Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Episode #90: Hi, Dozo Sushi

New Westminster, $$ (Moderately Priced)

While everyone else was having fun at the International Night Market celebrating with loads of delicious-looking food, I was stuck at home celebrating the two-week anniversary of my gracious mouth sore. That meant no fried or spicy goodies for me, but nothing stops me from having sushi. Not wanting to venture out too far, my dad drove me to New Westminster and picked Hi, Dozo Sushi based on appearance alone. Funny enough, this was the restaurant I was thinking of in my mind.

Hi, Dozo Sushi is a moderately large restaurant situated in Uptown New Westminster. The staff cleverly placed the patrons so that the restaurant looked empty and deserted even though it was half full. However, the seating was quite comfortable as a result so I'll give them that. Looking at the menu, I found a large variety of dishes (including two pages of special rolls!). 

 The Dinner Combos
It didn't take me long to realize that pretty much every special roll and combo contained something fried, something spicy, or cream cheese. Oh great. Not wanting to spend more for less, I got the Sashimi Dinner Combo, which came with Miso Soup, a California Roll, 8 pieces of sashimi, Chicken Teriyaki, Gomae, Agedashi Tofu, and Appetizer Tempura (some other choices are possible as shown in the picture above). A little fried food won't hurt, right?

 Miso Soup - B

As mentioned in previous episodes, my dad pretty much only likes hot food, so I let him have the Miso Soup. He gave it a B, saying that it was a bit salty, lacking in green onion and tofu, and neither good nor bad overall.

The rest of the dinner combo came in a large lunch box. There wasn't a chance that I could refrain from having any of the tempura, because it looked and smelled good. At the very least, I had that healthy slice of watermelon plopped in the middle to balance things out!

Appetizer Tempura - A-

The Appetizer Tempura came with 2 prawns and 1 piece each of kabocha, green bean, yam and sweet potato. I found the batter to be a touch heavy in places, but other than that, there was much to like about the tempura. The prawns were rich and savoury in flavour and the kabocha, yam, and sweet potato had just the right amount of sweetness.

California Roll - B+
Tuna Sashimi - B
Tai Sashimi - A
Hokkigai Sashimi - B+
Salmon Sashimi - A-

The California Roll was on the smaller side and otherwise quite typical. The avocado was sufficiently creamy and the crab meat was sufficiently sweet. The Tuna Sashimi had a balanced taste and displayed neat knife skills, but was not particularly soft. The Tai Sashimi was the best as it was fresh, not overly chewy, and had a decent sweetness to it. The Hokkigai Sashimi was cut to the right thickness and the Salmon Sashimi had a nice smooth sheen.

Gomae - B

The Gomae was pretty standard fare. The spinach was not particularly easy to chew, but the sesame sauce was adequately rich.

Chicken Teriyaki - C+

The chicken in the Chicken Teriyaki was tender, but the sauce was terrible. The sauce had a gravy-like consistency to it and caused the skin to be very mushy. My dad, who normally loves Chicken Teriyaki, absolutely refused to eat it and went for the sashimi instead. Time for me to be the trash can. I had to mentally picture that I was eating turkey dipped in gravy to get through this obstacle.

Agedashi Tofu - C+

Unfortunately, the Agedashi Tofu was nowhere near as good as the tempura. I found the batter too crispy and the tofu rather bland. Maybe it would help if it actually came in some sauce.

Queen Roll - B+

Not wanting to get a special roll too large for me to finish, I went for the Queen Roll, which came with smoked salmon, prawn tempura, yam tempura, avocado, and lettuce. The smoked salmon had a fresh taste and the tempura was well-executed. The avocado helped blend all the flavours together.

There isn't much to say about the service because there wasn't very much of it. As for the food, there were some hits and some misses. However, it seems that they do know what they are good at as there are so many fried dishes on the menu! I found the prices to be quite reasonable for the amount and the quality of the food. As I was leaving the restaurant, I crossed paths with the beautiful aroma of aburi sushi. Uh oh, did I skim the menu too quickly? Well, that's one more thing to add to the list of things I missed out on these days...

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