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History of the Philly Roll

For over 30 years, Madame Saito has been proudly serving Japanese cuisine Philly Rollin the greater Philadelphia area. Born in Kobe Japan, Saito, whose given name is Ai, adopted the name Madame when she was living in Paris.

Saito and her husband decided to move to Philadelphia with dreams of enrolling their three sons into the University of Pennsylvania. After arriving in Philadelphia in 1981, the Saitos opened an authentic Japanese sushi bar in Upper Darby called Asakura.

In the 80s, Japanese cuisine in Philadelphia was enjoyed mostly by expats, which led Saito to begin teaching sushi classes along with other Japanese cooking techniques to expose her Western customers to the cuisine. She also started integrating additional western-style ingredients such as avocado, mayonnaise, and other sauces into her sushi.

By 1983, the Saitos purchased a second restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown which they named Tokyo Center. Known as the most authentic Japanese stop in Philadelphia, business was flourishing with expats and locals, who all loved the food and the atmosphere. Not only did the ground floor of the Tokyo Center have a triple sushi bar, but the three-story building included a cooking workshop space, kimono tailor, and Philadelphia’s first karaoke bar.

The same year, Saito opened the first ever sushi bar at Reading Terminal Market, the most famous food destination in Philadelphia. Around the same time, Mayor William J. Green III asked Saito to create a signature sushi roll inspired by the city of Philadelphia. Most of Saitos non-Japanese regular customers were Jewish, so she thought of lox and bagels. She combined salmon and Philadelphia’s own cream cheese brand, creating one of the world’s most well-known fusion sushi dishes- the Philadelphia roll.

The Philly roll became so popular because those who were just beginning to eat sushi were less intimidated by starting with ingredients they were accustomed to. Also, back then many people in the restaurant business knew each other, which is how they were able to share menus all over the world.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Saito was famous for her fusion cuisine where she catered to Americans pallets, but in the last decade has returned to her Japanese roots by serving more traditional Japanese dishes.

It’s because of pioneers like Madame Saito that we can enjoy food items such as the Philly Roll for years to come. Although the same ingredients are typically used, they can vary depending on where the sushi is made.

For a Philly roll you’ll fall in love with, visit us at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse. Made with smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese, sesame seeds, and wasabi mayo, we know we’d make Madame Saito proud! Come and experience an authentic dining experience that combines skill, taste, and entertainment like no other restaurant located on International Drive. To make reservations for your next dinner, whether intimate or large, call us at 407-352-1607.

Vegetarian Options for You

Any restaurant should try to cater to the dietary needs of its customers, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse we are no different. Many people are opting for a vegetarian lifestyle, and we embrace it wholeheartedly by offering meal options which don’t interfere with the vegetarian diet.


Whether you’re dining with meat-eaters or other vegetarian friends, our appetizers are sure to please everyone. Our menu features many great options that allow you the indulgence of exquisite Japanese cuisine without compromising your vegetarian tendencies. Edamame, East Asian soybeans, is a delicious and nutritious start to your meal. If you want more greens in your diet, try our kaiso salad, which is made of seaweed.


It is often difficult to find a main course dish which doesn’t include meat, but we offer a variety of wonderful tofu options, including one prepared with vegetables on our teppanyaki grill. The meal also includes fried rice, miso soup, and a house salad adorned with ginger dressing.


No meal is complete without a satisfying side, and just because you are a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you won’t have any options. We have a comprehensive menu of side orders which accommodate vegetarian needs, such as:

  • White rice
  • Fried rice
  • Udon noodles
  • Vegetables
  • Salad

Once in a Lifetime Experience

Embracing the vegetarian lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up on traditional Japanese cuisine. Shogun Japanese Steakhouse works hard to meet the needs of all of our customers, while remaining true to our Japanese roots. By offering such a wide variety of vegetarian options, we can ensure you a phenomenal dining experience. Book your table today by calling us at 407-352-1607.

