Friday, June 19, 2015

Episode #92: Shochiku Japanese Restaurant

White Rock, $$ (Moderately Priced)

In the midst of all the hot weather, I decided to venture out to one of the cooler places in Greater Vancouver to have sushi. My cooler place of choice was White Rock, where strong breezes rage perpetually, necessitating a jacket at virtually all times. I perused a few online menus and selected Shochiku because it had one of the largest and most interesting menus. After all, there are not that many places where you can find Salmon Gomae. Furthermore, the words "Best Sushi in Town" were plastered in big red letters on one of the doors. They had me sold.

Despite being a relatively new restaurant (opened in 2012), the restaurant has a slightly dilapidated appearance. They didn't appear to spend much on interior renovations either. However, the dining area is spacious with a home-like feel, and I found the seating quite comfortable. The presence of several Korean dishes on the menu suggests to me that the restaurant is Korean-operated.

Salmon Gomae - B+

Served with four pieces of salmon sashimi, the Salmon Gomae came in a very large portion and was well worth the $5.95. The salmon was fresh with the desired sweet and buttery flavour. The gomae was average with large and rather chewy spinach leaves. 

Shochiku Roll - B

With the mindset that a restaurant would probably name its best roll after itself, I went with the Shochiku Roll, which consisted of deep fried eel, scallop cucumber, crispy crumbs, and tobiko. The crispy crumbs were well made without being hard. The unagi, although not particularly rich in flavour, was served nice and hot, and the scallop was quite savoury. I found the rice slightly mushy. Overall, the flavours worked well together and the roll tasted quite good if you are not too picky on details. 

Prawn Scallop Butter Yaki - A-

My favourite item of the meal was the Prawn Scallop Butter Yaki, which came with four scallops each cradled in a prawn. I enjoyed the rich, buttery flavours of the prawn and the scallop, and the prawns had a nice snap.

Sockeye Salmon Nigiri - C-
Toro Nigiri - C

Although the Atlantic salmon in the Salmon Gomae was quite good, the sockeye salmon and the toro were disappointing in comparison. The toro was alright and not too fishy, but the sockeye salmon was stringy and tough to chew. Also, I don't know if I should have opted for the black rice instead because the white sushi rice was horrible. While not as disgusting as the sushi rice mishap at The Eatery, the sushi rice here was packed much too tightly, and the grains of rice broke apart like cooked beans gone wrong. Nope, let's not think about that anymore... 

I found the service quite friendly throughout my visit. With regard to the food, Shochiku does a good job of matching flavours together, but their sushi rice needs to improved. The prices were quite reasonable, and the portion sizes were quite good. After finishing my food, I headed to Langley, which was basking in sunlight and too hot for even a T-shirt. Well, at least I can claim a free slurpee at 7-Eleven using my Scotiabank card!

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