Fast forward a few decades, and he now owns Sakura Japanese Steak House in Pearland. The spacious restaurant has a menu brimming with dozens of choices.
The offerings range from sushi to traditional Japanese dishes to hibachi and much more, but one culinary art seems closest to Stanley’s heart.
“I really, really like to make sushi,” he said.
A sushi chef never stops learning, Stanley said.
His love of food drew him to the restaurant business with his wife, Sherry, at his side. Manager Bin Cheng is an able hand-on-deck.
Stanley is from Fu Zhou in the mountainous province of Fu Jian on the southeast coast of mainland China. His life’s journey took him to Pearland in 2009.
Opening the Asian eatery April 15, 2010, was the culmination of many years of working with food. Culinary interests run deep for the Zheng clan.
“His whole family is in the restaurant business,” Cheng said.
Dining at Sakura, which means cherry blossoms, can be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The sushi, for instance, might feature flower petal garnishes.
The restaurant includes a hibachi area where chefs cook sizzling food in front of customers. An 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. menu features lunch prices.
Sakura also stocks a full bar. Happy hour is 3-7 p.m. daily, except Tuesday, when it is 3-10 p.m.
Like Stanley, Cheng started in the kitchen as a small child.
“I was 4 and a half,” Cheng said. “I cooked my breakfast.”
Sakura Japanese Steak House
2810 Business Center Drive, Ste. 124, Pearland
Hours: Sun-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.