Naniyori Versus Sakura.

There will always be a place in my heart for Sakura. Nowadays people might sniff and say oh this isn’t ‘real Japanese food’ but well back in 80’s it was the realest Japanese-food Colombo had. Even as other Japanese restaurants came on the scene Sakura continued to thrive by providing well-priced and perfectly reasonable renditions of classic Japanese dishes. In its day and to this day, on a good day, Sakura can serve you some of the best sub $10 Sushi you can eat anywhere. Their teka-don- a bowl of sushi rice covered in fat hunks of fresh tuna has always been an affordable revelation. The cooked food- the generous sizzling sukiyaki, tasty bowls of katsu don and Japanese curry have also served as reliably yummy stomach-lining year in, year out for decades. With its combination of decent prices and reliable food the Colpetty restaurant established itself as something of an institution. An inexpensive night of sushi and sake on the tatami mats in their quaint, frozen in the 80’s premise has long been a young Colombar-right of passage. And even if you’ve now graduated to the subtler flavours and higher prices of Ginza Hosen and Nihon Bashi when pushed most any Colombo-denizen will admit they were introduced to the food from the land of the rising sun at Rheinland place.

However as much as I’m fond of Sakura I (I’ve been a regular since 1984 ie birth) I have to admit that of late standards seem to have fallen. On recent visits the place has really felt faded. I mean its been locked it a time warp for years but now things are actively fraying and the decline isn’t confined to the decor. Some of the freshness has gone from the fish and the cooked dishes are blander than they once were. Even the incongruous irasshaimases hollered by the local serving girls aren’t as convincing as they used to be and my last bowl of chirashi sushi (a week ago) was distinctly disappointing. It left not only a hole in my stomach but a hole in my life – where was I to get palatable and inexpensive raw-fish in this city. Nihon Bashi and Ginza Hosen are excellent but not within my budget for a regular fish hit.

And so I ventured to Naniyori – Steamboat’s Japanese-wing. I’ve never found Steamboat’s staple Chinese food to be up to much. We ordered a plate of Nigiri sushi (oblong blobs of vingered rice covered by raw fish) just to see what would turn up. To my absolute surprise and delight however, within minutes, a very attractive platter of rice and fish (10pcs or so) was laid before us. Every piece of fish was gleaming and generous. Ruby red hunks of tuna, glistening slabs of squid. It really looked too good to be true, I began to suspect a paint-job of some kind. On tasting however it held up to scrutiny. Absolutely fresh, soft without being slimy with the subtly sweet tang of the sushi-rice. Very close to being the equal of much more expensive Sushi-spots in the city and definitely superior to my recent experiences at Sakura. On the strength of that performance more than a match for Sakura and honestly with the value factor competitive with much higher-end Japanese restaurants. However to realise it’s obvious potential to become a city sushi staple Steamboat/Naniyori need to do some serious work on the stark interior and elusive staff. Still it seems affordable sushi still has a home in Colombo and with the total bill at Rs 3000 (enough for three) my bank balance survived to deplete itself another day.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Steak Bar: A Grand Sunday Brunch at Kingsbury, Colombo

Written by Shamrina C Welcome to the ultimate brunch experience! Nestled in the heart of

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

Dampa Seafood: Where seafood dreams come true!

Are you ready for a culinary journey that captures the essence of the ocean? Look

Highlights Kamu

An unforgettable brunch celebration at Harbour Court, The Kingsbury.

The Ambience From the hotel entrance to our designated seat, a vibrant atmosphere resonated with

Highlights Kamu

Sizzle and Indulge: Chef Azam’s Steak Extravaganza at London Grill, Cinnamon Grand

Picture this: an invitation from the ever-charming Kamal Munasinghe, the brains behind Cinnamon Grand Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Crispy Chicken Fiesta at Popeyes Sri Lanka

The Menu Ambience Upon entering, we encountered a cozy color scheme featuring tones of red,

Kamu

Unveiling Ramada’s Festive Christmas High Tea Extravaganza!

Written by Shamrina C Mark your calendars for the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of December,

Kamu

Trending.

MLH Plant-Earth Market and Poya Vegan Buffet: A Vegan Oasis

Mount Lavinia Hotel (MLH), took a significant step towards promoting a plant-based lifestyle when it

Trending

Indulge in secluded romance and a tropical getaway

at Sun Siyam Pasikudah this Valentine’s Day With up to 50% discount on room upgrades

Highlights Trending

Slow Food at Mount Lavinia Hotel made a grand comeback with the leadership of Anura Dewapura

Mount Lavinia Hotel, hosted its first Slow Food event for the year on 2nd February

Trending

Flying Ravana Adventure Park Celebrates 5 Years of Unforgettable Adventures

Colombo, Sri Lanka - February 05, 2024 - Flying Ravana Adventure Park, the beacon of

Trending

Excel Colombo Convention Centre: The New Powerhouse for Events in the City

In a momentous announcement, Excel World proudly revealed the transformation of one of Colombo’s historic

Trending

Yamu Guide.

Steak Bar: A Grand Sunday Brunch at Kingsbury, Colombo

Written by Shamrina C Welcome to the ultimate brunch experience! Nestled in the heart of

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

By Fathima Rukaiya Are you trying to find the perfect way to show your special

Highlights Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Written by Fathima Rukaiya The season of love is upon us once more, and opinions

Highlights Yamu Guide

Romantic Dinner and High Tea date spots for Valentine’s Day  2024

Written by Shamrina C 1. Via Torino Indulge in a fine dining exclusive 3-Course meal

Highlights Yamu Guide

BYOB Bliss: 16 Places to you can Bring Your Own Bottle!

Written by Shamrina C 1. Giovannis Indulge in Italian flavors, grooving music, pet friendly, and

Highlights Yamu Guide

Unveiling Ramada’s Festive Christmas High Tea Extravaganza!

Written by Shamrina C Mark your calendars for the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of December,

Highlights Yamu Guide