I feel like I've been cheating on you all by holding out on this awesome restaurant for a week, but here it finally is!
Where: Sora Asian Dining, 68 W Center Street, Provo
Who Went: Chelsey & Owen
Number of Visits: 1
What We Ordered: BBQ pork steamed buns, beef teriyaki, seafood tempura
What It Cost: $44.60 (including tip)
What We Thought:
When I was making my list of restaurants we've visited, I realized that we don't go out to eat Asian food all that often. I have no idea why, I like lots of different kinds of Asian food, but I think sometimes I am just scared to try something I am not sure I will like. Plus I have some irrational fear of any kind of Asian seafood here in Utah, because, well....who knows where that "fish" came from, right?
In any case, we haven't been to a lot of Asian restaurants (spending most of our time getting pizza and wings...hmmm....), but I am glad that of all the places near BYU, we went to Sora first!
When we went to Two Jack's Pizza, I noticed this new restaurant on Center Street for the first time. It wasn't open yet, but I was determined that we would try it once it was! I love visiting new restaurants that aren't super popular yet (so hipster of me...) because they usually are not busy and the service is really friendly and great. This was absolutely true of Sora -- when we arrived, we were offered three different seating options: main dining room table, private dining room (no reservation or anything needed!), or private Japanese-style dining.
We chose Japanese-style dining of course, removed our shoes, and went to sit on the lovely wooden floor at our table. The restaurant location used to be a bridal shop, so it has some unique and pretty interior decor. Our server was a little new and awkward, but she was very nice and tried to anticipate our needs. We started off with some barbecue pork steamed buns as an appetizer, which were just right. They were soft and sweet, and the pork filling was enjoyable. I liked the little slaw that it was served with, and it was all very aesthetically pleasing.
I feel a little lame because I went with all "safe" dishes, but I wanted to get something I was familiar with so that I could compare it to others. I ordered the beef teriyaki and chose the side of wasabi mashed potatoes. I felt so Provo getting mashed potatoes on the side, but I was intrigued by the addition of wasabi and was hoping for something spicy. The dish was served bubbling and hot (kind of like you may have been served fajitas before), and was fantastic -- the beef was tender, the sauce flavorful and not too salty, and I loved the vegetables it was served with. The wasabi potatoes were in fact not spicy, but were infused with a mild wasabi flavor. They went pretty well with the beef teriyaki, but would probably be weird with many of the other dishes they could accompany.
The seafood tempura that Owen ordered was the biggest gamble -- I really wanted him to order something seafood because I am super picky about all foods from the sea. I hate anything that tastes remotely fishy or too salty, but I wanted to see if they were able to master seafood at a distance of almost 4,000 miles from the ocean. The verdict? Yes! It was amazing!
The seafood tempura contains the following: a large mushroom, 3 large prawns, a sea scallop, 4 pieces of suzuki (Japanese sea bass), 2 pieces of pumpkin, and onion rings, with a side of soy sauce and also rice. This photo really does not do it justice. The meal was artfully arranged and had great variety...best of all, it did not taste fishy! It was incredible! This was probably the best seafood I've had in Provo, and we couldn't get enough of it. The tempura batter was perfect -- you can tell that it is good fried food if you don't feel heavy and gross afterwards. It was fried ideally at a very hot temperature, and was irresistible. The seafood skeptic in me was proven wrong. I would definitely order this again!
What You Should Do: Go right now! Before it gets too popular and you won't be able to get a seat. Sora masters fusion Japanese dining better than anyone else around, and you are truly missing out if you don't go here! Next time I am definitely going to be more adventurous with my food choices, and I want to try some of their unique sushi options!
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