Get dragon sushi, bubble tea and bento boxes at new Japanese restaurant
PUBLISHED: 19:10 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:18 21 August 2019
Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds has just reopened as Sakura, where authentic Asian food is on the menu.
It has survived fire. It has survived businesses closing. And now, once more, like a phoenix rising through the flames, Cupola House is back in the game.
The much-loved 17th century property in the centre of Bury St Edmunds has been reinvented by its new owners into an authentic Japanese eatery, Sakura, where bento boxes, bubble tea, sushi (and soon cocktails) are already becoming firm favourites with customers, just days after the doors reopened.
Adorned with Japanese blossom prints and eye-popping colours, it's taken nearly six months for the transformation to take place, says general manager K K Lee, who revealed currently Sakura is open from Tuesday to Sunday, with the menu set to expand over the coming month as the chefs and front of house team find their feet.
"We've changed a lot," K K says proudly. "On the first floor it's very traditional with tatami tables and seats. It's all wooden. And the bar is a Japanese style bar as well. But the second floor is usual seating and tables."
K K explains that everything at Sakura is made fresh to order, with both dishes for palates seasoned to Japanese food (raw fish sushi and nigiri for example), using local ingredients, and other plates, both hot and cold, designed for customers who are less familiar with the cuisine, such as the ubiquitous katsu chicken and tonkatsu (made with pork).
"We have ramen, and teriyaki and grills - grilled fish and beef steaks. And hot grilled noodles."
What about something a bit 'different'?
"Our dragon rolls our quite special. They are made using fish and shrimp and some vegetables and some fruit, like mango, to decorate them to look like a dragon. The rolls have many colours, six or seven, like a rainbow."
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K K says his favourite item on the menu is the ramen soup noodles, all rich, deep and brothy, available in chicken, pork, miso and soya versions, and advises that there are plenty of vegetarian options, as well as set lunches.
"From 11am to 4.30pm we have bento boxes. There are eight kinds to choose from, cooked fish, and raw fish sashimi, or cooked prawn tempuras, with some starters and rice."
A menu for children is priced from £5 to £8, plus there's a growing selection of desserts, mainly mochi (ice cream balls coated in rice-based dough), and mixed fruit, with cakes coming later along the line.
At the bar, you'll find Japanese wine, sake, beer and lager, with whisky on the way. But the stand out must-try is the variety of bubble teas and flower bubble teas - very Instagrammable!
"So far we've had quite good feedback. Because it's new, with new staff, new system, new kitchen, sometimes we take a bit longer to prepare food, but customers understand and they say the taste is lovely and the decoration is 100%."