It is rare to find a restaurant that serves only Japanese food.
Most menus have a fusion-type approach with mixtures of Korean, Chinese and Japanese.
Roppongi is the exception.
The menu is filled with authentic Japanese fare such as Pork Katsu, which is a piece of pork that is hammered thin, coated in breadcrumbs and fried.
However, the menu also boasts less traditional fare such as sushi rolls with barbecued eel. It is all part of a singular methodology to do one cuisine really, really well.
The restaurant opened in late April 2012 off Exit 23 in Huntersville. The area is growing as an alternative to popular Birkdale Village.
“We thought that the exit could use an upscale Japanese restaurant,” said manager and co-owner Roland Lau.
The restaurant used to be a Friendly’s, but due to a complete and total renovation, it has been refined into an Asian oasis.
The bar has phosphorus green bars of light running at the bottom and top of the traditional bar and sushi bar. Black leather chairs on coffee-colored legs frame the bars at a jaunty angle. Clear glass and splashes of red give the room an urban feel.
Lau grew up in Hong Kong and Toronto. He graduated from Indiana University and got a job as an account manager at a sushi packaging company. It was there he learned about sushi in the restaurant business.
“It was a great job,” Lau said. “It really gave me an education on how to chose the best quality food items.”
Lau also met Roppongi sushi chef Q Vu on the job at the packaging company. Vu grew up in New Orleans and worked in a Japanese restaurant. After work, the sushi chef taught Vu how to roll sushi. Vu wanted to learn more and was eventually was trained by a master sushi chef.
Due to his on-the-job training and formal education, Vu’s sushi rolls are works of art. The rolls are expertly arranged and trios of sauces are drizzled around the plate in circular patterns.
The rolls don’t just look amazing, they taste amazing, as well.
The Volcano Roll is salmon tempura, cucumber and avocado topped with baked white fish, shrimp, kani and spicy sauce. The combination of a room-temperature roll with a warm, zesty sauce melds the flavors perfectly.
All the sauces and salad dressings are homemade. The fish is ordered every two days.
There is an extensive Saki menu along with cocktails, wine and beer. They even have Sapporo on tap.
Sushi bar lunch specials are always available. There are two private rooms for parties at the restaurant.
Plus special needs can always be accommodated as all the food is freshly made.
Cisco Adler, of Huntersville, frequently visits the restaurant.
“The sushi is top notch, creative and the kitchen entrees are some of the most authentic you can find,” Adler said.
The restaurant successfully combines the authentic Japanese menu items with some trendy flair as seen in the sushi rolls. The restaurant is named after a district in Tokyo known for its nightlife and trendy atmosphere.
Roppongi successfully melds the fashionable with the functional for all customers to enjoy.
“We want to give you the best food with a friendly atmosphere,” Lau said.