Sherman's Food Adventures: Saku (Coquitlam)

Saku (Coquitlam)

So haven't been back to Saku for quite some time and in fact, haven't been back to their original Robson location (which has now moved) since it first opened.  They've expanded several location since and their newest is in Coquitlam on North Road across from the Safeway.  We decided to hit them up because we'd already been to the close by Katsuya the last time when we were in the neighbourhood.  Have always thought that Saku is the best Japanese cutlet spot in town.

So Viv ended up with the Rosu Katsu which is a breaded piece of pork loin.  This was tender and juicy where the pork remained moist despite being lean and deep-fried.  The breading was aggressive, but not heavy.   The pork loin was evenly coated with a crunchy, yet not greasy exterior.  The set came with rice, miso soup, pickles, sesame seeds (that you grind yourself), tonkatsu sauce and salad.  You can get refills on the salad, rice and soup.

My son had the Hire Katsu which is not as lean as the loin with the little bit of fat on the side, where it provided a different texture and more flavour.  Although the difference between Hire and Rosu isn't apparent with all the breading, it is obvious when biting into the pork.  The hire is a bit more juicier and has a less firm texture.  As mentioned, the fat offers up aroma and extra porkiness.  Once again, it is served in a set with the same components.

For myself, I went for the Hire Curry Katsu which came with 2 good-sized cutlets.  Again, they were super crispy, but moist and juicy on the inside.  It sat atop a modest amount of chewy rice (but remember, we can get a refill!) that helped soak up all of the delicious curry.  Like most Japanese curries, this had a sweeter slant, but I found it not as sweet as other versions.  I could really taste the curry and the spice.  However, it wasn't spicy, which is typical of Japanese curry.

So my daughter didn't do the expected by ordering the cheese katsu.  Rather, she went for the Tomato Cheese Nabe featuring a rosu katsu bathed in a tangy tomato sauce while topped with melted mozzarella.  Hey she still got her cheese fix!  Although there was the expected sweetness in the sauce, it was surprisingly tart.  Not a bad thing as it kept things bright and appetizing.  As much as the rice went well with the sauce, this would've been better with pasta (but they don't serve pasta at Saku... LOL).

For my parents, they shared the Zenbu Katsu with almost everything including rosu, hire, chicken thigh, 2 pc cheese, 1 pc hotate, 1 pc ebi and 2 pc veggies.  For $39.95, we felt this was actually a good value.  As expected, the hire and rosu were exactly as the previous dishes.  As for the cheese, it was more cheese than pork, but that is the point.  Hotate and ebi were cooked properly being buttery while the veggies were cooked through but not soggy.  Like the first time I visited Saku, the food didn't disappoint.  Solid execution and with the refill of salad, rice and soup, you won't leave hungry.

The Good:
- Meat quality is high
- Solid execution
- Can refill rice, salad and soup

The Bad:

- Well, pretty focused menu, so if you don't like fried cutlets...
- Although I think the pricing is fair, it is getting up there like everything else these days  


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