Sapporo (Kingston) – Sweet owners but not so sweet food

I am going to offend some people with this post. Lots of my colleagues have recommended Sapporo sushi as an alternative to my usual sushi places: Sima if I am walking, Akira if I am driving. Located near Kingston Centre, the biggest question for me was: will this be worth the drive?

Sapporo joins the many other Korean-run sushi places (Take, Asha, Sima, Akira, Sushi-ya, Akira, Jina) but goes a step further and proudly displays a large Republic of Korea flag letting you know that you are in Korean territory.

This is the spicy salmon skin roll for $5.99. I like how the menu marks which of the items are cooked and which aren’t for the sushi newbie. The rice is uneven in the roll and it is not packed that well. I like my rolls to be somewhat dense and solid when manipulated. The tempura was really heavy and while there was salmon skin, there was barely any fish on it.

This is the Dinner for One (6 nigiri, 6 raw fish, 6 rolls, soup and salad) for $19.95. I found the price quite high. While the owner is very kind and lets you choose what kind of roll you want (in case you don’t want the garden variety California roll) it still is not a lot of fish. The nigiri didn’t have a good rice:fish ratio and it wasn’t cut in a really appealing way. The sashimi seemed more like slivers than nice pieces of raw fish. The fish itself was reasonable in quality.

This is the Sapporo sushi combo (12 pcs nigiri, 6 pcs roll, salad and soup) for $19.99. Again, the price is pretty steep for how much fish you get. You get to choose your roll which is nice. I still found the roll to not be well packed and heavy on the tempura. Again the nigiri isn’t cut that nicely and has a poor rice:fish ratio.

This is the Bulgogi Dinner A (marinated sliced beef served on a sizzling hot plate in (a) Korean style) for $12.99. What can I say. I am a sucker for bulgogi. When it is done well, it is amazing. As you can see, pretty heavy on the oil/marinade sitting at the bottom of the stone plate. This picture was shot just as it was served so it clearly wasn’t sizzling in the hot plate. You get a lot of meat which is nice. It is tender and is quite filling. I would describe the seasoning and spices more like Yoshinoya (fast food beef rice bowls from Japan).

This is the Tempura ice cream for $4.99. I’ve never had this before so I wanted to give it a try. Being from Calgary and enjoying the Stampede and its plethora of fried foods (including fried mac and cheese, Mars bars, Oreo etc.), I wondered how they would do this.

I don’t think that this is anything more than a cream puff that has been battered and deep fried. The cream, while smooth, wasn’t really flavoured. I felt oily after eating this. The price is kinda steep. $1.25 per piece. Yikes.

This is the green tea mochi for $4.99. The price was again steep but I love mochi. This one was quite nice with a thin doughy shell and smooth green tea ice cream below.

Unfortunately, while the owners are extremely sweet and attentive, even to brutish Kingstonites (the ones next to me were complaining that their rolls were too spicy and were quite specific in what they wanted in their combination platters), the food isn’t great at Sapporo. The sushi isn’t exciting and the bulgogi, while tasty and a good deal, is better at Jina sushi. I don’t think I will be heading back.

Sapporo Sushi, 277 Bath Road, Kingston, ON K7M2X6, (613) 531-2662. No website.

sapporo Japanese on Urbanspoon

~ by Russ on August 15, 2010.

5 Responses to “Sapporo (Kingston) – Sweet owners but not so sweet food”

  1. I’ve been to all 3 (Sapporo, Sima, Akira) and don’t like any of them. But I still end up going to Sima a lot because of friends. It’s the better of all three (that’s not saying a lot), plus you can’t really blame them because I can’t imagine fresh fish is easy to come by in Kingston. Finally, they have to cater to their clientele and – as you put it so well – a lot o them are brutish Kingstonites. Sigh.

    • Sometimes it is important to add the qualifier “…for Kingston”. For example: Aqua Terra has good food… for Kingston. There are not too many places that I honestly would come back to given the option to go elsewhere in Calgary or Toronto. The few I would pick would be… Sima (good food and fantastic service), Chien Noir, Arisu for Gamjatang.

  2. is the website

  3. You are kinder than I am. I thought it was the worst sushi restaurant I’ve ever been to. I moved to Belleville from out west as well, and although the few sushi resturants here are ok, I got rave reviews for this place from multiple people and made the drive out. The miso soup was nothing more than some not fully dissolved paste in lukewarm water, no seaweed or tofu to be seen. The mussels and noodle dish contained *1* mussel, which was rotten. The rice was mushy in the sushi rolls and almost every piece fell apart when trying to eat it. I wanted to just walk out, but I couldn’t because the owners were so damn nice. That was the only good part and makes me feel bad for saying it, but this place is AWFUL.

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