SAU Buzz

Ryan's Restaurant Review

by Ryan Myers
Posted on Nov 27, 2016

Legend has it that the origin of fast food was sushi.  Today, in America and across the globe, sushi is considered to be a delicacy.  Sakura Express, located at the corner of 18th & 53rd St. in Bettendorf, has become the Quad Cities best source for fast and fresh sushi. 

Although Sakura Express introduced sushi soon after the grand opening, it has taken center stage.  This restaurant also offers inexpensive hibachi, which is feasible when you remove the flair of the typical Benihana show which includes having shrimp thrown in your mouth like a seal in a sideshow.

It’s not uncommon to find the nine sleek, modern, black tables filled to capacity at this cozy sushi nook. The restaurant is unassuming, as there is no overhead for extravagant décor.  But after tasting the food, it’s undeniable this restaurant has every reason to be full.

Sushi specials run all day with any two rolls for $7.50 or any three rolls for $9.50, which includes the option for hand rolls.  The freshness of this sushi appeals to all the senses: the tuna is vibrantly red, the salmon smells like it was just filleted, and the taste of the eel as fresh as if it were plucked right from the sea and placed on your plate.

Specialty rolls are big sellers at Sakura Express.  The Fuji Yama Roll is a salmon, avocado and cream cheese roll, tempura battered and fried, topped with a spicy mayo that offsets the tangy cream cheese.  The Dynamite Roll is a spicy crunchy tuna, avocado and crabmeat roll, also tempura battered and fried, but topped with scallions and masago roe (think orange caviar).  The Dynamite has a sweet crunch and a complex layering of flavors topped with a citrusy vinegar sauce.

Michelle Zheng is the owner of Sakura Express.  Although her family originally is from Hong Kong, they have a real knack for Japanese food.  Her brother, Jeff, has been a sushi chef for the past eight years, when they both lived in New York.  They have since brought their restaurant business to the Quad Cities.  This isn’t Michelle’s first foray into the restaurant business, but so far it is her best.  She has since bought what was Riefe’s Restaurant on Locust St., and is planning to open a brand new sushi restaurant: Fuji Sushi.

Sakura Express offers unparalleled delicacies to the Quad Cities, and the accumulation of more sushi restaurants is a welcomed addition.