Thursday, December 11, 2014

Episode #49: Sushi Koo

Port Coquitlam, $ (Budget)

Last Sunday night, after completing a particularly difficult final exam which I needed to forget about, I had my mind set on either Sushi Koo or Sushi Ikoi (the contingency plan in case the buses didn't line up). Fortunately, they did line up, and when I arrived in Port Coquitlam, all was eerily quiet except for the bowling place on McAllister and the Giggle Dam Theatre. Well, I suppose that's what it's like far out into the suburbs. Sushi Koo is on the same block as the bowling centre and is a new Chinese-run Japanese restaurant that opened up earlier this year.

I went inside to find a brightly lit restaurant with a seating capacity of just over 50. Breaking the Chinese stereotype was the fact that the service was actually quite friendly. The decor wasn't particularly fancy or anything, but it appeared to be clean. Also a plus was the fact that I wasn't the only diner - there were a few other tables around to liven up the atmosphere.

Scallop Bacon - A

The Scallop Bacon came with two skewers, each with three small scallops individually wrapped with bacon. It was tastefully grilled and the teriyaki sauce accentuated the flavours of the bacon. The bacon had a slight crispiness to it and the scallop was soft and juicy. The salad was dressed with a light vinaigrette as well. This was a wonderful start to the meal.

Tuna Sashimi - C-
Salmon Sashimi - A-

The Appetizer Sashimi came with 3 pieces of tuna and 2 pieces of salmon. The cuts were very generous and it looked quite promising. I started with the salmon, which was fresh, smooth and not overly chewy despite the thickness. I then proceeded to pick up the tuna, which fell out of my chopsticks and hit my soy sauce dish with a loud "kaplunk", catapulting the soy sauce all over my table. Terribly embarrassed and in shock, I then bit into the tuna which made a crunching sound (WTF?) - it was still frozen! No wonder it was so heavy!

BC Blazer Roll - B+

The BC Blazer Roll consisted of crab meat, avocado, seared salmon, tobiko, green onion and bonito. They did a good job of balancing the ingredients to create a nice, harmonized roll. The roll was a bit above moderately spicy and I wish they indicated this on the menu, though I felt the spiciness was well-integrated and was a plus. There was a good amount of creamy, delicious salmon on top though I highly doubt they actually seared the salmon because it had exactly the same texture as the salmon sashimi.

Wild Salmon Nigiri - B-
Unagi Nigiri - B+
Chopped Scallop Nigiri - B+

The Wild Salmon Nigiri had a mild taste akin to smoked salmon. It would be better with a smoother texture and I found the rice packed too tightly. The Unagi Nigiri was dressed with a savoury unagi sauce and displayed clean cutting skills. My favourite was the Chopped Scallop Nigiri, which had a good amount of mayonnaise. Furthermore, the seaweed wasn't too tough while the nigiri still held together well.

Most of the food was tasty and well-prepared, and the prices are very reasonable. They are also very generous with the portion sizes and the various combos on the menu can result in decent savings. Service was friendly for the most part, though I wish they took action when they asked me how the food was and I told them about the frozen tuna (I was just given an explanation). Oh well, I just made the best of the situation and left the tuna sitting on my table until the end of my meal, when it had thawed enough to be edible ... kind of.

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