Thursday, 31 December 2015

Episode #138: Ora Sushi

Steveston, Richmond, $$ (Moderately Priced)
www.orasushi.com


As soon as I was all done with finals, I decided to do my first round of Christmas shopping at Oakridge Centre. Unfortunately, I seemed to have forgotten that Oakridge Centre is situated in a highly affluent part of Vancouver, and as such, the prices were nothing short of sky high. After haphazardly wandering around the exquisitely decorated Christmas displays for nearly an hour, I had bought exactly zero gifts and ended up staring at the pricey Ferraris while thinking about how poor I really was.


To solve the problem, I headed over to Steveston and entered a type of establishment I usually feel less poor in: the sushi restaurant. The first one I came across was Ora Sushi. A few months ago, I heard a rumour that Ora Sushi started when a chef was fired from Mega Sushi and decided to open his/her own restaurant with similar menu items but lower prices in an attempt to capture a part of Mega Sushi's clientele (I have not been able to verify this). Whether this is true or not, Ora Sushi was full of customers when I walked in, so whatever it was doing worked.


After a few moments of appreciating the modern decor, I was presented with the smallest teacup I have ever seen (loonie shown for comparison). It was absolutely adorable, but it could not even hold one single mouthful of tea! Thank goodness they also gave me the teapot, or I would have had to ask for my own dedicated waitress for the sole purpose of refilling my tea. By the end of my meal, I was convinced that my arm muscles had grown stronger by a few notches after a few intense sessions of teapot lifting.


Arriving in a timely manner, the Moncton Set was neatly plated with plenty of moisture on the tray.

California Roll (half order) - B

The California Roll was neatly constructed and the mayonnaise in the center provided a creamy texture. There was a decent amount of crab meat, but the ingredients were average in quality and essentially standard fare.

Chicken Teriyaki - A-

The Chicken Teriyaki came with a decent amount of tender chicken that exhibited a nice grilled flavour. The stir-fried vegetables underneath, being quite savoury, worked as a good complement to the chicken. 

Prawn Tempura - B+
Green Bean Tempura - C+
Kabocha Tempura - B-
Sweet Potato Tempura - B-

The Tempura came with one prawn and one piece each of green bean, kabocha, and sweet potato. The batter was laid on quite thickly, and the frying oil showed slight signs of overuse. The Prawn Tempura was the best of the bunch as the prawn was fresh and provided a nice burst of flavour. However, the flavour of the green bean was completely lost in the thick coating of batter. The kabocha was sufficiently soft but very thinly sliced. The sweet potato came in a large piece with adequate sweetness.

Tai Sashimi - B+
Tuna Sashimi - C
Hokkigai Sashimi - B-
Sockeye Salmon Sashimi - A-

The Assorted Sashimi came with three pieces of tai, three pieces of tuna, one piece of hokkigai, and three pieces of sockeye salmon. The tai came with an appealing light pink hue and was not too chewy with a mildly sweet flavour. Unfortunately, the tuna did not taste very fresh and had a strong fishy flavour. The Hokkigai was chewy and lacking in flavour, while the Sockeye Salmon Sashimi was the freshest with a deliciously smooth texture.

Ebi Sunomono - A-

The highlight of the Ebi Sunomono was the shrimp, which was very fresh with an excellent texture. The vinegar base was on the milder side but amply sweet. The slice of lemon provided a citrusy, refreshing feel to the sunomono.

Monster Bite - A-

Having tried Mega Sushi's Godzilla Bite, I decided to order the mirroring dish here to make a comparison as well as acquire a small flame to transform my tuna sashimi into tuna tataki. Imagine my disappointment when the Monster Bite came without this small flame! Instead, the salad comprised the center of the dish and was well dressed with the standard Japanese salad dressing.

The "sushi" part of the Monster Bite consisted of deep-fried seaweed and rice, tuna, salmon, torched spicy chopped scallop, alfalfa, and spicy mayonnaise. The deep-fried base had just the right amount of crunchiness, and the spicy mayonnaise contributed a nice zing. The seafood had a soft, creamy texture, and the tuna had a tasty tataki flavour. Each piece of the Monster Bite was graced with a light, fluffy layer made up of very fine pieces of daikon. This Monster Bite was well executed, but the one I had at Mega Sushi was a bit more carefully prepared and showed greater attention to detail.

