Sakai Japanese & Korean Cuisine

4.5/5
Location
Information
Reviews
Details

Cuisine type

  • Asian,
  • Japanese,

Dishes

  • Sushi,

Atmosphere

  • Casual,

Products and Services

  • Chicken Teriyaki,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
Location
4155 Fairview St, Burlington, ON L7L 2A4
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
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Rates:

  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Ratings & Reviews - Sakai Japanese & Korean Cuisine

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Restaurantica12
By

wonderful place

Faced with an 8 page menu, exhaustive in its range of enticing descriptions of Japanese and Korean food, I opted to sample the former side by having soup, salad and appetizers (3 as it turned out). I love miso soup and have had incarnations of it in many places in Canada and abroad but this broth was simply fabulous in the depth and complexity of what is often a flat, watery introduction to a meal. The poky salad (fresh tuna, julienned seaweed, etc.) was vibrant, flavourful and spicy as advertised. I started my appetizer foray with mandu yaki (small homemade dumplings with a combo of 8 different ingredients) and tako yaki (fried minced octopus balls with a unagi and katsu sauce on the side). Can you say FABULOUS?. Having washed it all down with warm sake, I rested for a while and then tackled a tempura dish: soft shelled crab (4 pieces) with a ponzu sauce. Cheer again. Service was attentive and friendly and relaxed especially when the young lady and John, the son of the owner realized that I wasn't in a hurry. (I was honoured with a tempura zucchini sample from the owner's garden (in the back he said when I mentioned that he had tomatoes growing in the front). This is simply wonderful food, presented with smiles and pride by people who love doing what they do. I can't wait to return and try some deeply Korean dishes of which there is an abundance on that wide-ranging menu.

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Restaurantica12
By

Not so my favourite.

I loved inside of sakai it was fansy and all expensive looking. I ate dolsot bibimbap, dynamite, tempura appetizer. The food was great i liked it. But my shrimp tumpura was kind of cold and big but inside of it, the shrimp was so small it was all tempura bits over the shrimp....... The dolsot, i don't know why one side of it was so salty and the waitess looked mad and they scared me... I hear so many good thing about here and i was do excited visiting there and i kind of dissapointed. I liked here but not my favorite !

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Restaurantica12
By

Great place

My Dad took me to this place when I was younger and that was the day I found out what good food was. This place gives you realy good service with realy good food and alot of things to try some things I would say you owe it to yourself to try once in your life. For starters I would recommend Miso soup if it's a cold day that stuff will warm you right up, the house salad has a tangy sauce I'm not sure whats in it but it's realy good. and Mandu yaki realy good beef dumplings with a great sauce My recommendations for entrees would be the Bokum if you like spicy stuff or the chicken karashi if you want something a little sweeter and the sukiyaki if you are feeling adventurous make sure to ask for instructions on how to go about cooking/eating it. unfortanitly I have not been to this place enough to try all the items. Make sure to try something new once in a while

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Restaurantica12
By

My FAV Sushi restaurant

Introduced to the place on a cold winter day, introduced to Dolsot Bibimbap, AMAZING. Still my go to dish on a winter day. Also was my first experience with Sushi, I've been addicted ever since. Sadly though, I compare ever other sushi place to Sakai, nothing compares!!! Fish selection, freshness, preparation, service it is ALL GREAT. I can't say i like the little rooms but not a big deal. My favorite sushi and Korean restaurant to date, just wish it was a little closer to my home :)

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Restaurantica12
By

Outstanding. i must admit i like sushi, but this restaurant has the best Spicy tuna Handrolls I have ever tasted. The service is terrific and you must ask for the "Peter Rolls" Fresh, delightful and the best in Burlington.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I and my husband love Sushi so much, so we decided to try this restaurant for the first time. It was a very busy night and I have to say that we waited for a long time to be served our Sushi boat. I was a bit impatient, but the waitress who served us was just wonderful. She was kind, courteous, funny and professional. We really enjoyed having conversation with Reiko. Sushi was amazing, it is very fresh and we thought it was worth for wait. We will definitely come back again!!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

This restaurant is one of my favorites. We often...

