When I used to work in North Scottsdale, Sapporo was our happy hour sanctuary. With some of the best drink and food specials in a sophisticated, lively atmosphere, why wouldn’t it be? In addition to their fantastic happy hour (which is every day from 3-7pm), Sapporo has created a new summer special that will get you exploring the other parts of their menu. And I should warn you: come hungry and pace yourself!
Executive Chef Mark McLaughlin was gracious enough to give me tour of this new Summertime Menu. It is designed as a filling, three-course escapade through different categories: Dim Sum, Izakaya, and Dessert. And all for just $35++ per person! This is the perfect excuse to perhaps try something new! *Note: if you have any food allergies or need sauces on the side, let your server know because the kitchen is very flexible and will make every effort to accommodate you.
For the Dim Sum-course, you have your choice of three appetizers:
Tasty Roll (seared albacore tataki, tempura shrimp, spicy crab mix, asparagus, avocado): showcasing Sapporo’s sushi side, this roll is bright and tangy thanks to the citrus-ginger-based soy sauce on the plate. This sauce is a favorite of mine and often used to dress mixed green salads at sushi restaurants so I loved that it accompanied this roll.
Hoisin BBQ Ribs (tender pork, hoisin BBQ glaze): this was falling-off-the-bone tender with the sweetness of the hoisin and just enough smokiness from the grill. The perfect choice for someone who prefers turf over surf.
Wonton Poké Taco (ahi tuna, wakame salad, wasabi cream): combining my two of my all-time favorite foods, tacos and poké. The ahi tuna is lightly marinated in a sweet and salty sesame oil based dressing and the wasabi cream adds a mild kick with every crunchy bite. The best part? There are THREE in an order!
If the starters have not filled you up, do not worry. Take your pick from three Izakaya entrée options:
Grilled New York Strip (blue cheese, demi-glaze, seared bok choy): cooked medium-rare, this entrée is not available on the regular menu. It combines several ingredients, like blue cheese, that I would not think would blend but with the pickled red onions and savory demi glaze, it actually ties together well.
Grilled Salmon (teriyaki glaze, coconut basmati rice, asparagus): as basic as it is, I have always been a fan of grilled salmon with vegetables. But what got my taste buds tingling was the coconut basmati rice. Chef Mark explained that they cook their rice in coconut milk and just before plating, they mix toasted sweet coconut flakes in it, giving a rich aroma to the starch. To top it off, they glaze teriyaki sauce and a buttery beurre blanc throughout the plate.
Panang Curry Shrimp (crispy rice noodles, grilled summer vegetables): not your typical saucy panang curry but still the same amount of spiciness that you would expect out of a Thai-inspired curry dish. Sapporo serves their panang on top of crispy rice noodles with offers a different yet fun texture to eating curry.
And to end on something sweet, you have your choice of dessert:
Oolong-Poached Asian Pear (vanilla ice cream, cinnamon sugar tuile): the oolong flavor is very subtle and the pears is just sweet enough to help calm your palate of all the flavor burst from the first two courses.
Banana Spring Roll (vanilla ice cream, caramel raspberry sauce): like banana-flavored churros, if you love cinnamon sugar, this is the dessert for you! A little heavier than the pear dessert but not overly decadent so you can still enjoy more than one bite. I am not a big fan of banana but this was a winner for me.
I am happy to report that I did wake up from my Sapporo food coma and cannot wait to go back for more! Make your way in soon to try their Summertime Menu as it is available for only a limited time.
Sapporo has been in the Valley for many years. In addition to their tasty pan-Asian specialties and creative sushi (see above and below), Sapporo is known for their crowd-pleasing teppanyaki dinners, making them an ideal destination for birthday, anniversaries, corporate events, or just a fun night out. For more information about their hours, location, reservations and menus, please visit their website: http://sapporoscottsdale.com
14344 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254