Chocolate Pear - A-

After countless years of seeing the Chocolate Pear from Mario's Gelati on the table menu stands of numerous restaurants, I finally decided to give it a try even though I was already full (classic me). At first, I could not understand why they provided me with a knife until I had a few close calls in which I almost launched the whole pear onto someone else's table while trying to break it down with my spoon. The pear is surely much easier to eat after it has been cut up. I enjoyed the hazelnut chocolate gelato, which was served at the appropriate temperature and had a nutty, quasi-coconut flavour. 

The service felt a bit rushed while the restaurant was very busy, but as I stayed past 2:30 p.m., the decreasing number of diners made for some pleasant, friendly service towards the end of my meal. In the end, I didn't find any particular dish especially outstanding, but there were more hits than misses. Although I felt that the food at Mega Sushi was slightly better executed, the prices are slightly lower here, so it is a classic case of "you get what you pay for."

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

Friday, 25 December 2015

Episode #137: Namoo Sushi

Port Moody, $$ (Moderately Priced)
www.toktokvan.com/namoosushi


** Merry Christmas to all of my dear readers! **

Despite the extra amount of travel time needed, I enjoy doing my studying in different places around Greater Vancouver. I claim that studying in different places helps me remember things better, but most importantly, I get to go to different sushi restaurants in the process. One of my favourite places to study is the Port Moody Public Library (even though I don't live in Port Moody), and I've been stealing their Wi-Fi and desk space on numerous occasions. Over two such occasions, I completed a Sushi-a-thon at Namoo Sushi while my brain was overflowing with math formulas.


Namoo Sushi is Korean-operated and has a very extensive menu. The dining area was spacious and decorated with many Japanese fans along with an endearing water fountain. I found the booth seating a bit tight, and I had some trouble getting into the seats. Just to be clear, I am neither beefy nor well built. If you want to picture my body shape, just think of one of those feeble nerds who spends too much time studying and you'll have approximately the right idea.

1st visit:

Miso Soup - A-

To get a sample of everything, I started with the Sashimi Box, which came with a Miso Soup. The Miso Soup arrived steaming hot and came with green onion and tofu. It was well balanced with a sufficient amount of flavour.


The Sashimi Box was neatly arranged, and the portion sizes were quite generous.

Salad - B

Starting with the top-left corner, the Salad was standard fare and consisted mainly of bite-sized pieces of lettuce dressed with the standard Japanese salad dressing.

Tempura - A-

The Tempura came with one prawn and one piece each of sweet potato and yam. The prawn had an excellent texture and was covered with a light, crispy layer of batter, which provided a delicious, savoury burst of flavour. The batter on the sweet potato was a bit heavy, but both the yam and the sweet potato exhibited a good balance of sweet and savoury flavours.

Fruit - B+

As strange as it may be, I have always rated single pieces of fruit on this blog and will continue to do so. I found this piece of orange neither sweet nor sour, but it was sufficiently juicy.

Salmon Sashimi - A+
Tuna Sashimi - B+

The Salmon Sashimi blew my mind. It was extremely fresh and sliced into large, thin pieces for a softer texture. It had the perfect creamy flavour and was definitely the highlight of my entire day. There's nothing in life that can compare to an excellent piece of sashimi, right? The Tuna Sashimi exhibited no fishiness at all and was cleanly cut, though it wasn't very soft. 


Beef Teriyaki with Rice - A

The Beef Teriyaki with Rice came with tender, savoury beef that was dressed with a good amount of teriyaki sauce. Underneath was a flavourful layer of bean sprouts, chopped onions, and lettuce. A slight hint of black pepper livened up the flavours. I enjoyed virtually every aspect of this dish, though I guess if I was really, really picky, I could say that it was the slightest bit greasy. 

Baked Salmon Roll - B

After finishing the Sashimi Box, I got the Baked Salmon Roll, which came with avocado, crab meat, red pepper, baked salmon, melted cheese, green onion, and bonito flakes. Now, if you're one of those people who eats fajitas and goes "I wonder what these would taste like in a sushi roll," I have no better solution to offer than to try this roll. The melted cheese was a blend of white and yellow cheeses, and the cheese + baked salmon + teriyaki sauce combo sort of worked. The salmon was not fully cooked to retain a smooth texture, and there was a generous amount of salmon. 

2nd visit:

 Yakitori - B

The Yakitori comprised two extremely bulky skewers, each with several gigantic chunks of broccoli. Thrown into the mix were a few large, crunchy pieces of red pepper. The chicken, no longer the center of attention, was sufficiently juicy and tender, and the broccoli had a subtle seared flavour. While I wasn't paying attention, one of the wooden skewers magically broke apart into three pieces, possibly due to its own weight. The "mysteriously disintegrating skewer" is a skill that I have never witnessed before.