This restaurant is one of my favorites. We often go there from work for lunch, and typically have one of the specials, maki sushi, sushi combo, or dol shot bee bim bap, all of which are great values for lunch, in my opinion. I also often drop by for lunch on a Saturday (now open on Sunday, too, but closed on Monday - a good trade-off in my opinion) or after going to the gym after work, and sit at the sushi bar. The wait staff and sushi chefs are friendly and have gotten to know me. When I go by myself for dinner they often give me a bit of something new to try, which is good just to find out what other sort of stuff they have that I might like, although I don't think I've ever had anything there I didn't like. What can I say about the food that hasn't already been said. The sashimi, maki, and nigiri sushi are all excellent - very fresh, expertly prepared and nicely presented. Eating a la carte sushi can quickly add up, though. I love the spicy tuna maki and hand rolls, among others - actually, the spicy hotatagai may be even better. All the maki I have tried are good, actually. The premium maki are very tasty, although they do tend to be a little heavy. They prepare their own kimchi and other Korean-style vegetables, most of which I enjoy greatly. I almost always get an order of kimchi with my meal. Speaking of Korean dishes, these are really good for those who like their food cooked. The beef bool go ghee (bulgogi?) and the dol shot bee bim bap (beef, marinated veggies and an egg served in a very hot stone bowl with a bowl of rice and sauce to add to taste) are two of my favorites for hot food there. Downsides? Well, on occasion, even when not terribly busy, it sometimes seems to take a long time for someone to notice that I'm done my meal and ready for my bill - but generally the service is quite good. I find the little rooms off to the side, while quite attractive, tend to be a little too cool, especially in the winter. Better to stick with the main seating area or booths - although if you don't mind wearing a sweater or something, and are having sushi or sashimi, the coolness might be welcome. What else? Oh, the dressing they put on the small garden salad that most dinners start with is excellent - tangy and flavorful - and their miso soup, which also comes with many meals (or the lunch specials, at least) is also really good. And on the subject of starters, the mandu yake dumplings are yummy. These guys really know how to make tempura, too - nice and light and crispy, not greasy. Really, I could go on and on about their food and the items I like, which is pretty much anything I've tried. I'll pass on the teriyaki chicken or salmon, though - not that they're not good, they just have other stuff that's better IMO. One thing about this place though: it's not cheap - but it does provide good value. Compared to what the same items would cost ordering from the menu, the lunch specials and sushi lunches are a smoking deal. Still, I have no qualms about going there for supper and leaving $40 poorer (just for myself, no alcohol) because the quality is so high. Did I mention the poky salad? It's been on the specials board for a while - I suspect it may become a permanent item on the menu. Similar to spicy tuna maki filling, it's definitely worth a try if you like that sort of thing.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

BEST RESTAURANT IN BURLINGTON!! my boyfriend and...

BEST RESTAURANT IN BURLINGTON!! my boyfriend and I along with all of my friends visit Sakai frequently! the service is always awesome, John serves us most of the time and is always polite entertaining and provides the best service in town. Last time we were there he made us balloon animals! The staff always welcomes you with a big hello and smile and the service is speedy! Starting in April they will be open on Sundays which is amazing news! I crave sakai sushi it is fresh and the rolls are big! We love sakai

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

BEST SUSHI IN BURLINGTON! I have never had...

BEST SUSHI IN BURLINGTON! I have never had anything that wasn't absolutely fresh and delicious at Sakai. My favourite item on the menu is their spicy tuna handrolls, but everything is great. Take a look at the board by the front door that lists the specials because there is always something unique and wonderful that isn't on the menu. The restaurant is spotless and the atmosphere is comfortable, nothing fancy but it's relaxing. The service is often rated low on this site, but if you are a repeat customer you will quickly find that you are treated like family. John, Reiko, and the rest of the ladies who work there make an effort to get to know their customers as do the chefs. You will always be greeted warmly when you enter the restaurant and when you leave. While it's not a restaurant that you would think of as a family friendly restaurant you definitely can take your children there and they will be warmly welcomed. Oh and take out is also a great way to experience the quality that this restaurant has to offer....they do alot of take out!