Better Dining with Group Seating

When it comes to dining out, it should be no surprise that the atmosphere is Group seatingjust as important as the food itself. When you go out to eat, you want to ensure that your restaurant of choice offers a phenomenal ambiance to heighten your experience. At Shogun, our group seating offers just that by providing you with a fantastic dining experience as you mingle with new friends.

Enjoying the Show

A major component of what makes Japanese cuisine so fascinating is its construction. In almost any other restaurant, your food will be made in the kitchen out of your sight, but at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we offer group seating around our teppanyaki griddles. This seating arrangement places you on the front lines of the action as your chef prepares your meal. The process of creating your meal on a teppanyaki griddle becomes an art form as our skilled chefs put on a show.

Eating and Interacting

Enjoying a meal together is a social event which is why we offer you an ideal seating situation in which the entire party can sit around the grill. This type of seating results in great communication. You even have the opportunity to meet new friends if your party doesn’t take up the entire seating area around the griddle.

Your Ideal Restaurant

Food plays a major role in many social interactions, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we create the perfect atmosphere to sit together and bond over a meal. Whether it be a business dinner or a meal among friends, you can rest assured in knowing that you will receive a top of the line experience. Reserve your table today by calling us at 407-352-1607.

What Does Shogun Mean?

Many companies have a name rich with meaning and personality to  What Does Shogun Meanrepresent their brand. Ours is no different. Not only does the name ‘Shogun’ represent what our company stands for, but it helps drive our culture and the authenticity of the food we offer.

Taking a Look at the Past

Shogun is short for ‘Seii Taishogun,’ which translates to “general who overcomes the barbarians.” Between the 8th and 12th century, Shogun was the title offered to chief military commanders. Soon after the end of the 12th century, the title Shogun was given to the military ruler of Japan, and through their military control they held unquestionable authority over the Japanese territories.

What it Means to Us

The title of Shogun is one of prominence and respect, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse we make it our goal to earn those same accolades through excellent service and top quality food. In our endeavor to continue the tradition of respecting the title of Shogun, we also seek to provide authentic fare for our customers.

Enjoy the Authentic Shogun Experience

If you are looking to enjoy a true Japanese steakhouse experience, then look no further than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Our fresh sushi and delicious authentic dishes are truly a treat for the senses, as we will stop at nothing to ensure the best meal for you. Call us today at 407-352-1607 to reserve your table.


The Art of Teppanyaki

In Japanese cuisine, many delightful meals are made on an iron griddle. The Art of Teppanyaki This style is referred to as teppanyaki. Once you understand the finer arts of teppanyaki, you can incorporate several different ingredients for the ultimate dining experience.

What Does it Mean?

Teppanyaki grills are often confused with the more commonly known hibachi grill, but there is a distinct difference. A teppanyaki grill is typically fueled by propane to heat a flat surface, whereas a hibachi grill will usually use charcoal with an open grate. The word teppanyaki itself is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ‘teppan’ and ‘yaki.’ These words mean ‘iron plate’ and ‘grilled, broiled, or pan fried’ respectively.

Know Your Dishes

Teppanyaki-style cooking yields a great range of delicious entrees. Some of these meals include:

  • Okonomiyaki – Commonly referred to as the Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is a savory meal, which includes many layers of noodles, egg, yam, shredded cabbage, and meat.
  • Monjayaki – Similar in preparation to okonomiyaki, monjayaki has a thinner batter which makes it runnier, resulting in consistency on par with that of melted cheese.
  • Yakisoba – Japanese for fried buckwheat, these delectable noodles are fantastic when served with vegetables and bite-sized pork.

Enjoy a Teppanyaki Meal Today

Japanese cuisine is rich with varying styles and preparations, but a teppanyaki meal is a must-have. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we offer only the best and can ensure that your taste buds will thank you for our expert teppanyaki craftsmanship. Reserve your table today by calling 407-352-1607, and begin enjoying the best in Japanese cuisine.