Ebi Mayo - B

The Ebi Mayo came with six battered shrimps dressed with mayonnaise and a bit of honey for some extra sweetness. The shrimp had a decent snap to it, and I liked how it was peeled all the way to the tail, making it cleaner and more convenient to eat. However, the honey made the batter slightly chewy in places, and the shrimp still remained weak in flavour.

Dragon Roll - A

The rest of my order was exquisitely plated with a beautiful shrimp head in the middle. Behind the shrimp head is the Dragon Roll, which came with crab meat, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, BBQ eel, and teriyaki sauce. The crab meat was very rich in flavour and made the roll quite addicting. The unagi was pleasantly soft and had a savoury, sweet flavour. 

Amaebi Nigiri - A-
Toro Nigiri - B+
Saba Nigiri - A

Once again, the raw seafood was fresh. The amaebi (sweet shrimp) was creamy with a slight, appealing snap, while the toro was soft and came in a very generous piece. The Toro Nigiri is one of those rare times where I thought there wasn't enough sushi rice underneath. However, the Saba Nigiri (mackerel) was excellent. Not only was the saba very fresh, but it also had just the right amount of saltiness and just the right amount of sushi rice. The smooth, soft texture of the saba added a few points to the delicious-o-meter.

The service was very friendly and attentive on both of my visits, and I was quite pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food, especially given the price. From what I tried, it appears that their greatest strength is their fresh supply of fish. The classical piano music in the background made my dining experience more classy. Unfortunately, some of the pieces were played a bit too slowly, and I heard a few wrong notes while I was eating the Ebi Mayo. Oh deer...

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

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Episode #136: Broadway Station Sushi

Vancouver (Northeast), $$ (Moderately Priced)
www.broadwaysushi.ca

Broadway Station Sushi is a restaurant I've often passed by on my way to my other sushi adventures. Being the adventurer that I am, I usually venture as far as I can considering the amount of free time I have. One day, during the festive season of cram sessions, free time became a scarce resource, so I ended up having lunch at Broadway Station Sushi. Nothing about the name suggests good or authentic sushi. The prices are not especially cheap either, so I felt like I was walking on eggshells with this adventure. I crossed my fingers, hoping that the eggshells would be sufficiently sturdy.


Broadway Station Sushi is Korean-operated, and things were off to a good start as the service was friendly. The interior actually looks quite nice and gives the restaurant a decent vibe. I quickly sifted through the menu, which contained a vast array of appetizers, special rolls, donburi and udon bowls. However, nothing caught my attention nearly as much as the big box in the middle titled "Aburi Nigiri Special Selections." As a food blogger, how could I possibly not order the "special selections"?

Aburi Saba Nigiri - B+
Aburi Toro Nigiri - B+

The Aburi Saba Nigiri was slightly too salty, but it had some of that sought-after smoky Aburi flavour. It was neither particularly soft nor particularly tough. The Aburi Toro Nigiri was very juicy and full of fish oils. I enjoyed its smooth, soft texture, but felt that it could have more of a seared flavour.

Sexy Roll - A-
Chopped Scallop Nigiri - B
Salmon Nigiri - A-

Of all the rolls, I decided to go with the Sexy Roll because after all, as the saying goes, you are what you eat. This roll consisted of spicy tuna, yam bits, avocado, cucumber, and BBQ unagi. The sweet unagi on top was well executed, and the spicy mayonnaise provided a moderately high level of spiciness to the roll. The yam fries were crispy and served conservatively, while the spicy tuna inside was soft and creamy. The only issue I had was that the seaweed wasn't cut all the way through for some of the pieces.

The Chopped Scallop Nigiri featured creamy, savoury chopped scallop bound by a tough piece of seaweed. The Salmon Nigiri, on the other hand, came with a generous piece of salmon that was deliciously buttery in flavour.

Tempura Udon - B

They put in about as much effort to make the Tempura Udon seem authentic as they did when coming up with the name of the restaurant. The piece of broccoli they included was not fresh, leaving a bitter aftertaste. However, other than that, the udon and its accompanying basket of tempura were decent. The tempura featured just the right amount of batter, and the frying oil was not overused at all. The tempura prawn was meaty and delicious, and the tempura zucchini, sweet potato, and kabocha were savoury and juicy. The udon noodles were quite thick and on the softer side. I found the udon broth to be light but well balanced.

