Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Episode #21: Sushi Oyama (Coquitlam)

Coquitlam, $$ (Moderately Priced)

My family and I were looking for a place in Coquitlam to have a bit of Japanese food (not a full dinner as we weren't exactly hungry) and stopped at Akari Japanese Restaurant only to find out that it was permanently closed. We considered our choices around the area and opted for Sushi Oyama to have a quick meal. The beautiful decor (which includes a glass waterfall near the entrance), the huge dining area (with spacious seating throughout) and the warm attitude from the servers are all attractive features as you walk into the restaurant. Even though we walked in at 8:30 p.m. on a Monday night, there were still a considerable number of customers enjoying a late dinner at Sushi Oyama.

After about 10 minutes, my nigiri came followed in quick succession by the Red Roll. I quickly grabbed a piece of the Red Roll before sampling my nigiri.

 Red Roll - A

The Red Roll came with chopped scallop, cucumber, spicy tuna and mayonnaise. The roll is mildly spicy and the use of masago with the chopped scallop enhanced the flavour of scallop. Both the spicy tuna and chopped scallop exhibited desirable smooth textures, and even though the chopped scallop was chopped up a bit more than usual, I highly enjoyed the soft and easy-to-chew qualities of this roll.

Unagi Nigiri - A-
Tai Nigiri - C
Salmon Nigiri - B-

The Unagi was the tastiest of the three and the sweet teriyaki sauce that was added on top made it more savoury. There was a bit too much skin and it was served cooler than expected. Next, the Tai Nigiri was mostly devoid of flavour and had a rough, mashed texture. The heavy density of the rice didn't help, and some of the grains of rice started to fall apart. The Salmon Nigiri had a nice buttery flavour to it and tasted fresh, but was sliced rather thin (even though it was quite long). Again, the denseness of the rice distracted me from enjoying the fish.

Sound Trap Roll - A-

The Sound Trap Roll consisted of cucumber, avocado, prawn tempura, tuna, tempura bits and mayonnaise. I'm not sure why it was called the Sound Trap Roll, but it tasted quite good. The roll had an overall sweet and creamy taste and the cucumber did not disrupt the softness of the roll. The tuna was lightly seared which added a light, smoky touch to the roll. The herbs gave the roll a slight essence of Caesar salad (in a good way). My only issue was the uneven crunchiness of the prawn tempura, with some of the pieces being too crunchy or too hard.

 Red Dragon Roll - B-

The Red Dragon Roll consisted of salmon, prawn tempura, masago, tobiko, bonito flakes, and mayonnaise. The different colours of the fish roes (masago and tobiko) gave the roll a very colourful appearance. Unfortunately, there was too much sauce and the sauce was too spicy, which sort of overwhelmed the roll. Eating a piece of the roll as a whole (without picking apart the ingredients), all I could notice under the spiciness was the fact that the prawn tempura was fried in overused oil (I know it's the end of the day, but I rate what I'm served). Consistent with the Salmon Nigiri, the salmon on top had the same buttery and fresh taste.

 BBQ Salmon Gama - A-

Wow, at $4.50, the BBQ Salmon Gama was an unexpected and extraordinarily good deal! As you can see from the photo, we were served a very generous portion. Since it came on a teppanyaki plate, the BBQ Salmon Gama was nice and hot and you can even see some of the sizzling in the photo! The Salmon Gama was juicy and parts of it were brimming with fish oils. They were conservative with the amount of herbs and sauces so this dish has a rather mild flavour overall, allowing you to taste the natural flavour of the salmon without too many garnishes. 

Other than some of the nigiri, the food was quite decent and well presented. The servers had a friendly attitude, but I wish there was more service. Sometimes, I had to push the service button on the side of my table more than once to get a server to come. The prices are quite reasonable for the food, and if you come with a large party (10 or 12 people), they have tables dedicated for that purpose. The next time I have a large party dining with me, I will probably take my business here.

Sushi Oyama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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