2005-10-19 / Restaurant of the Week

Gazette Restaurant of the Week

Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar 39-11 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside
by Teresa Barile

Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar
39-11 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside • 718.361.8232

You will love the serenity of Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar; a new venue opened last June on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. Wood plank banquettes backed by bamboo line the dining room under a wood lattice ceiling holding lovely, green ivy plants. Delicate rice paper lanterns provide gentle lighting. All combine to create a very traditional setting for the wonderful Japanese cuisine. The food is excellent and the prices are reasonable. Feel free to bring your own bottle to enjoy along with your meal.

Japanese cuisine incorporates only the freshest, highest quality ingredients with eye-dazzling presentation, creating a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. All dishes are prepared on the spot by the expert chef, who prepares ocean-fresh sushi and rolls as well as hot noodle dishes, soups and meat entrees.

Our gracious host, Dorjee Tsepak brought us an array of appetizers to begin our culinary journey. Tuna tartare made with minced raw tuna, avocado and wasabi mayonnaise ($5.95) is an excellent starter. Gyoza, delicate, pan-fried dumplings filled with minced pork and vegetables, are served with a tangy vinegar sauce, while shumai are steamed dumplings filled with tasty shrimp ($5). Deep fried tofu topped with radishes, scallions and tempura sauce is a delicacy. Shrimp can be ordered with an aromatic garlic sauce and sweet peppers or traditional tempura style, dipped in pancko coating and fried golden brown and crisp ($4). Crispy calamari salad tossed with a light miso dressing is a popular dish. Salads include chilled tofu and fresh seafood topped with a fragrant ginger dressing. Japanese diners were feasting on delicate rice balls filled with fish or vegetables called onigiri.

If you love sushi, Yamakaze is the place to go. More than two dozen varieties of sushi, sashimi and rolls are made to order by the chef who can only be described as an artist. We feasted on the Sushi Deluxe Combination, a very impressive assortment of fresh tuna, yellow fin, salmon, eel and shrimp resting upon little mounds of sushi rice. Inside some of these rolls, resembling sculptures, were cucumbers, avocados and scallions. What’s more, all these delicacies were presented on a solid wooden board that enhanced their beauty. What an impressive way to share a meal!

The chef also prepares traditional noodle soups, which are a meal in themselves. Rich with flavors from pork, seafood and vegetables, these soups are an ideal way to warm up on the cold days ahead. Our ramen soup of sliced pork, mushrooms and vegetables in a rich broth was excellent. Champon, another variety of soup, is made with shrimp, squid and pork ($9). With dozens of soups to choose among, you’ll find your favorite, whether you prefer beef, chicken, pork, seafood or vegetables, and the price is right for this satisfying meal.

Classic Japanese cooked entrees such as teriyaki and tempura are also available and beautifully executed. Choose among beef, chicken or shrimp teriyaki. Dinners come with miso soup and rice and are priced from $7 to $10. The same can be said for the tempura dishes, where the ingredients are flash fried to crispy perfection. Finish the tea that accompanies every menu selection and sweeten your palate with a dish of green tea ice cream, custard or decadent tempura ice cream.

Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar also offers excellent lunch selections, including a traditional Bento Box with teriyaki or tempura, rice, soup, salad and spring roll for about $7. Lunch specials served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. cost just $5.95 and offer choices such as chicken, noodles, soups and more. Yamakaze will even deliver your lunch or dinner to your home or office. The efficient and quiet service adds to the peaceful atmosphere, whenever you visit.

Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar is open seven days a week. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served from 5 to 11 p.m. Yamakaze is conveniently located near the No. 7 train; there’s also convenient parking. Credit cards are accepted and delivery is free on minimum $10 orders. Enjoy a tranquil meal that nourishes the body and the soul at Yamakaze Japanese Sushi and Noodle Bar.

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