Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Episode #113: Sushi King House

Vancouver (Southwest), $ (Budget)

I know that there is a quest to make the best sushi in town, but apparently, there is also a quest to make the biggest sushi in town. Today, I shall introduce you to Sushi King House, whose slogan is "The Biggest Sushi in Town." Of course, I wasn't going in with high expectations. After all, it's a little hard to have high expectations for a restaurant that decides to use a dreadful combination of bright yellow, bright red, and bright purple as its exterior colour scheme.

Sushi King House is a small restaurant chain with two locations in Vancouver and one in Surrey, and I chose to visit the one on West Boulevard out of convenience. This location was quite small and seated a maximum of 14 people in total. There were no diners in the restaurant when I walked in, but the Cantonese family running the restaurant seemed amply entertained by chatting with a family friend in the back.

The first thing that arrived at my table was the Special Bento Box C.

Tempura - B-

The Tempura came with two prawns and one piece of sweet potato. The prawns were fresh and meaty, while the sweet potato was sweet and had enough moisture. The batter was crunchy, and although it was a bit thick, it wasn't as hard as I had expected based on appearance. The frying oil, however, appeared to be slightly overused.

Chicken on Rice - B+

The Chicken on Rice came with some flavourful pan-fried chicken. A slight sprinkle of black pepper and sesame seeds helped to enhance the flavour of the juicy chicken. The skin was crispy just the way I like it, though they could lighten up a bit on the salt.

Hokkigai Sashimi - C+
Ebi Sashimi - B
Tuna Sashimi - C
Salmon Sashimi - B-

The Assorted Sashimi in the Special Bento Box C came with one piece each of hokkigai, ebi (shrimp), tuna, and salmon. The Hokkigai Sashimi was quite chewy, but it was weak in flavour. The Ebi Sashimi had a pleasant, sweet flavour. The Tuna Sashimi did not taste particularly fresh, but the portion size was extremely generous. Also humongous was the cut of Salmon Sashimi. I enjoyed the smooth texture of the salmon, but it was also quite lacking in flavour.

Salad - A-

My favourite part of the Special Bento Box C was the Salad, which was dressed with a darker-coloured Japanese salad dressing that tasted almost as if there was a very slight amount of pesto sauce mixed in. As a result, the Salad tasted quite rich in flavour.

Hawaii Roll - B-

So many people seem to be having a wonderful vacation in Hawaii these days and I didn't want to feel left out of the fun, so I also ordered the Hawaii Roll, which came with pineapple, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, deep-fried tuna, and unagi sauce. Now, unless you are a pelican, it is pretty much impossible to eat one whole piece in one gulp. Each of the pieces were the size of a hockey puck! The juicy pineapple and the melty avocado were the best parts of the roll, but it was pretty much impossible to see what all the ingredients tasted like together due to the massive size of the roll. 

Toro Nigiri - B-
Jelly Fish Nigiri - B

Like the Hawaii Roll, the Toro Nigiri was also colossal! One side of the toro tasted deliciously creamy and juicy, while the other side with the prominent vein was tougher in texture. I liked the dash of unagi sauce on top, which helped to enhance the flavour. I ordered the Jelly Fish Nigiri out of curiosity, and I found the jelly fish on the softer side with an appealing snap. The jellyfish was rich in flavour with the help of a touch of sweet chili sauce, but the sushi rice needed more flavour itself.

The waitress had a very friendly attitude, though she stayed in the back quite often. This was okay for me because otherwise, she would have nothing to do but stare at me as I eat (which would probably lead to some awkward moments). The food was better than I had expected for a restaurant that goes by size as its selling point. Many of the items were rich in flavour with the exception of the sashimi. Overall, Sushi King House does a decent job of what it tries to do, which is to serve large portions of sushi at very affordable prices.

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