For lunch earlier today, my mum in law wanted to treat Ro’s cousin Mandy to Japanese food at Sakuraya Fish Mart and asked me to come along. Ever since I turned vegan, I’ve not stepped or even considered going into a Japanese restaurant as most items are mainly raw fishes or cooked seafood with fish sauce. So it was quite a challenge to see if there was anything suitable for vegans.
I ordered a couple of small dishes(like my own mini buffet) and I was so stuffed and could barely finished them all. First to arrive was Wafu salad $3. It was light, crunchy and refreshing with lettuce, carrots, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes tossed with japanese dressing. I googled and found out that most japanese dressing are made of minced onion, peanut oil, rice vinegar, water, ginger, celery, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
Next to arrive was cold tofu salad $3 drizzled with cold sesame dressing. What an ingenous idea to combine something so creamy with cold tofu as it tasted like a firm pudding. I also googled for a good sesame recipe so I can create this super easy protein packed dish to whip up anytime at home.
- 3 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp. Japanese mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (reduce the amount if you prefer less sour)
- 1½ Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. mirin
- ½ tsp. sesame oil
- A pinch of salt
I shared two inari sushi $4 with my mum in law and we both thought it was pretty good but too filling. The skin was soft, spongy and slightly sweet. It was basically sushi rice wrapped inside a seasoned deep-fried tofu pockets called “Inari Age” (pronounce it like E-nari-Ah-geh). Instead of rice, it can be substituted with corn, seaweed, cucumbers, tomatoes or mushrooms for casual dinners or as finger food at parties. Sadly I think most japanese restaurants produce inari pockets which contains bonito (fish) as seasoning, it will be great if any one of you know where to find vegetarian ready made ones?
Last to arrive was Kabocha Korokke (2 pieces of pumpkin coquette $5) served with barbecue sauce, they also have potato or curry flavour. The portion was huge and packed with pumpkin/squash puree coated with panko crumbs. It was very rich and starchy in taste. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin was great but was too fried and my throat felt dry after finishing one.
Although most of the dishes I ate were made of plant based ingredients, I believe traces of dairy, eggs and maybe some fish sauces were used. So this really isn’t the best place for any vegans to visit other than those options I’ve eaten. Another option could be cold zaru soba or hot udon soup. At the end of the day it’s the company that matters so being flexible and eating where everyone is comfortable is more important to me than insisting on eating at any particular vegetarian establishment.
154 West Coast Road #B1-50/51/52 West Coast Plaza
Opening hours: 11am-10pm