Believe it or not, there was a time I didn’t like the taste of sushi. Ah! Wild I know… My dear readers wouldn’t believe it even if I showed them black and white footage from back when I used to say things like “I just don’t get the hype” or “it literally tastes like nothing” about the renowned Japanese dish. Words I could never utter now that I give into my sushi cravings almost every week. Hence, it will come as no surprise that I found an all-you-can-eat restaurant in Manchester that I’m certain I’ll become a regular at. Now, let me tell you about my visit to Sakura.
I first heard about Sakura a couple of months ago whilst talking to a friend. I was probably once again going on and on about feeding my sushi addiction with a late order the night before when they asked me if I had been to the restaurant with a fun and innovative ordering system. So, when my sister suggested we try the buffet, very little convincing was necessary.
We pre-booked a table for a spring Thursday evening and arrived at 5:30 pm just in time for our booking.
We were greeted by two gentlemen at the counter and one of them led us to a table by the corner window, facing the main road. It was neither lunchtime nor dinner so there were more empty tables than people filling the space. I’d have loved to see what the room looked like at a busier time, but we had a screening at the cinema to get to, hence the odd time choice.
From the outside Sakura doesn’t look like much, however, its interior decoration, although simple was much more impressive. The restaurant is extremely well-lit and spacious and instantly gives off a warm and inviting vibe. The wooden tiled floors match well with the wooden tables and there are just enough greens around the corners of the room to give a cosy vibe.
As we admitted to being first-timers, we were given a quick rundown of how Sakura runs. Each table is given a tablet you can use to order food to your table. To avoid food waste, each person is allowed to order a total of 5 items off the menu and then you can carry on ordering more as many times as you may wish. There are certain items like sashimi that do not fall within the advertised price, meaning for each item in that category you’ll be charged an additional price listed on tablet. The items on the menu that have a price listed are the ones you pay extra for, as well as drinks.
The most fascinating thing about Sakura, and undeniably its unique selling point is how the dishes get served. It’s a modern take on serving I hadn’t quite experienced in this way before. I won’t lie I got a little giddy when I saw the black and white robot roll up to our table with instructions to grab our meals off the tray.
After picking up the food, you select a button that indicates you’re finished, and it makes its way to other tables or back to the kitchen. Beware, the robot gets a little sassy when you’re standing in its way too!
Except for when they came to clear the table or hand over a drink, we didn’t interact much with the staff members. Of course, that’s exactly how the service is designed, it allows for full immersion in conversations among tables, so I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing in any way.
Generally, everything we ate, we enjoyed, and we cleared all the plates too. There is also an extra charge for unreasonable food waste, so we made sure to order only what we were certain we’d finish.
Whilst I was most excited about the sushi, I fell in love with the Salt and Pepper Prawn with Butter. It was simply the best-tasting dish that made it to our table, and we ordered it a few more times. Oh, don’t let me forget the array of well-selected desserts that were laid out beautifully to choose from!
Compared to other buffets, Sakura is most certainly one of the most expensive I’ve ever been to. Not only does the pricing start at over £28 per person, but some items are also priced separately, and drinks are not included.
Am I Going Back to Sakura?
I don’t see why not! While I won’t say it was the best sushi I’ve ever had, Sakura still presents a great range of appetizing meals to try. I’m sure I’ll be crawling back in there shamelessly sometime soon. Frankly, I’d easily recommend you do the same!
Want to visit the restaurant?
Click here to visit Sakura or book a table!
Your restless romantic roamer