Tag Archives: Stephen Stromberg

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.


Whether talking flavor “palate” or color “palette,” there is no denying it – Food is Art.

So, doesn’t it make sense then that food should support the arts whenever possible, be it via culinary creativity, playful plates, daring décor and even a helping hand or two?

Art has a huge influence on us here at Sapporo Scottsdale – from our hand-crafted sushi rolls to our colorful cocktails, and our performing arts-inspired teppan chefs. Our mission, in fact, is to create an artful masterpiece with every meal.

Some of our favorite “artsy” eats and drinks featured this February:

  • Vanilla-Scented Pomegranate Mojito, made with 10 Cane Rum, Pomegranate Juice, Mint and Lime – perfect for the “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
  • Passion Mango Martini, made with Skyy Citrus Vodka, Bacardi O, Passion Fruit and Mango Puree – perfect for the similarly passionate “Van Gough.” Just don’t let him near a knife!
  • Rainbow Roll, a California Roll topped with Tuna, Shrimp, Salmon, Yellowtail, Snapper and Avocado – perfect for “The Starry Night.”
  • Surf’n’Turf Roll, Tempura Crab, Seared Filet, Avocado, Cucumber, Spicy Mayo and Tabasco – sure to make even “Mona Lisa” smile.

Passion Mango Martini

Sapporo Sushi

At Sapporo Scottsdale, we understand and incorporate the “food is art” notion, and in the coming months we will be providing food to support the arts through the following events:

Third Thursday Social

We are pleased to announce we have partnered with the Scottsdale League for the Arts (SLA) to host their February “Third Thursday” social event, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21. For a $5 donation, we will be serving up complementary appetizers and drink specials that show off our own artistic abilities. Raffle tickets will be available to purchase and all proceeds from the evening benefit SLA’s mission to support the arts and art education programs throughout the Valley of the Sun. You can see photos of past Third Thursday events here.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Burger Battle

As part of the week-long Scottsdale Culinary Festival celebration in April (also supporting SLA), our team will Burger Battle against more than a dozen of the best chefs in town as we compete for the coveted title of 2013 Best Burgers in the Valley.

At 6:30 p.m. on April 11 at Scottsdale Stadium, guests will be challenged to try each and every burger, then vote for the best bite of the night. A panel of judges will also choose their favorites. The winning restaurants take away trophies and unlimited bragging rights.

Cost to attend is $55 per ticket and includes all burgers plus ice cold Leinenkugel’s beer, soft drinks, fries, dessert and live music.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Eat, Drink and Be Pretty

For our third year in a row, the powers that be are dusting off my finest chef’s coat so my team and I can “see and be seen,” while feeding the most fabulous foodies in the Valley at Eat, Drink and Be Pretty. This fashion-forward experience comes complete with a runway, models, fashion and, of course, food! The event will take place on April 12 at 7 p.m., at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $75 per person and include food, drink, fashion, live entertainment and more.

Why We Do It – And Why You Should Too

Since 2002, SLA has donated more than $3.5 million to arts programs in Arizona through funds raised at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Third Thursday events. Not only do the events raise money for their cause, SLA aims to draw attention to the unique dining options Scottsdale has to offer and to network with like-minded people.

Date Night: Sushi Bars

Sexy Sushi Night: Date Night At Sushi Bars

Sexy Sushi Nights: When the only thing fishy is your food — not your date’s behavior. Take your next date night to one of many sushi bars throughout Scottsdale.

Eating sushi is a lot like dating.

“Think about the first time you went out for sushi – and a typical first date,” says Stephen Stromberg, executive chef at Sapporo in Scottsdale. “Both take a little courage at first, but the adventure is (usually) well worth it.”

So, it makes sense that sushi is a top dining choice for first dates of all ages. But how does one plan the perfect sushi night?

Dare to discover

Sure, California and Las Vegas rolls are staples for many of us. But, why not show your date you are open to new things by stepping outside of the sushi comfort zone?

“Always look for items that are custom to the venue,” says Stromberg, whose own menu includes the MT Roll, a salmon soy paper roll invented by, and named after, their own sushi chef, Mikel Tan; along with a signature Scottsdale roll bursting with spicy scallops.

Make it hot, hot, hot!

Not all first dates are created equal – some are certainly hotter than others.
Sushi is the same way.

While adding a dollop of spicy mayo or wasabi to your favorite roll can certainly spice up the date, why not indulge your taste buds, together, in a culinary adventure by really turning up the heat?

“Be her renegade Romeo by ordering your Juliet a roll with jalapeño and spicier versions of standard ingredients like tuna and yellowtail,” Stromberg says.

Sapporo carries more than half a dozen hot options, including the Surf’n’Turf roll, which marries crab, filet mignon and tabasco sauce into a mouth-watering menu stand-out. Also popular is the Fuji roll, which is topped with spicy yellowtail, making it as visually hot as it tastes.

Pick pairings with passion

“Innovate while you libate,” adds Mike Hanley, bar manager at Sapporo. “Don’t settle for a martini simply shaken or stirred — order it frozen and share tastes!”

Frozen Passion Mango Martinis, which are blended with vodka, rum and mango and passion purees and poured atop a raspberry liqueur, and Sapporo Slushes, which are made with vodka, fresh-squeezed juices and simple syrup, are among the most popular drinks for first dates.

Also, choose drinks that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

For example, Sapporo’s Purple Dream is layered by ingredient into a glass and brought table-side so the guest can play mixologist, stirring the ingredients together into a perfect purple blend.

One last tip for a sexy sushi night — ditch the chopsticks!

“In Japan, it’s customary to use one’s hands to eat rather than chopsticks,” Stromberg says. “A perfect excuse to feed each other!”

Readers' Pick logoSapporo Scottsdale
14344 N. Scottsdale Rd.
(480) 607-1114

Other sushi bars to check out:

Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar
(480) 315-9800
Sushi Brokers
(480) 515-5000
Stingray Sushi
(480) 427-2011
RA Sushi
(480) 990-9256
PURE Sushi Bar & Dining
(480) 355-0999
Geisha A Go Go
(480) 699-0055

Scottsdale Living Magazine Summer 2012