The Difference Between Dumplings and Gyoza

Jiaozi, the Mandarin word for dumpling, is commonly served as a Gyozadelicious side dish or a fun snack in Asia. Its Japanese cousin is the gyoza. What’s the difference between a jiaozi and gyoza? Turns out the two have a few key differences despite being quite similar.

Dumplings, AKA Pot Stickers

Originating in China, the dumpling, more commonly called the pot sticker, is made of wheat flour dough wrapper filled with meat and/or vegetables. This common side dish is cooked many different ways. Dumplings are most commonly steamed, pan fried, deep fried, or boiled.


While jiaozi dates back about a thousand years, gyoza is a much more recent innovation. During World War II, the Japanese ate jiaozi while occupying Manchuria. After returning home, some Japanese sought to recreate the jiaozi back home using Japanese ingredients and preparation methods. The gyoza was soon born with a thinner dumpling wrapper and more finely chopped stuffing. The dish is most commonly pan fried to create a wonderful crispy texture that also enhances its unique flavors.

Authentic Japanese Cuisine

While the two are similar, dumplings and gyoza have distinctly different flavor, texture, and cooking techniques that set them apart. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, our gyoza features the unique flavors traditional to the Japanese dish. These tasty gyozas are the perfect appetizer for any meal. Treat yourself and your palate by reserving your table today at 407-352-1607.

The History of the California Roll

The California roll is a delicious alternative to traditional sushi rolls that The History of The California Roll can be found in just about any Japanese restaurant in the United States. Because it is often prepared with cooked imitation crab, it is regarded as a starter roll for people new to sushi who are not ready for raw fish.

From Humble Beginnings

You can’t walk into a sushi restaurant without finding the California roll on the menu. Despite their prevalence in sushi culture, the history of the roll is enigmatic. The most commonly accepted creator of this roll is Ichiro Mashita.

Mashita was a Los Angeles sushi chef in little Tokyo. His early version of the California roll dates back to the early 1960s. At the time, he implemented the standard wrap with nori seaweed on the exterior of the roll, but Americans would often remove it thinking it was inedible. As a result, the reverse roll with rice on the outside was born. At the time he created the roll, imitation crab was not available, so he used real crab. Sesame seeds, cucumber, and mayonnaise were also absent from the original recipe.

Competing Histories

Other contenders for the coveted title of inventing the California roll include:

  • Ken Seusa is another chef from Los Angeles who asserts ownership of the innovation. He has the earliest documented claim for the California roll, and per food writer, Andrew F. Smith, the claim stood uncontested for more than 20 years.
  • Chef Hidekazu Tojo from Canada claims to have started the version of sushi in which the rice is on the outside of the roll. His claims also include the addition of cucumber, cooked crab, and avocado, which can be seen as support for his claim since those are the current ingredients of the California roll.

The Legacy Rolls On

Due to its incredible innovation and simple design, the California roll went on to become a popular dish in Southern California. By the 1980s, it was widely known across the entire country.

The California Roll is a great option for anyone interested in trying sushi without consuming raw seafood. If you’re looking to enjoy a delectable California Roll or other sushi plates in the Orlando area, Sakura Sushi should be your first choice. We pride ourselves on offering fresh, quality sushi, and a traditional Japanese experience. Book your table today at 407-352-1607.

The Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi

Ordering sushi can be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the food itself. There are so many options that you have probably never heard of, and it could confuse even the most experienced connoisseurs. Nigiri and sashimi are often easily confused. They look very similar and are not the traditional “roll” with which most people are familiar. Knowing the differences between nigiri and sashimi is a key step in increasing your understanding of the finer points of sushi.


Rice treated with vinegar is a major element in any sushi dish. Nigiri is identified by a small ball of vinegar-treated rice on which the fish or shellfish can rest. Typically, a dollop of wasabi may be on top of the rice and act almost as a paste to hold the fish on top. The fish may be served raw or cooked.


