When Sicha Sin came to Alaska in 1976 she ate at the Anchorage Nikko Garden and dreamed one day of having her own restaurant. The word Nikko means perfection and the idea of a garden is a place of peace and tranquility, exactly what Sicha Sin has created since fulfilling her dream and becoming the owner of the Nikko Garden on the Spur Highway in Soldotna since 2005. Earlier this year Sicha opened a new Sushi Bar room at Nikko Garden with beautiful granite booths and aquariums with huge coy and goldfish. "The fish represent good fortune and are very beautiful, one of our coy is 13 years old," said Sicha. "When most people think of Sushi they think of raw fish and say 'Oh no thank you!' but there are so many kinds of sushi and only a few are made with raw fish. The making of sushi is an art that is passed down through family for many generations," she said.
The origins of sushi seems to travel through time and three different countries but most likely originated in China and traveled to Japan and Korea. It was first a means to preserve fish. As a preserved food, the salted fish, fermented with rice, was an important source of protein. The cleaned fish were kept in rice so that the natural fermentation of the rice helped preserve the fish. After a couple of months of fermentation only the fish was consumed while the rice was discarded. When introduced in Japan around the 8th century AD it became more a cuisine rather than a way to preserve food and was turned into an art form for eating fish and vegetables cooked and uncooked.
Nikko Garden features over 50 different sushi selections on their menu with a wide variety of tastes and presentation, such as the flaming "Playboy," the beautiful Volcano and the ultimate Nikko Sushi Love Boat known as the "Titanic," there is an Alaska Sushi roll, the Traffic Jam Roll, Hole in One Roll and even a Soldotna Roll, and if you can't decide just ask Sicha or one of the lovely waitresses what they recommend and be adventuresome. For those who have a limited time for lunch or dinner Nikko Garden offers a full buffet, including sushi and a wide selection of oriental cuisine and salad bar. But for those who want a leisurely dinning experience with a romantic flare and a desire to try new tastes of edible art you'll want to visit the new Sushi Bar room at Nikko Garden. They also feature a variety of imported and domestic beer and wine to accompany your perfect dinner selection. Be prepared to see old friends or make new ones at Nikko Garden as it is the home of the Kenai River Rotary Club. The Trip Advisor gives Nikko Garden a 5 star rating and says, "We laughed at the thought of a Sushi restaurant in Soldotna, Alaska. We sat at the Sushi Bar and simply let the chef recommend a variety of his special rolls. Probably the most creative I have ever had both in flavor and presentation." Nikko Garden is open 7 days a week 11:00am - 10:00pm during the summer but is closed on Mondays during the winter season.