Café Sado Reviews

By Liam Larkin

When to enjoy: Open Tues.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. noon to 3 p.m. for lunch and Tues. through Sat. from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner.

Expect to Pay: Sushi between $3 to $12; appetizers $3 to $14; and entrées between $9 to $29.

Café Sado is a restaurant that opened in Castle Harbor Marina in Chester in September 2007. With around 130 seats (over 30 of them outside with water views), this is going to be a hot spot with the arrival of the warmer weather. The menu is a fusion of French and Southeast Asian cuisine and features diverse sushi.

While spending many years in New York City I had some of the best sushi there is to enjoy. I sampled fish at the Fulton Fish Market at 4 a.m. just off the boats and eaten in some of the top rated sushi restaurants in the world. I know raw fish. What I saw at Café Sado was not at all what I expected. I received some of the best sushi I’ve had in a long time.

Upon arriving at the restaurant we were pleasantly greeted and promptly seated. Fortunately our initial greeting at the table was punctual, as tardiness tends to be a pet peeve of mine. There are plenty of tables with seats or booths. The décor is very sophisticated: a hardwood bamboo floor and Asian inspired spot lighting add simplistic elegance to the rooms. After browsing the wine list, which we felt was sufficiently written, we decided on two different whites, by the glass, to pair with our first course of sushi rolls and nigiri. We had the Crunchy Ring of Fire Roll ( crispy tempura shrimp and avocado, wrapped in nori and rice and topped with spicy tuna and tempura flakes) and six pieces of nigiri, tuna, yellowtail, and salmon. This fish was incredibly fresh. The rice was not overpowering or overcooked. Everything was perfect. When we visited the restaurant at another time, again the sushi was great.

With 27 different rolls to choose from, there is something for every sushi bar lover. There are also 17 different nigiri sushi items. In Japanese cuisine, sushi is just the rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, usually topped with other ingredients including fish (cooked or uncooked) and vegetables. Nigiri sushi is a small oval of rice topped with fish or shellfish. Sushi is sometimes misunderstood to mean the raw fish by itself which in Japan is called sashimi. All of the nigiri can be ordered as sashimi for a supplemental charge of $2.

There is an extensive menu for after your sushi course. This is where the Southeast Asian-French fusion comes into play. From dumplings to salads, the tapas menu is full of tasty treats. There are also 14 different entrées, including seafood paella, pan roasted salmon, a Kobe beef burger, rice and noodle dishes and a variety of meat and fish selections.

This restaurant concept is the 10-year brainchild of owner Tony Wong. He has owned different restaurants around the Baltimore area but gave it all up to study the art of sushi. For years he worked his way around the world learning sushi wherever he could. Upon creating the concept he teamed up with the kitchen chef, Jeremy Ulrick. Chef Ulrick is a Baltimore International Culinary College graduate and has years of training. During his voyage through the culinary world, he has held positions in Fells Point and at Di Pasquales Catering.

Most recently he was the chef for Hunters Oak Country Club, Pintail Point, and Pintail Yachts.

The restaurant has a separate dining room for private functions and is expanding into catering. They are looking forward to doing upscale sushi and cocktail parties on the many boats in the marina.

Liam Larkin is a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef. He worked in four and five star restaurants in New York City and Baltimore before moving to the Eastern Shore with his wife and daughter.

 ~ This article appeared in What's Up? Eastern Shore, April 2008   

From Kent Island Online

Cafe Sado! What a hit! The bar area downstairs is ideal for happy hour and apps. The service is
fast and friendly and there is a warm welcoming atmosphere. They have a large room upstairs too
for groups and large families to dine. Sushi is awesome and not too pricey either.

~ Reviewed by Emily from Chester.



Kent Island FINALLY has a genuinely good sushi restaurant now. This restaurant is unlike any other that has been in this area before. Specializes in Sushi and French Southeast Asian Cuisine. Varied menu. Helpful staff. Great decor and atmosphere. Head for the "private" dining on the side areas or has a larger banquet area for larger parties.

- Laura Wineaux-Weeks

What's the Buzz?

Change. The old proverb says nothing is permanent. Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie all sang songs about it. Lately it’s been getting a lot of attention as a popular political buzzword. And it can always be used to describe the Eastern Shore restaurant scene.

Another change generating buzz is the recent availability of sushi on Kent Island. Though other restaurants in the area may have dabbled with specialty rolls and sashimi, Café Sado is the real thing. Located in Chester’s Castle Marina Inn, Café Sado serves up French Southeast Asian cuisine in a remodeled upstairs dining room that’s all cool open space and sharp clean lines. Sushi bar seating allows diners a chance to observe expert sushi chef Tony Wong present such intriguing delicacies as the Ebony and Ivory (avocado, cucumber and crabstick wrapped with seared white tuna and black caviar) and Ring of Fire (spicy tuna and tempura flakes inside topped with fresh tuna in fish roe with jalapeno sauce). Signature entrees include grilled Kobe steak and seafood paella with jasmine rice. If you call ahead, the chefs will prepare what you’re craving even if it’s not on the current menu.
The tea ceremony, or sado, is a traditional ritual of service that epitomizes the focus and grace of Japanese culture. Sado literally means “way of the tea.” At Café Sado, the philosophy that inspires the staff to attend to patrons as though this could be the only time in their life they’ll have an opportunity to serve this person.

~ Excerpt from Brent Lewis' March 2008 article in What's Up?