The Hippo


May 24, 2020








Dynamite Salmon (with crabmeat mixed with cucumber, tempura, salmon and tobiko). Courtesy photo.

Sakura Asian Bistro

Where: 166 D.W. Highway, Nashua
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
Visit: or, or call 589-9815

Asian infusions
Sakura Asian Bistro opens in Nashua

By Matt Ingersoll

 A new Asian restaurant nearly a year in the making that recently opened on Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua is fast becoming a hot spot for specialty Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes.

Sakura Asian Bistro opened on Dec. 13 in the former space of Tokyo Steakhouse and later of Tomo Hibachi, restaurants both beloved for their hibachi grills and their sushi menus. Everything from the grills, the lighting and the bar counters to the booth seats, chairs and tables has been completely remodeled. Between the restaurant and bar area, Sakura Asian Bistro seats around 140 people, according to co-owner Jay Zheng.
Zheng, who owns the restaurant with his cousin Michelle Kim and whose family also runs an Asian bistro in Attleboro, Mass., said they wanted it to be a place where you can choose from several dishes of multiple Asian origins.
“We have [hibachi grills] and a sushi bar … but we also have a little bit of Chinese food and a little bit of Thai food as well,” he said.
Among the menu items Zheng said was not previously available in the other restaurants that preceded Sakura is the Thai red or green curry — depending on the peppers added in — that can be ordered with your choice of shrimp, chicken, beef, tofu or vegetables. It’s also prepared with potatoes, sugar peas, basil, broccoli and mushrooms. The curry sauce can be ordered with roti canai as an appetizer as well, an Indian-influenced flatbread popular in many regions of Indonesia.
Other appetizers include an edamame salad with steamed soy beans, Peking raviolis served with Chinese pork dumplings, deep fried oysters, fried calamari and tempura shrimp with deep fried vegetables. There is an extensive menu of soups and salads as well.
The sushi bar has appetizers of its own, like the Sakura Pizza, which is topped with tuna, salmon, seaweed salad, crab sticks, cucumbers and spicy mayonnaise, and the Dynamite Salmon, served with a mix of crab meat and cucumber and topped with salmon and tobiko (flying fish eggs). Both cooked and uncooked items are available a la carte from the sushi bar, and there is also an menu of entrees, each served with miso soup. You can order combinations as entrees like the salmon combo (salmon sushi, salmon maki and spicy salmon), tuna combo (tuna sushi, tuna maki and spicy tuna), and tri-color sushi (served with three pieces of tuna, three pieces of salmon and three pieces of yellowtail and rainbow maki).
Maki — or sushi rolls — also come either cooked or uncooked. Cooked maki dishes include avocado, cucumber, peanut avocado, crispy eel, caterpillar (made with eel, cucumber and tobiko and topped with avocado and eel sauce) and volcano (with eel, avocado and cucumbers, topped with with a spicy scallop and crab meat mix, tempura flakes and spicy mayonnaise).
Many of Sakura Asian Bistro’s signature sushi rolls have their own names that are as unique as their flavor combinations, according to Zheng.
“We wanted customers to look at it [on the menu] and go, ‘Oh that’s an interesting name, I want to see what that looks like,’” he said.
Examples include “Snow White” (served with spicy tuna, crab meat and avocado inside), “Christmas” (served with shrimp tempura and cucumber inside, and topped with tuna, avocado and eel sauce), and “OMG” (served with shrimp tempura and cheese inside, and topped with salmon, crab meat, tobiko, scallions, spicy mayonnaise and eel sauce), among others.
If you prefer to eat from the hibachi grill, there is a wide variety of entree options there as well, in addition to several chef specialties. The entrees include chicken, calamari, sirloin steak, salmon, shrimp, swordfish, sea bass, filet mignon, scallop or lobster tails. All entrees come with onion mushroom soup, green salad, vegetables, fried rice and appetizer shrimp. But if you want to switch it up, you can order pineapple shrimp, mango chicken or black pepper steak as specialty entrees too.
For Chinese entrees, there are several beef, chicken, seafood and vegetarian options that can be served with either tofu or various mixed vegetables.
Finally, a small menu of special entrees is available as well, like the Mongolian beef (flank steak slices stir-fried with mushrooms, scallions and onions), the spicy Thai beef, chicken or basil shrimp, and the pan roasted sea bass (served with spicy tuna and spicy crab and topped with teriyaki sauce).
At the bar, you can choose from more than a dozen craft cocktails, martinis and margaritas. There is also a small dessert menu of just a few items, but Zheng said they will likely add more to it in the near future. There are a few flavors of fried cheesecake and fried ice cream, as well as mochi ice cream, which you can choose as either strawberry, green tea, vanilla or mango.
“Mochi ice cream … is a Japanese ice cream that’s got a rice skin on the outside and an ice cream filling on the inside, so it tastes very smooth, kind of like eating a rice cake,” Zheng said.
The restaurant also offers take-out and online ordering. Zheng said they may consider incorporating live entertainment acts in the future. 

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