Japan Japan, Givat Shmuel
We have been to a lot of restaurants but rarely do we find one as congenial as Japan Japan in Givat Shmuel.
This restaurant has everything: a varied menu, delicious food, excellent service, reasonable prices, a convenient location and plenty of free parking. The restaurant is located in the Amy Boutique center in Givat Shmuel.
Japan Japan restaurant chain has 16 locations in Israel. Some of the restaurants are take-away fast-food stands and some are full sit-down restaurants. All of the restaurants in the chain are kosher, with different hashgachot. The Givat Shmuel branch is a sit-down restaurant with comfortable tables and a full menu, under the hashgacha of Rabbanut Givat Shmuel and Batadz.
Owner and managers Elhay and Orel are in control of this restaurant. In addition to the hired staff, one or the other is always on duty at the restaurant. It isn't hired help taking your order. It is the owner of the restaurant.
Elhay and Orel are technology enthusiasts. The menu, in Hebrew and English, comes in paper form or you can scan the QR code on your table and get the menu on your phone. Tablets with menus are also on the way.
The menu is so attractive we wanted to order everything. We almost did.
We like to start at Asian restaurants, with the Kimchi pickled vegetable salad. The light crispy fresh vegetables whet the appetite and start the meal right. At NIS 19 it is a light start, leaving plenty of room for the sushi.
It would not be an Asian meal without the spring rolls. One order has two rolls so it is a starter that we can share without undermining our appetites for the main course. We absolutely must try the sushi, we reminded each other, so let's not get carried away.
While we were noshing our starters we glanced around the restaurant at the other tables, and saw a sea of beautifully presented and appetizing sushi platters. "Ill have what he's having" I said, dating myself among these young people.
But first let's have some of the other offerings on this full menu, said my companion who sees sushi as a dessert. The Starters are usually the most interesting dishes on the menu and my favorite part of the meal. My mouth watered at the deep-fried cauliflower in panko, and the Edamame, my favorite Asian dish. But we absolutely had to try the mushrooms in Teryaki sauce so we passed on the other starters.
I sometimes think we are writing a comparative study of mushrooms in teriyaki sauce across restaurants in Israel. Though not my first choice, I was really glad that we tried this dish, because it was not the usual. The mushrooms were coated in panko, which gave them an unexpected crunch. The big bowl of mushrooms was enough to share, leaving plenty of appetite for our sushi. Or so I thought.
We cannot leave without trying at least one main course. We can share it, so that we can still have the sushi.
There are buns and dim sum, my companion enthusiastically pointed out.
As well as a page of chicken dishes.
Too much, came the voice of reason.
Lets go with something from the Wok. After all, this restaurant calls itself sushi and wok.
And it was decided. We will share the Malaysian Wok.
Noodles, tempura fried salmon,
onions, carrots, cabbage, green beans, bean sprouts, and a lot more.
A good choice, said our waiter/restaurant owner.
Out came a huge bowl of all of the above. Absolutely delicious in a light curry sauce.
It was a lot of food, and
I must confess that I was about bursting.
What about our sushi?We can try that another day,
Not on your life. I'm not going anywhere without my sushi.
So we had it packed up to take home.
Sushi is one of those foods that people order in. But there is nothing like beautifully presented sushi, fresh from the cutting board, served at the table with wasabi and small bowls of sauces. But how much can one eat?
We took home the Saka Special Combination, a tray of 19 pieces for 109 shekels, all with different types of salmon, from salmon shashimi, salmon nigiri, salmon nigiri with seared salmon, a salmon maki roll and a samurai roll. We had this the next day, in a plastic container, fresh from the frig, with packaged sauces, and you know what? It wasn't bad!
From the menu:
Veggie spring rolls NIS 32.
Mixed mushrooms in Teriyaki starter NIS 45
The Malaysian Wok NIS 73
Sichuan Beef NIS 89
Combination Platter Sushi NIS 110.
Childrens menu NIS 55.