Saika Sushi’s Bento Box and Sushi Options a 'Wonderland of Flavor'

J.M. Lesinski

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Bring traditional Japanese lunch and dinner dishes to the Depew area, Saika Sushi has been making a name for itself in the local culinary community. The sheer variety of options at Saika makes it a must-eat location for foodies.

Perhaps the most well-know, appealing, and affordable option on Saika’s menu is the bento box. The traditional Japanese lunch dish comes in a perfect lunch tray package in the perfect amount portion-wise, as well as flavor-wise.

The bento box options come with hibachi chicken, hibachi steak, or hibachi vegetable and contain the same ingredients as the regular hibachi in smaller portions, and include a daily appetizer sampling, four kani rolls, a dab of wasabi, miso soup, and sliced ginger.

One of the staple items at Saika that comes with many dishes is their Miso Soup. The broth is soy-based with a simple mix of tofu bits, scallions, and seaweed parsed throughout. Fans of ramen and those unfamiliar with miso both will enjoy the lowkey textures and smoothly earthy taste of the dish.

Salad options at Saika are also straightforward, but each brings its own unique flavor pallet to the table. The House Salad, a relatively basic blend of mixed vegetables, comes with a light orange ginger dressing that makes the ingredients shine both figuratively and literally. The sweet of the ginger outweighs the pungency of it, but still allows enough to come through to truly sample the ingredient.

The Cucumber Salad comes with marinated cucumber, crabsticks, and seaweed. The tang and crunch of the cucumber stands out from the house or seaweed salads. The Seaweed Salad comes with marinated seaweed and sesame, and in turn, the focus of flavor lands on the sesame seeds pop alongside the succulency and texture of the seaweed.

Dinner salads include the Avocado Salad, which comes with eel sauce, sesame, and of course avocado, while there is also the Kani Salad which comes with crabstick mixed with cucumber, masago, and spicy mayo.

Appetizers at Saika Sushi include Crab Rangoons, traditional edamame, and harumaki, the Japanese vegetable spring roll. Always a fan of rangoons, the quality in the ingredients can be seen at Saika, versus the girth of cream cheese common in many buffets. The harumaki are light, crispy, and truly a gem of the fried variety. “American” options are available as well, such as corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and French fries.

Fans of dumplings and tempura will also be pleased with the options at Saika. Pork gyoza and shrimp shumai dumplings are both available, plump as can be, and bursting with flavor. Shrimp and vegetable tempura are also both available, featuring a crispy, light and soft outer crust that cannot be beat.

Dinner sushi appetizers are a unique option at Saika as well. The Pepper Tuna, a seared tuna with black pepper and ponzu sauce dish, is tangy and downright delectable. The Salmon Bite features salmon wrapped with spicy crabmeat and topped with masago, while the Yellowtail Jalapeno, yellowtail sashimi topped with jalapeno and served with ponzu and jalapeno sauce, are both great options as well.

Entrée options at Saika come in three forms: Rice, Noodle, and Hibachi. Having not experienced true, flames in your face Hibachi since the start of the COVID pandemic, the mere taste of the Hibachi sauce drizzled over veggies and meat was revelatory. I cannot recommend the Hibachi or Hibachi bento boxes enough.

Hibachi comes with vegetables and choice of white or fried rice and steak, chicken or vegetable for the protein options. Shrimp is also available as an option on the dinner menu. The Hibachi sauce at Saika is sweet, with just a touch of acidity to complement the bright crispness of the vegetables. The steak hibachi is superbly tender, very much a personal favorite item on the menu.

Rice entrees come fried with beef, chicken, or vegetable options, as do the yakisoba noodle meals. Shrimp is again only a dinner menu item with the rice and noodle dishes. The rice is rich with flavor and exceptionally soft compared to most fried rice dishes. The noodle dishes are savory as can be, with umami flavor emanating from the thick sauce.

Having sushi in the name, Saika Sushi of course has a number of delectable classic and specialty rolls, as well as several sushi combos that permit choices of two, three, five, seven, and up to nine pieces in one combo. The Alaska roll features salmon, avocado, and cucumber, while the Philadelphia roll features salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber.

Saika does an exceptional California and Spicy California roll, showcasing crabmeat, avocado, and cucumber, as well as an amazing crunchy roll, with shrimp, cucumber, and crunch with eel sauce. The eel roll itself features avocado, eel, and cucumber with eel sauce, while another great fish option is the New York Roll with tuna, avocado, and cucumber.

The specialty rolls are plentiful as well. The coral roll features salmon, tilapia, and avocado topped with tobiko, while the orchard roll showcases spicy tuna and crunch, topped with tuna and served with spicy mayo and wasabi. The autumn roll contains crabstick tempura and is topped with spicy tuna and served with eel sauce and spicy mayo.

The namesake Saika roll comes with fried soft shell crab, spicy tuna, and avocado wrapped in soybean paper and served with eel sauce. The shrimp tempura showcases the crunchy shrimp tempura topped with masago and served with eel sauce, while the summer roll features shrimp tempura and cream cheese topped with crabmeat and served with both eel and spicy mayo sauces.

The dragon roll at Saika comes with crabstick and cucumber, topped with eel and avocado and served with eel sauce, while the rainbow roll comes with crabstick and cucumber, topped with salmon, tilapia, and tuna. The ocean roll features crabstick and cucumber, topped with tuna and avocado, while the volcano roll is deep fried, featuring crabstick and tilapia, served with a trio of eel sauce, spicy mayo, and sriracha.

The Las Vegas roll is deep fried with salmon and cream cheese, served with eel sauce and mayo, while the sea angel roll contains spicy shrimp and crunch, and is topped with spicy crabmeat and served with spicy mayo. The mountain roll comes with crabstick and cucumber and is topped with salmon and avocado.

One of the more unique options on the menu is the monkey roll, which comes with tempura battered and fried banana. The roll is topped with crabmeat and served with mayo and a special Chef’s sauce. While the mix of sweet and mayo may be off-putting, this roll is the definition of not knocking something until you try it, the flavor is downright mouth-watering.

The dynamite roll features yellowtail and scallion, topped with spicy tuna and crunch, and served with chef’s special sauce, while the delicious Hawaii roll comes with shrimp tempura and mango, topped with spicy tuna and crunch, and served with eel sauce. The king roll showcases shrimp tempura and comes topped with eel and avocado, and served with eel sauce.

Sushi and sashimi on the menu at Saika Sushi include: kani (crabstick), tilapia, masago (fish egg), mackerel, eel, octopus, tobiko (flying fish egg), salmon, inari (tofu skin), shrimp, tuna, yellowtail, and tamago.

Other classic rolls and hand rolls at Saika include the avocado roll, tuna roll, salmon roll, yellowtail scallion roll, crabmeat roll, cucumber roll, spicy salmon roll, spicy shrimp roll, spicy yellowtail roll, and spicy tuna roll. The sweet potato roll is a must try too, showcasing tempura battered fried sweet potatoes in the delectable rice dish.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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