Photo by Shavon Thompson

Sapporo’s summer menu is a work of art

srp-azbigmedia2014_Sapporo-002All it takes is one minute of conversation with Sapporo’s executive chef, Stephen Stromberg, at to know he is passionate about food. He creates one-of-a-kind seasonal menus that pop with color and are flavorful to the last bite. His new Asian cuisine summer menu debuted June 30 and it will not disappoint.

The restaurant’s teppanyaki and wok items have mostly stayed the same, but the same cannot be said about the entrée section of the menu. Stromberg noticed that when customers come to eat at Sapporo, they love sharing their food. He has decided to make his new dishes as share-friendly as possible. They are served in smaller portions, will no longer come with rice and the price has gone done to match the portion size. Do not fear.  These changes have not affected the quality of the food. Stromberg uses fresh local tomatoes from Four Peaks Farm and receives fresh shipments of fish every day.

Stromberg was kind enough to let me try a couple of his new creations and to put it in perspective of how amazing this food is, I will drive the 30 minutes from Mesa to Scottsdale, in rush hour traffic to eat his food again. The New York Strip steak salad is literally the “meat and potatoes” of all salads. It comes with fresh local tomatoes, avocadoes, NY Strip steak (that is srp-azbigmedia2014_Sapporo-001cooked to perfection), fingerling potatoes and mixed greens. My favorite dish he made was the Japanese-style Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio. The thinly sliced pieces of filet melted in my mouth and the sesame-lemon glaze on top is incredible.  I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

The Scallop, Shrimp and Mango Ceviche is a wonderful blend of sweet and tangy flavors. It has fresh mango, shrimp, scallops, green onions and chili peppers marinated in Ponzu Shoyu sauce. This chilled, light dish is served with wonton chips. The Kushiyaki-style chicken comes on skewers and is simply delicious.  The chicken and vegetables are marinated in a teriyaki sauce. The chicken is juicy and the vegetables are cooked just right. The almond chili dipping sauce that comes with this dish is a crazy mixture of flavors that work well together and really make the skewers pop in your mouth.

Stromberg recommends several dishes for old and new customers. There are two new salads that he is very proud of and wants people to try. One is the Sapporo Chopped Salad that comes with spring greens, toasted pine nuts, dragon fruit and dragon fruit shiso vinaigrette on top. The other is a twist on a caesar salad, called the Brussels Sprouts and Rhubarb Ceasar Salad. As the name implies, it comes with rhubarb, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce and wonton croutons for an added crunch. If salads aren’t your thing, he suggests trying the Blue Fin Tuna dish or the Sea Bass, which is his personal favorite.

Each dish is presented beautifully and each is a work of art for the eyes and mouth. Stromberg believes that each person who walks through the doors of Sapporo are “guests,” not customers, and each individual is treated as such. He has created a gorgeous summer menu that will keep people wanting more.