I was quite pleased with the service throughout my lunch, and I suppose crossing my fingers worked. Although the food was not exactly top-notch, it was decent and worth the price. Many of the special rolls appear to be promising, and I wouldn't mind coming back for a quick sushi fix when I don't have time to travel to the land of very expensive sushi (ahem, Kitsilano). 

Broadway Station Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Episode #135: Ro Sushi

Vancouver (Northwest), $ (Budget)
www.rosushi.com


Carp Sushi is a small Japanese takeout-based restaurant that just opened up about a month ago, and I was all ready to try their expensive nigiri. However, things were not meant to be as they were closed for the day when I came by their door, so I hopped back on the 99 B-line and travelled one more stop to the west. All I saw at the Broadway-City Hall Station was a frantic whir of people, buses, trucks. If you ever want to experience what it feels like to live in an overcrowded country, this is it. Unable to spot any sushi restaurants with just my eyes, I stole some Wi-Fi from a nearby cafe to access Zomato, which pointed me to Ro Sushi.


If you zoom in on the circular sign, you can see that it says "Ro Sushi Japanese Bistro." Most of the interior decor is marginally fancy enough to give us a slight bistro-like feeling. However, when the server handed me the menu, I just had to do a facepalm. It was loosely encased in Saran wrap, which was wrinkled and curled at the edges. So much for professional image. Ahh, Chinese-operated restaurants...

Virtually everything on the menu looked super affordable judging from the listed prices. The most prominently displayed item was the All Day Special Box, which came with chicken or beef teriyaki, rice, salad, tempura, a California roll, and Miso Soup, all for just $7.95! However, in order to inflict maximum damage on my wallet, I did not order it.

Salmon Sashimi - C+
Toro Sashimi - C-

Right at the beginning of my meal, the Salmon and Toro Sashimi was a tragedy. The Salmon was very chewy and served too cold. It was fresh, but the texture did not make it the least bit enjoyable. The Toro Sashimi came in thin, moderately sized slices and was underthawed. It had a nice, creamy flavour, but the sensation of a block of ice in the center of each piece did not exactly match my criteria for good toro sashimi.

Drunken Monkey - B
West Coast Pocket Nigiri - B

There were a bunch of special rolls on the menu listed under the heading "Funky Creations," and some of these rolls included The Beautiful and Erotica Roll. However, I went with one that matched my mood a little better - the Drunken Monkey. The Drunken Monkey came with eel, crab, asparagus, smoked salmon, and tobiko. The unagi and eel provided a good amount of sweetness and worked together nicely. The asparagus was juicy but was a bit crunchy inside. There was only a thin layer of rice on the outside, which turned out to be a good thing as the rice was slightly mushy.

The West Coast Pocket consisted of inari, crab meat, avocado and salmon. It exhibited a soft texture and burst of sweetness coming from the inari. The flavour of the salmon could have been brought out more, and things got slightly mushy inside.

Seared Tai Nigiri - C+

The Seared Tai Nigiri had a slight smoky flavour, but the tai was very chewy and tasted slightly fishy. On the upside, the fish-to-rice ratio was more or less correct.

Appetizer Tempura - C

The Appetizer Tempura came in huge proportions and consisted of two prawns as well as one piece each of kabocha, sweet potato, and zucchini. Unfortunately, the method they used to make the tempura bigger was to put about 500% the necessary amount of batter. As an added bonus, the batter was also hard. I literally spent more time peeling the batter off than actually eating the tempura. The saving grace was that each of the pieces actually tasted quite good without any batter at all. The prawns were juicy, and each of the vegetables had just the right amount of moisture.

Yakitori - B

The Yakitori came with tender, juicy chicken with a thin, appealing layer of crispy skin on top. I was about to write my first above-average letter grade for this restaurant when all of a sudden, I took a bite into the second skewer and found that it was significantly overdone. As a result, some of the pieces of chicken became very tough to chew. 

The service was remarkably friendly for a Chinese-operated restaurant. It could have been a bit more attentive though as my tea was never refilled. The most unfortunate part of my experience was the food itself. The food was quite cheap, but there were major mistakes with pretty much every item I ordered. Ro Sushi has a significant number of positive reviews online, but my experience was hardly indicative of that. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm guessing the chef must have been having a very bad day.

