Heartlanders’ Sushi

I recall when this chain of restaurants was first opened, I refused to eat here. The food was ‘not to expectations’ by Japanese standards. But a friend would come here often and eventually I got used to the place. The price and location were the main draws then. One would very likely not find a Japanese in here. Over the years, the place decided to go a little more upmarket, in line with the trend for such restaurants. Their strategy was to bring affordable Japanese food to the masses in the heartlands and they succeeded in doing that. In time, their menu and food quality improved as well. This is one local chain (not started by a Japanese) that has withstood the test of time and gained market share through accessibility and affordability. Kudos to them indeed!

When I am craving for a good salad, I usually come here. My usual orders are the Sakae salad (which costs under $10), salmon karaage (salmon fish deep-fried) and salmon sashimi. They now have pumpkin croquette which is new to the menu and I decided to try it. It was nice and crunchy and one could taste the pumpkin on the inside. I also usually order their edamame and I’ve also tried their salmon with ramen and yuzu sauce before. This chain has come a long way, from one outlet to about 37 outlets as of time of writing. They also serve upmarket Japanese food (Hibiki) as well as halal Japanese food (Hei Sushi) and have made forays internationally. Food quality and service differs from outlet to outlet as this is a franchise.

Sakae Sushi, Heartland Mall, #01-133, 205 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530205. Tel: (+65) 63836127

Pumpkin croquette

Sakae salad. This is served with crab meat and salmon sashimi as well. The yuzu salad dressing is on the side.

Salmon karaage – Fin of salmon that is deep fried.

This is a new addition to the menu — Salmon Oyako Gunkan. There are ongoing promotions under Sakae Signatures. This picture was added on 20 April 2013.

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