka maki and avocado maki, along with a miso soup as well as a kaisen don. Overall we'd say this is well worth the money since you get plenty of bang for buck.


The assorted sushi platter comes with 3 maguro nigiri (tuna), 1 ika nigiri (squid) and 1 shiromi nigiri (white fish) along with 3 each of tekka maki and avocado maki. What we really liked here was that all of the seafood was very fresh, and the sushi had a good wasabi hit to it. However, the main problem that we came across was that the rice was quite hard in texture.


We also enjoyed the kaisen don we got in the teishoku. The usual kaisen don is a large bowl of rice with assorted seafood, but you get a much smaller version in this. It comes with tuna, squid, omelette, lettuce and shimp which makes for a great array of textures and flavours. The rice in the kaisen don was fine, and the addition of the diced pickled daikon to the rice further enhanced the taste.


The katsudon (Rs. 980) was pretty good, but definitely had that Sri Lankanized taste to it. Having tried the katsudon at Cafe Japan (which is run by a Japanese family), the difference in seasoning was quite apparent, with this one being a lot sweeter and saltier. The portion size is large and they didn't skimp on the pork. Also another thing that really caught us by surprise here was how great the caramelized onions tasted. Once again though, the rice had the same hard and lumpy texture.

Ambience and Service


From the outside Sakura looks like a pretty small restaurant, but after you step in you see that it extends quite far inside. They've got private rooms, a normal seating area in front of their pseudo sushi bar, and a pretty nice area with tatami mats. The latter of the three is probably the best seating option since it's both comfortable and authentic.


We dropped in during the lunch service, when there weren't many other customers, so our food was ready in no time at all. But we have experienced slower service in the past during more crowded times.



Thirty years down the line, Sakura is still holding strong. It's not the most authentic Japanese you can get in Colombo, but it's still a good choice for a casual Japanese dining on a budget.




They do a great lime soda and try to make it for one of the lunch deals.


14 Rheinland Place, Colombo 03


From Galle Road, it's the left turn just past Alfred Place (Durdan's Hospital). Rheinland place is on the sea side.


E-Mail Website

This place has closed down



Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1500

Dish Types


Ratings Breakdown

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