Technically, sashimi is not considered sushi. While most people think that sushi means ‘raw fish’ sushi actually denotes the usage of vinegar-treated rice, which is absent from Sashimi. Instead, sashimi is simply very fresh meat, sliced and served raw and often garnished with daikon radish, shiso leaves, and toasted nori. Sashimi does not necessitate fish either. Beef, horse, frog, and many other types of meat can be served as sashimi.

Expand Your Tastes

Trying new things and experimenting outside of your comfort zone can be enjoyable and rewarding. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we give you the opportunity to try new food that you might not have even heard of before. Nigiri and Sashimi are excellent choices when you are looking to try new dishes. Call us at 407-352-1607 and reserve your table today.

Okonomiyaki: The Japanese Pancake

Most people aren’t very familiar with Japanese cuisine, despite how much it has to offer. While sushi is delicious and the most popular choice, many people have not heard of the tasty and savory okonomiyaki. Often considered a type of Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is typically associated with the Kansai and Hiroshima areas of Japan. Both of these areas offer a different take on okonomiyaki.


Much like a pancake, okonomiyaki is made from batter. A particular characteristic of the Hiroshima okonomiyaki is the layering of ingredients. Usually, there are layers of batter, pork, cabbage, and then extra toppings like octopus, cheese, or squid. Udon noodles make a delicious topping, as does fried egg. The ordered layering of these ingredients and toppings is usually up to the chef’s style and the customer’s preference.


The Kansai style of okonomiyaki features a batter typically consisting of flour and eggs, accompanied by shredded cabbage, grated nagaimo (a variant of yam), and water or dashi (a soup stock). Unlike the Hiroshima style, the ingredients are mixed rather than layered, and there is less cabbage than would be included in the Hiroshima style of the okonomiyaki.


Okonomiyaki is thought to have originated in Osaka. Similar to a pancake, all of the ingredients and batter cook evenly on a pan or griddle with flipping in between. Many restaurants which serve okonomiyaki have ‘grill-it-yourself’ options which allow the customers to use a bowl of ingredients and make their own okonomiyaki. There are also diner-style restaurants where chefs prepare it at the counter right in front of the customer.

Book Your Reservation Today

Regardless of what you put in it or how it’s made, okonomiyaki is a wonderful dish that everyone should try. The customizable recipe allows anyone to make the dish to their liking, and it is as easy as making a pancake. To try okonomiyaki yourself, trust no other than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. We offer authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by our teppanyaki chefs before your eyes on our tableside grills. Make a reservation today by calling us at 407-996-4444.

What Is Smelt Roe?

Sushi is always a great meal option, and it comes in so many different varieties. Nowadays raw, cooked, and even vegetarian selections are available. There is no deficit in the many preparations of sushi, and one of the most delicious ways to enjoy it is with smelt roe.

Smelt is a type of small fish from the family known as Osmeridae. These fish have several smaller classifications including capelin, the rainbow smelt, and European smelt. Roe is a general term for fish eggs, so smelt roe is simply eggs from Smelt fish, much like as caviar refers to roe from sturgeon.

Understanding Smelt Roe

Despite how rarely smelt fish meat is used, smelt roe is very popular in sushi restaurants. Distinguished by its reddish-orange color, smelt roe is crunchy and bountiful with omega-3 fatty acids which are phenomenal for your health. Omega-3 Fatty acids promote heart health and assist in sustaining mental health and wellness. Smelt roe, or as it is known in Japan, masago, has many different uses which should be explored by anyone interested in delicious food. It can be eaten in many ways such as in standalone rolls, covering the outside of sushi rolls as a garnish, or even used as a spread.

Try Smelt Roe Today

When looking to expand your dietary horizons, smelt roe is a worthwhile option. Aside from the amazing taste, it is fantastic for your health and can be eaten in many ways. If you are interested in trying it for the first time, look no further than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Treat your taste buds to a new delicacy and book your reservations today at 407-352-1607.