Housaku Restaurant, Brookfield, CT
I find it really hard to review this locale. The items they do good, they do GOOD. But so much of what they serve is Americanized (ie, sweet and fatty). Yes, I have indeed been here several times, and the above photo is of their “to die for” avocado salad. That ginger carrot dressing is served on the side, so you can add as you please, or not. It’s an entire avocado, and I’ve never yet seen a bad spot anywhere on the avocado.
Housaka is called a “fusion” restaurant. Basically because they serve Japanese, Chinese, and Thai dinners and appetizers.
The sincere positives: That above avocado salad, worth admission on its own. The friendly waitstaff. The fact that ALL the sushi bar seafood is as fresh as can be. I also enjoy the Chinese hot and sour soup. The Japanese seafood-related items that I’ve tried are all good. I do recommend the house Housaku roll. I’ll note that the seafood variety is greater at other neighboring sushi venues.
Sorry, not so good: The dumpling “skins” are not at all good. Even Americanized, they’re not good. For other things, if you enjoy American Chinese and Thai food, this place may satisfy you. (Unfortunately I grew up in New York City, with a nearby Chinatown… which my parents took to me often enough.) I’m not a sweet tooth, and many of these items are sweet when such a flavor is not necessary.
A few years ago I dropped in there, wanting a Thai dinner. I asked the waitress about the distinctions between the three types of Thai chilly on the menu – it was fine that she didn’t know, but when she went back to ask the “chef”, he simply told her the different vegetables that he was putting into the types. AS IF that was the differentiating factor. It is, NOT. Frankly, I’d think the guy cooking this back there should actually know, and be able to let a customer know THAT. (There was only one other table in there at that point — lunch — so being busy was not a good excuse.) I didn’t order Thai that night… nor never since. (TBH, a couple months prior I’d ordered a Thai dinner, but couldn’t remember which sauce it was that I actually liked… that IS why I asked.)
Overall, I’ve not found a Chinese item (other than the hot and sour soup), nor that one Thai item, tasty enough to return to. No, I’ve not tried every item, but I don’t think that necessary to provide a verdict. I do wish them well, since when they do succeed, they do, and I appreciate the friendly ambiance of the waitstaff.
RATING: Things I’ve learned to appreciate: 4 stars. Overall, were I to just walk in: Definitely under 3 stars.
317 Federal Road, Brookfield, CT 06804