Steak House & Bar
Chef focuses on combining uncommon flavors, crating unique dining experience
Sapporo Japanese Bistro Sushi & Bar sits at the cusp of two distinctive in geography and culture. Located on FM2978 where Magnolia and The Woodlands meet, the restaurant offers a menu that shifts between traditional Asian and modern American expectations.
Chef Henry Zhu came to the U.S. from China about 12 years ago for school. Over the years, he has perfected his culinary expertise and trained numerous cooks in Chinese, Japanese and Mexican kitchens.
An experienced restauranteur, Zhu converted a previously-owned family pizzeria into Sapporo, which opened June 2013. The restaurant is traditional Japanese bistro that serves a long list of sushi rolls, grilled seafood and meats, and offers various cocktails, such as martinis, mojitos and many.
“If you’re a chef, you never want to lose the tradition,” he said. “The new food may be a little different looking, but you don’t want to lose the feel.”
Shrimp tempura, crab and cream cheese wrapped in eel, jalapeño and avocado. The chef sweeps a torch over the roll and then dresses it with chopped shrimp, more crab, spicy mayonnaise, eel sauce, massage and green onion.
Zhou said he wanted each layer to provide a unique experience when eaten.
“If you eat just the toppings, it’s one flavor and then the bottom (flavor alone) is different,” Zhu said. “If you eat it all together, it’s a new flavor.”
Diners looking to play it safe will enjoy the menu’s mainstream dishes, such as the Shaggy Dog, Rainbow, Caterpillar and Dragon sushi rolls. Bento boxes and donburi, which are rice bowls filled with meat and vegetables, are also available.
The chef said he wants to give back to the community that has helped build his business. To the end, the restaurant is developing a reward program and is planning special events as signs of gratitude to its customers. Zhou stressed the importance of good food and good service.
“I want people to come and feel this is (their) home kitchen,”he said.