NORTHBOROUGH – Her laugh is infectious. Her sushi is phenomenal, and her personality is priceless.

Is seems everybody loves Chef Anna at Yama Zakura in Northborough.

“If you walk in one time, she’ll know your name the rest of the times you come in the restaurant. She’s good like that,” one customer said.

When she’s not visiting with customers, Chef Anna can be found slicing, searing and serving some of the freshest sushi in all of New England. Located in an unassuming strip mall, this Asian eatery is decked out in art from the Far East and customers come from far away to get a taste of such artful cuisine.

“I travel past eight or nine different sushi restaurants to come here,” a customer proudly declared.

While she has tons of fun checking in with all of her guests in the dining room, when she’s back behind the sushi bar, Anna is serious when it comes to serving fresh fish and satisfying South East Asian dishes. So Phantom tasted it all to find the PERFECT MEAL.

Appetizers at Yama Zakura are anything but ordinary. There’s the Tuna Napolean featuring super fresh tuna layered with crunchy wontons; something called the Crabby Turtle with baked blue crab meat topped in a sweet lemon sauce and stuffed inside an avocado shell; but it’s the Yama Nachos, loaded up with sweet blue fin tuna, fresh avocado salsa and pickled ginger that has customers coming back for more.

Since it’s a sushi restaurant, you can be sure there’s some marvelous maki. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill rolls, because Anna and her team take the time to break down pristine pieces of fish.

There’s the Belichick roll: truly Super Bowl caliber sushi loaded up with salmon, tuna, white fish and avocado. The Red Sox roll is stuffed with shrimp tempura, and topped with tuna, panko and tobiko for extra crunch. But the top must-have maki is the Lobster Bomb. This explosive roll is layered with big chunks of luxurious lobster soaking in a sweet lemon mayo that’s then torched so the whole thing turns into a twist on a warm decadent roll.

The menu at Yama Zakura is loaded up with hot entrees from all over Asia as well. There’s Pad Thai spiked with shrimp, and a flavorful Pineapple Fried Rice with chicken. Steak Tips get marinated in a bourbon sauce and served with steamed vegetables over rice. But nothing beats the Yama Coco Noodles. Served with salmon, this spicy coconut curry noodle dish is creamy, sweet and satisfying.

If that isn’t sweet enough for you, the Chocolate Souffle will certainly spike your sugar level. It’s a dessert you wouldn’t find at most sushi joints and it’s so special, you got to order it 35 minutes in advance.

Yama Nachos. A Lobster Bomb. Coco Noodles and a Chocolate Soufflé. That’s the PERFECT MEAL at Yama Zakura.

You can find Yama Zakura at 369 Main Street in Northborough, or online at

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.



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