Armenia is known for many things including a staggeringly impressive cultural and intellectual history; the ability to survive genocide, pogroms and other cornucopia of systematic attempts at ethnic cleansing and something about Christianity…but, believe it or not, authentic Japanese cuisine is not on this list.

Enter Yuji.

IMG_8042_2

Yuji making Udon noodles from scratch.

Over a year ago, Yuji visited Armenia and he liked it. Later, he was told that there was a dearth of quality, authentic Japanese food in Yerevan and that Armenia had favorable conditions to open a restaurant. So he came to Armenia and opened a restaurant.

Sakurada, located at the hip intersection of Tumanyan and Nalbandyan, is where Yuji creates his gastronomic masterpieces. The menu includes an assortment of sushi selections as well as udon, tempura and other culinary creations along with hot or cold sake and Asahi Beer(!) And it is all darn tasty.

IMG_8043_2

IMG_8046

But besides the fact that the food itself is delectable, Yuji and his staff have cultivated a friendly and warm environment. The place is just pleasant to be in. The walls have been painted (by Yuji’s local Armenian friends) with traditional Japanese motifs and the staff are dressed in kimonos (from the Greek word…hah, jk).

IMG_8048

IMG_8050_2

IMG_8047

At the end, it is just another example of that age-old story of the Japanese chef who comes to Armenia with hopes of making a sushi restaurant successful…so, if you are in the area (and I know about half the Armenian world is in the area right now), “roll” on by and try it out.

Advertisements