Royal Sushi and Izakaya

Sep 30, 2016

This week I had the pleasure of dining at the newly opened Royal Sushi and Izakaya, in Queen Village. After 6 years of planning, this much anticipated project finally came to fruition, and I think most would agree it was worth the wait.

The name “izakaya” comes from, “i” (to stay) and “sakeya” (sake shop), and appropriately so. Warm, soft lighting with dark wood furnishings and subtle japanese touches, the space evokes a seductive yet unassuming quality. Alongside, what the chefs describe as “Japanese comfort food”, you’ll want to stay awhile. The celebrated father and son team of Masaharu and Jesse Ito were brought in by David Frank and Stephen Simons, the duo behind local favorites Royal Tavern, Cantina, Khyber Pass Pub, and Triangle Tavern.

But enough about them, let’s get to the food…

I started with the Hijiki salad, a japanese classic, consisting of black seaweed, aburaage, and carrot. Despite seaweed being from the ocean, it tasted delightfully earthy.

Standouts for me were the Tuna Guac and Beef Tataki. The tuna guac was very fresh and perfectly balanced. Large chunks of raw tuna topped with mashed avocado, soy, sea salt, and wasabi olive oil, melted in my mouth. The Beef Tataki consisted of chilled, thinly sliced strip steak, with garlic, onion, scallion, soy vinegar, and sesame seeds. It was succulent and surprisingly light.

I was impressed by the large selection of japanese whiskeys and scotch. I tried some of the latter, a 12 year Yamazaki, which was smooth, pleasantly peet but crisp around the edges. The selection of saki also did not disappoint. The cloudy Ozeki sake was delicious.

With so much on the menu left to explore, and their additional sushi room opening in two weeks, I look forward to returning. Royal Sushi And Izakaya is a much welcomed addition to the Philadelphia foodscape.

Michael Garden

Michael Garden


Michael’s real estate practice is focused on quality properties in established and developing neighborhoods that offer all the desirable amenities of urban living. Rittenhouse Square to Queen Village, Kensington to Passyunk, and great outlying communities such as Chestnut Hill and Spruce Hill are all within his domain.

Michael ventured into real estate in New York in the 1990’s developing residential and small business commercial properties as an investor, contractor, and end user. In 2005 he moved to Philadelphia and began working with individuals, couples, families, and investors to achieve their real estate goals. Since then, Michael has developed a comprehensive knowledge of the neighborhoods of Philadelphia, our changing market conditions, and how to position each deal. He has an inherent ability to understand his client’s motivation, tastes, and bottom line, making him in an invaluable asset to each transaction. Michael’s attention to detail and his sensitivity to the interests of all involved parties are redefining buyer’s and seller’s expectations, one client at a time.