July 14, 2015 By Michael Florio
A new Japanese restaurant and sake bar opened last week in Jackson Heights.
Sake Bar by Zabb opened on July 4th in the basement level at 71-28 Roosevelt Ave, according to owner Palm TangJuntuk.
The restaurant serves a variety of sushi rolls, the most popular of which is shrimp tempura, which is shrimp breaded in panko breadcrumbs. It also serves a variety of izakaya dishes, which are smaller dishes that you would order at a bar, TangJuntuk said.
These items include fried squid legs, sashimi, which is a raw fish dish, mentai pasta, which is a Japanese style pasta, and takoyaki, which is an octopus dish.
There are four different kinds of sake and a variety of Japanese beer, which cost $4.50 for a glass and $12 for a pitcher.
According to TangJuntuk, business has been promising since opening just over a week ago.
“A lot of people have come to try our food and drinks,” he said. “There’s been a little bit of a buzz since we opened.”
The restaurant can seat up to 20 people and will be open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., Friday through Sunday.
TangJuntuk said there was a need for a Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood, which is why he decided to open.
“There is not a lot of restaurants that offer what we do,” he said.
TangJuntuk lives just a few blocks from the restaurant. He moved to Jackson Heights just two years ago, stating that he was attracted to the neighborhood due to the diversity it offered.
“I love that there are so many people from different backgrounds,” he said. “It’s what made me want to live here and open a business here.”
Prior to moving to the neighborhood, TangJuntuk lived in Chicago for three years, which is where he developed his interest in Japanese cooking. He grew up in Thailand.
Sake Bar is located below a ground-floor Thai restaurant called Zabb Elee.
Zabb Elee is separately owned, but the two will be acting as partners, such as appearing on the liquor license together.
The owner of the building owns Zabb Elee, according to TangJuntuk.