By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD Osaki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar may have only been open since January, but just one visit shows this new restaurant's staff knows what they're doing.
That's undoubtedly due to the experience of its owners, Stephen and Amy Cheng, who also own a similar restaurant in Middletown, Conn.
Located at 1401 Boston Road, next to Marshall's, Osaki has a peaceful and traditional Japanese decor with dark woodwork and paper wall tiles. It was the food, though, that really impressed.
It's extensive sushi menu lists dozens of creations and the Reminder Publications staff chose three to try. Amy asked us if we liked traditional raw fish creations and none of us were that adventurous. The sushi chef, though, selected three dishes that featured cooked fish or no fish at all.
We received beautiful presentations of Monkey Roll ($12.95), which is shrimp tempura with cucumber, avocado and the chef's special sauce. The Yummy Roll ($9.95) is deep fried spicy tuna and avocado with spicy sauce.
As a bonus, the chef served us his Hawaii Roll, which was sliced mango inside a roll of rice with fried banana on top and a mango sauce.
The restaurant features an all-you-can-eat sushi special Monday through Thursdays $14.99 per person for lunch and $19.99 for dinner.
Seldom have I seen sushi as strikingly gorgeous as these three offerings and they were absolutely delicious.
The other aspect of Osaki is its hibachi steakhouse. There are eight hibachi tables at Osaki and Amy advised that reservations are necessary on the weekends to avoid a long wait. Call 783-0368.
We went for lunch, which is served Monday through Saturday. The menu features sushi specials and Japanese lunch box combination with tofu, vegetable, chicken and beef teriyaki and shrimp tempura ranging in price from $6.95 to $9.95.
The hibachi beckoned, though and we selected the chicken ($8.95), filet mignon ($11.95) and scallops ($10.95). Our meals included a clear soup, salad with ginger dressing, fried rice and vegetables.
The dinner hibachi menu offers combinations of meat, poultry and fish and includes lobster and salmon. Dinner prices range from $20.95 to $24.95.
Chef Leo put on a great show and the cooking was fun and quick. The portions were so generous we passed on dessert.
Osaki is a welcomed addition to the area's restaurant scene.
The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sun-days.
For more information, visit www.osakihouse.net.
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