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

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Episode #134: Sushi Paradise

New Westminster, $$ (Moderately Priced)
www.sushiparadise.ca

After surviving the deathly combination of midterms, assignments, and group projects for the semester, I finally had a few moments of spare time. I really wanted to have a vacation to reward myself for my hard work, but because I still had classes to attend and finals to prepare for, I decided to "vacation" at Sushi Paradise. The restaurant donned ocean-themed decorations and played exotic ukulele music. What more could I ask for?


Sushi Paradise is Japanese-operated and focuses on takeout, though they do have a few tables inside. You order and pay at the front, but there is a server who brings the food to your table. One unique feature of their menu is that you can order mini versions of their Teriyaki Donburi and Udon dishes, which is perfect for people like me who like try as many dishes as possible.


All of my food came out almost simultaneously. I wasn't especially hungry, so I didn't order a lot of food this time.

Paradise Roll - B+

The Paradise Roll, at $6.98, was the most expensive roll on the menu, and going by the logic that expensive things should be better, I decided to order it. It consisted of tuna, salmon, unagi, tamago, inari, fish roe, and vegetables. The individual ingredients were well-executed. In particular, the tamago was soft and fluffy, while the unagi had a tasty smoky flavour. I found it interesting how the inari had rice inside it - it was like having a piece of nigiri inside a sushi roll! Some of the ingredients got lost in the mix, but as a whole, the roll tasted decent.

Hamachi Nigiri - B
Toro Nigiri - C+
Amaebi Nigiri - A
Chop² Nigiri - B+

The Hamachi Nigiri had a light flavour and a smooth texture. It was not outstanding, and I thought that the sushi rice could have more flavour. The Toro Nigiri was sliced too thin, so it was lacking in flavour and did not exhibit a melty texture. However, the Amaebi Nigiri was excellent. The sushi rice was packed correctly, and the amaebi tasted like fresh spot prawns melting in my mouth. The Chop² Nigiri, which was essentially Chopped Scallop Nigiri, came with fresh, creamy scallop and was wrapped with a slightly crispy piece of seaweed.

Mini Tempura Udon - C+

Next, I had the Mini Tempura Udon, and for $4.98, it was a fair deal. The udon noodles were on the softer side, and the broth was quite standard fare. Unfortunately, the tempura prawn that came with the udon was poorly executed, as the batter was hard on one side and soft and soggy on the other. Did they accidentally drop it into the udon broth and then pull it back out? After one bite, I just dunked the rest of the tempura into the broth so that it would at least be consistently soggy.

Mini Chicken Don - B

I found the Mini Chicken Don ($4.28) to be more filling than the udon. It was also executed better and came with fresh, tender chicken and well-cooked rice. The colourful assortment of green beans, bell pepper, daikon, and ginger made the donburi more visually appealing. The only issue I had was that the thick consistency of the teriyaki sauce made the chicken and the rice taste mushy (even though they were not in fact mushy). 

The staff at Sushi Paradise were quite friendly, and most of the sushi items were decent. After all, it's Sushi Paradise and not Udon and Donburi Paradise. The restaurant's location behind Royal City Centre in New Westminster makes it hard to find, and this is further complicated by New Westminster's insanely confusing street-naming system. I managed to get off at the right bus stop, but it took me almost fifteen minutes to locate the restaurant because I kept mixing the diagonal streets and avenues up. At the very least, I got my exercise for the week.

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

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Episode #133: Yuji's from Japan

Vancouver (Northwest), $$$$ (Luxury)
www.yujis.ca

After the midterms season ended, I immediately felt the need to go for an omakase dinner, a special dining experience in which the selection of dishes is left up to the chef. I've heard many good things about Yuji's from Japan, but what really made their omakase attractive to me was the fact that it was for $50. For only $50, I could forget all about how I did on my midterms. An excellent deal, I would say.


I visited the restaurant on Chef Yuji's first day back from his trip to Japan, and during my visit, the restaurant was already bustling with activity. Things were off to a good start as the servers were very friendly, and the quality of the green tea was excellent. However, trying to be discreet with my note-taking was an epic fail as the dishes were highly creative, which meant that I had to ask one of the servers to repeat the descriptions for many of the dishes I was served. I am very grateful for his patience.


First to arrive was a tower of six appetizers. While I was awed by the presentation, what amazed me more was how this was brought to me intact. If I were the server, the result would most likely be a disappointed (and possibly angry) Chef Yuji staring at his creations lying on the floor in a splat.