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I have been to Sakai a few times, and my first...

I have been to Sakai a few times, and my first visit was based on the reviews that I've found here so I thought I would add my own two cents. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere, there are 5 or 6 booths to the sides which get filled up more quickly than other tables, and there is a big flat screen at the sushi bar where there is some golf tournament usually on. The food is always super fresh, and excellently presented, and you can tell that there has been a lot of energy put into preparation of the foods. They offer some specials like Ankimo (steamed monkfish liver), or Poky salad, and offer some experimental things to try out on the house, once you've become a regular. I am now in the process of trying all the different things that they have on the menu... I would recommend the restaurant to anyone who likes Japanese/Korean foods.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Best Maki in Burlington

I've hit just about every Japanese restaurant in Burlington and I have to agree with the other reviewers this place makes the best maki rolls in town. It also has excellent service, good presentation and a nice atmosphere.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Benchmark for Japanese restaurants

I dine out a lot, and during the recent years I've been going Japanese more and more. From these trips I've noticed more subtle things which allows me to like many restaurants for their own special things. But as far as Japanese goes Sakai has been by far my favorite all across the categories, from the freshness of the fish, balance in the presentation, new menu items to try out, the staff remembering you and your tastes, fast prompt service (although I have been served not as promptly as I would have liked before, but they were terribly busy and it takes time to make quality!). If I am out of town for any reason and happen to be at another Japanese restaurant, Sakai always serves as a benchmark for Japanese restaurants, and it is by far the best Japanese restaurant that I've ever been to, and I've been to at least 50 of them. So if you are reading this to decide where to go or to get an idea of what Sakai is like, I would say that Sakai is the place to go to find out how good a place could be!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Excellent Food!!

Amazing food and very friendly service. We had a wonderful time.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Food is still the best Japanese/Korean in town...

Food is still the best Japanese/Korean in town. For the past few visits, we have noticed a problem with the service; the owner is no longer supervising from behind the sushi bar as he always used to do, and the servers tend to always be having their own little party in one of the booths. It's often necessary to get up and go get a server when it's time to order dessert or get the bill.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

A Treat for the Raw Inclined

The first time I went to Sakai, I was a little worried to say the least. Sushi is, as most people know, one of those meals that can go very right or very, very wrong. From the outside, the restaurant was unassuming; red brick in a strip mall shared by a Turtle Jacks and KFC. My expectations were...let's say, low. Like most Japanese restaurants, as soon as we walked in we were met with loud greetings from all the staff. The decor is typical minimalist with cherry blossoms, orchids, traditional Japanese clothing, and sliding paper walls, which contrast surprisingly well with the two flat screen TVs playing a constant stream of football, golf or hockey. We were given a nice table in one of the side rooms with said paper walls, and were almost instantly presented with green tea and water. Our server, John, was very pleasant and patient with those of us who were less than sushi-savvy. Our drinks and salads were brought to us promptly after ordering, and our main dishes quickly followed. We never wanted for anything while there; empty plates were cleared quickly and efficiently, drinks were refreshed before you even had a chance to notice they were empty. The head Sushi Chef came out to our table to make sure everything was to our satisfaction, and also to give some tips and tricks on what makes the best sushi, and how to properly serve and enjoy it. The food itself is exactly what I would hope for. The sashimi is very good, with not too much marbling in the salmon, nor is the tuna overly fatty. The Black Dragon Maki is by far one of my favourites, with the crisp eel playing well off the avocado. The Spider Maki and Dynamite Maki have become fan favourites in our house. Both the soft-shell crab and the tempura shrimp are prepared perfectly, and presented in well-practiced style. The Tempura Udon, which has become my dinner at least once a week, is fantastic. The tempura is always great, with a wide range of traditional and delicious vegetables and perfect shrimp. The Udon itself is liquid gold. Not too salty by any means, and miles away from bland. There were some in my party who were not so inclined to try food that is less than cooked, so they opted for the "heated" variety. The Chicken Teriyaki was good, but I felt it lacked punch, kick, or some other type of violent outburst. The Beef Sashimi was very good; not too thick or thin, with a slight crisp on the outside. The sauces served with all the dishes were perfect and traditional; salty for the Sashimi, sweet for the Beef and Tempura. And, when all was said and done and none of us felt we could eat another delicious bite, we were presented with small pieces of fruit for desert and a hefty, but not over-priced check. Each dollar is well spent at Sakai, whether you're eating in or taking it home. Well sized portions, excellent ingredients and traditional and well-schooled presentation make Sakai one of, if not the best Sushi this side of the Gardiner.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Best Sushi Around!

