We adore sushi and went to Sushi Sasabune for the first time with high hopes and in good humor. We were hungry and out to have terrific sushi. We sat down and ordered beers and began to look at the wine menu. The beers were delivered quickly and the waiter asked to take our food order. We said we'd like to decide on sake first. Within the first few minutes, we were asked 4 times by 4 different waiters what we'd like to order for food.
We decided on a $120 bottle of junmai dai jinjo. We beckoned a waiter and asked if the omakase menu had anything on it that would clash with the great sake. He said "no", so that is what we ordered. The sake arrived and tasted wonderful, subtle and smooth. Then the first plate arrived. It was two thick, smelly slabs of ahi. The waiter proceeded to pour over them about 1/3 of a cup of citrusy sauce. Talk about clashing with the sake!
The next dish was a bit better in that the fish didn't smell fishy, but the slicing job on the fish was poor. It was again a slab, but with one end much thinner than the other. Before I had even put the second of the two into my mouth, the plate was whisked away and another plate of sushi was put before me.
We asked for the pace to be slowed down. Not to be! I was still eating the sushi on the third plate when the fourth plate arrived. Again, we asked to have the pace slowed. We had been in the restaurant only 20 minutes at this point.
I ate one of the two pieces of sushi on the fourth plate (ahi again) and was a bit shocked. The rice was extremely vinegary. However, the fish itself was excellent—totally different from the first serving of ahi. So, I at the ahi off of the top of the second piece and left the crumbling mess of vinegary sushi rice on the plate. The waiter came immediately over and said in a rude tone, "Shall we serve you less rice for the remainder of the meal? The chef doesn't like to waste rice." I told him the problem. No apologies were offered, but the problem didn't recur.
For the rest of the meal, we continued to receive the food too fast. At one point, four plates for each of us had lined up on the tiny table. The pressure was very unpleasant. More importantly, most of the fish didn't taste fresh (other than the ahi mentioned directly above) and it was poorly carved. Nothing was exceptional; almost everything was mediocre.
We won't go back to Sushi Sasabune and don't recommend it.
1419 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814
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