Tucked away in a non descript building, at the corner where Trumpington Road (A1134) meets Lensfield Road (A603) is Japas a small Japanese izakaya-style restaurant.
Although Japas initially feels small and claustrophobic upon entry, the small main floor stretches down in to a larger space down the steps.
The menu consists of a generous option of sushi, sashimi, tempura as well as bento sets and a range of rice (donburi), udon and ramen mains. Going beyond Japanese food, Japas also offered other East Asian dishes such as chow mien and fried rice.
As we were there for dinner, we ordered the Nami Set of assorted sashimi, salmon and avocado uramaki (6 pieces) and a Tempura Moriwase set. The Nami Set had 12 pieces of assorted nigiri. In our case, there were 3 pieces each of salmon, tuna, cuttlefish and white fish nigiri.
Sushi & Shashimi
The nigiri helpings were generous portions of thick sliced fish. It was unfortunate that on this occasion the tuna was not as fresh and was slightly mushy to taste. The other nigiri were fine though.
The fish in the hosomaki and uramaki were also generous in size and portions, although the sushi rice was a little bland and the contrast between the vinegary, salty-sweet taste was just not there.
The Tempura Moriwase came as a big pile of a beautifully fried tempura mix of seafood and vegetables. King prawns. salmon, white fish, aubergine, sweet potato, courgette, asparagus. Served with dipping sauce and a side platter of minced white radish the tempura was crispy and perfectly done.
Complementary iced tap water was provided as they had run out of cold green tea. As an izakaya-style restaurant, there was a large selection of different sakes and wine.
Overall, Japas was a friendly inviting experience. The food was average at best. But in a city with limited Japanese/Asian food options, apart from the typical chains of Yo! and Wagamama, it was nice to experience an independent restaurant and all that it offers.
Address: 9 Saxon St, Cambridge CB2 1HN