It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when a restaurant surprises you. Such is the case with Saiko-i Sushi Lounge & Hibachi restaurant in Central Boca Raton. That is, you go expecting the usual Pan-Asian fare and leave with it being one of the great restaurants (Pan-Asian or otherwise) in South Florida.
Jason Zheng and Tina Wang – the husband-and-wife team behind the celebrated Yakitori Sake House in East Boca, have created a “must have’’ dining experience featuring exquisitely-plated fresh sushi and sashimi, as well as entrées and dinners from the 11 hibachi tables.
Saiko-i‘s location in The Shoppes at Village Pointe comes with good history. It’s corner location was home to the popular Gatsby’s bar for more than 20 years. Now Jason Zheng and Tina Wang – who met several years ago in New York City – are making their own history at Saiko-i.
Jason Zhen is a master of sushi and sashimi. Even those are are not partial to the rolls will find something to fancy, whether it’s the UFO (tuna, yellowtail), cucumber wrapped with soy sauce topped with spicy salmon and kimchee sauce); the Sexy Lady (spicy tuna, tempura flakes wrapped with avacado, tuna salmon, whitefish and mango sauce; and my favorite, the Angry Bid (shrimp tempura, avocado inside, topped with spicy momiji mani salad, yuzu edamame and eel sauce.
Sushi-grade fish is delivered daily from local vendors, as well directly from Japan.
“We connect with our guests through our food and the passion we put into every dish, but we love the chance to guide them through a delicious experience as we get to know them and their tastes,” Tina Wang said. “When you combine quality ingredients with a fun and welcoming atmosphere, there is nothing you cannot do. It makes all the hard work worth it.”
Saiko-i‘s 7,000 square-foot space encompasses a large hibachi room, open exhibition sushi bar (say hello to Jason), tables for intimate and group dining, a dine-in marble bar and outside patio.
The 11 hibachi tables each are good examples of the Zheng/Wang attention to detail. Unlike many hibachi tables, Saiko-i‘s has plenty of elbow room for diners to watch the colorful and eat. Each hibachi has a special range hoods that transports all smoke straight up and out to keep the restaurant smoke- and odor-free. There’s also plenty of room to walk between the hibachi tables and the dining room and bar, but still enough space to get views of the shows at hibachi tables.
In addition to a daily Happy Hour, Saiko-i this week announced a series of weekly specials on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, featuring live DJ entertainment, complimentary cocktails and drink specials.
Saiko-i’s weekly DJ lineup will feature:
- Beauty and the Feast Wednesdays: Mixes by DJ T Lake and complimentary cocktails for all ladies with a minimum $10 food purchase from 7 pm – close
- Vinyl Fridays: Vintage Vibes mixed by DJ T Lake and complimentary hot sake for all ladies from 8 pm – close
- Social Saturdays: Sexy Soulful House & Mainstream Dance featuring DJ Dekade and complimentary sake bombs for all ladies from 8 pm – close
Photos: Saiko-i Sushi Lounge & Hibachi restaurant