First off I would like to say that anyone who reviewed that said the servers do not speak english, that is ridiculous. The staff all know perfect english, and are wonderful to talk with if you go there often! The staff are all amazing, and if you're a regular they actually remember you, which is rare these days in busy restaurants. The sushi is the most fresh I've come across in this area, and I've been to a lot of sushi places as its my favorite food. The prices are great for what you order, if you go at lunch and get a bento box it's enough to make you feel like you're going to explode full if you eat it all. Their appetizers are awesome, expecially the manuyaki, the sauce for it is delicious! I actually got the recipe off them for it! Food is delivered fairly quick, I enjoy having everything at the table asap so I can pick and choose. The decor in the place is super, I love being seated in the little off to the side rooms, they're great if you bring a larger group. Their presentation is great when doing boats of sushi, and their rolls hold together even with unexperianced chopstick holders squishing the life out of them. I recommend this sushi restaurant to anyone who says they love sushi, and I bring all my family here atleast once a week. Great job guys! we will be customers for life!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Best Japanese in Halton, expertly prepared by...

Best Japanese in Halton, expertly prepared by well-trained, experienced, charismatic and attentive Sushi chef and owner, Mr. Kim, and his assitants. It has a surprising atmosphere, located in the middle of Burlington, yet totally isolated from the suburban landscape. Once inside its meticulously crafted interior, you feel like you could be anywhere: Oakville, Toronto, Japan. It's worth a trip out of town, and it's just off the 403/QEW.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

This was our first visit, chosen primarily on the...

This was our first visit, chosen primarily on the basis of the reviews on this site. Although we called ahead for a reservation, and were told that they could not tell us when (or even if) a table would come available, we decided to take our chances, show up, and beg for a seat. As it happens, three or four tables were clearing just as we arrived, and we were seated within 5 minutes. (note: the staff should learn to great ALL guests when they first arrive, even if they can not be seated immediately). Service was cheerful and prompt, and food was delivered quickly. In fact, maybe just a bit too quickly, as our dinners came while we were only about half way through our appetizers. Minor, quibble, but one point that I find separates a good dining experience from a great one. The food was well prepared and flavorful. The only difference for next time is that my wife, who is not a fan of sushi, will specify vegetarian only for the California rolls which, at this restaurant, are prepared with roe. The spring dinner included the aforementioned C-rolls, chicken teriaki, and assorted tempura. The summer dinner has beef teriaki, tempura, sushi and sashimi. Both come with miso soup and salad. Nobody left hungry... We will be recommending this restaurant to our friends and family, and will be returning ourselves.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I was at Burlington for a sales meeting, and was...

I was at Burlington for a sales meeting, and was craving sushi for lunch, and asked colleagues the best place for lunch. They said to try out Sakai, and I was not disappointed. They had great decor, fast and friendly service, and they had Sapporo on Tap! Next time there is a meeting, we are definitely going back for lunch, too bad I live too far for dinner.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Sakai has always been one of the better...

Sakai has always been one of the better restaurants I've been to. They always carry the freshest fish, and their staff always greets me with a warm smile. And they've recently got Sapporo on tap! Fantastic. Best place for lunch anywhere!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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