Sesame-Covered Eggplant - A

The first appetizer I tried, the Sesame-Covered Eggplant, was a success. With a juicy piece of eggplant in the center and a crunchy, aromatic layer of sesame seeds on the outside, this was a delightful start to the omakase.

Snow Crab on Egg Custard with Wasabi - A+

I was very impressed with the second appetizer, which featured silky, soft snow crab and a refreshing egg custard. The amount of wasabi was just right and went surprisingly well with the custard, giving it a unique, spicy kick.

Cherry Tomato Gomaae - A-

The Cherry Tomato Gomaae came with two extremely juicy cherry tomatoes. The sesame sauce was decent but not really absorbed by the cherry tomatoes.

Chicken Tsukune with Mushroom - A

The Chicken Tsukune was solid as the meatball was comprised of tender chicken meat that absorbed the light teriyaki sauce perfectly. 

Grilled Bamboo Shoot - B+

There was nothing mindblowing about this one, but the miso glaze on each piece added a nice sweetness. The bamboo shoot was not too chewy and had sufficient moisture.

Taro and Squash with Minced Meat - A+

I love miso-infused taro, and they nailed it here! The squash was by far the juiciest and softest piece of squash I have ever had. This definitely tasted much better than it looked.

Miso-Marinated Sablefish - A
Shio-koji Chicken - A+

After the appetizers, I was presented with two more resounding hits. The Miso-Marinated Sablefish was very juicy and silky, and I enjoyed the aromatic fish oils. The fish was so soft that it just melted in my mouth. I would have given it an A+ if it had a slightly stronger miso flavour. Moving to the right, I was highly impressed with the Shio-koji Chicken. It had a delicious pepper-like, smoky flavour and was very juicy and tender. The shio-koji and slice of lemon worked together to provide a slight zing.

Assorted Tempura - A

Next came a dish consisting of various tempura items. The batter was excellent and was appropriately thin, crispy, and savoury. The sweet chili pepper was not spicy and pleasantly juicy. The Cipollini onion had a nice balanced flavour but fell apart. Next, the kabocha was sliced thinly but was full of moisture. The prawn tempura was meaty with a good snap, and the ika (squid) with shiso had a refreshing minty flavour and a decent rebound. Finally, I was quite intrigued by the large piece of kale tempura at the back. It tasted almost exactly like a fluffy, airy version of vegetable chips (but of course, this tasted much better than standard vegetable chips).

Chawanmushi - A

I'm not the biggest fan of eggs, which explains why I have never ordered a Chawanmushi before. However, this Chawanmushi transformed my brain from fearing chawanmushi to craving chawanmushi. The steaming egg custard was mixed with a tasty, heart-warming seafood broth and contained some cooked scallop, shrimp, tilapia, and spinach.

Bigeye Tuna Nigiri - B+
Hamachi Nigiri - B+
Yazu Nigiri - B
Sockeye Salmon Nigiri - A-
Tai Nigiri - B

I was very impressed with my omakase dinner so far, but the nigiri sushi was a blunder compared to everything that came before. There were just too many mistakes. The sushi rice tasted overcooked and was too hard texture-wise, while some pieces contained too much wasabi. In addition, the sushi rice was too tightly packed in the Tai Nigiri. Was Chef Yuji still in vacation mode?? Well, at least it was still better than T&T Supermaket's sushi rice.

Despite the subpar rice, the fish were very fresh. The bigeye tuna had a delicate, sweet flavour, while the hamachi was soft and creamy. The yazu, a younger variant of hamachi, was slightly chewy, but the sockeye salmon had an appealing, smooth texture. The tai, being creamy, smooth, and not too chewy, was also a delight.

Cream Caramel Custard Pudding - A

Thankfully, the omakase ended with a well-executed dessert, the Cream Caramel Custard Pudding. It was homemade and consisted of a vibrant blend of sweet flavours, accented by the melty layer of caramel on top. It was served at a cool temperature, which made it especially refreshing.

The highly enjoyable and creative dishes were complemented by the friendly and attentive service, which lasted throughout my dinner. Despite the nigiri mishap, I still highly enjoyed my visit. For an omakase, I would have liked to see more high-ticket items, and I felt that $50 was slightly on the pricey side. That being said, Chef Yuji's creativity made up for the price premium. Hopefully, when I decide to make a repeat visit, I will be able to experience the masterfully crafted sushi described in the online reviews.

Yuji's from Japan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato