Thursday, September 03, 2015

Episode #115: Yale Sushi

Chilliwack, $$ (Moderately Priced)

With summer vacation slowly meandering to a close, my dad suggested that we go on some travelling for sushi. By travelling, he meant a two-hour drive or less. As the U.S. dollar is so high that cars at the border are beginning to flow in the opposite direction, we decided to head east instead. My dad drove all the way to Chilliwack before I got too hungry and declared that I had to eat immediately.

Yale Sushi is reportedly one of the best sushi restaurants in Chilliwack, and since that's where my dad decided to park, that's where we ended up eating. The restaurant is Korean-operated, and we were pleasantly surprised by the clean, modern decor and the spacious seating. There was a good flow of customers during our visit on a weekday afternoon.

The tea set that arrived at our table was so exquisite that my dad insisted that I take a photo of it and post it on my blog. As I was busy arranging the tea set, I put my mom in charge of ordering since there were enough photos on the menu to allow her to choose properly.

Miso Soup - B

To try a bit of everything, my mom ordered the Lunch Special C, which came with a Miso Soup that contained green onion and tofu. I found the Miso Soup pretty standard fare, although slightly heavy with the salt. 

At the speed of lightning, the rest of the Lunch Special C arrived in a large lunch box. The food wasn't necessarily inexpensive, but we found the portion sizes quite generous!

Tempura - B+

The Tempura was executed better than I had expected, and the flavours of the ingredients were preserved well. I liked the sufficiently sweet Yam and Sweet Potato, while the Broccoli was a bit dry. The two pieces of Prawn Tempura were decent with ample moisture.

Salmon Teriyaki - B+

The Salmon Teriyaki was slightly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I would have preferred more moisture as I found some parts of the salmon dry, but the salmon was fresh with a decent amount of flavour. The stir-fry vegetables were savoury as well.

Croquette - A-

Of all the items in the Lunch Special C, I enjoyed the Croquette the most as the mashed potato filling was very soft and moist. The batter had just the right amount of crispiness. Unfortunately, after I snipped off a bite-sized piece and said it was good, everyone else wanted to try it, so we had to cut it up into really little pieces. Perhaps I should keep a poker face from now on...

Tuna Roll - B

The Tuna Roll was neatly constructed and came with fresh tuna. However, I found the sushi rice too tightly packed and teetering on being too dry.

Salad - B+

The Salad consisted of assorted greens dressed with a mildly tangy Japanese salad dressing. The vegetables were cut into small pieces, making it easy to digest. 

Tuna Sashimi - A-
Salmon Sashimi - A-

I wasn't expecting fresh sashimi to make it this far into the Lower Mainland, so I was quite surprised when the sashimi ended up being fresher than the sashimi at most Vancouver restaurants! The Tuna Sashimi had an excellent soft texture, and the Salmon Sashimi had a delicious buttery flavour.

Red Dragon Roll - A-

Since my sister is a fan of spicy tuna, we had the Red Dragon Roll, which consisted of prawn tempura, crab meat, cucumber, spicy tuna, crispy crumbs, and spicy sauce. There was a generous amount of spicy tuna on top, and it wasn't mashed, so I could taste the small blocks of tuna melt in my mouth. There was also a good amount of spiciness to the roll, and the flavour of the prawn tempura inside was showcased well.

Spider Roll - B+

My mom had no idea what a Spider Roll was, so when she asked me, I told her that they take a huge spider, deep-fry it, and then put it in a sushi roll. (It's supposed to be made with soft-shell crab.) She wasn't fazed at all and decided to order it anyways. This Spider Roll came with deep-fried soft-shell crab, avocado, crab meat, and cucumber. The soft-shell crab lived up to its name and was sufficiently crispy and moist. There were large portions of crab in the outer pieces and very little crab in the inner pieces. 

Beef Hot Pot - B+

My sister is a huge fan of Korean food, so we also had the Beef Hot Pot, which came with marinated beef and vegetables in a Korean-style hot pot, some steamed rice, and a salad that was identical to the salad in the Lunch Special C with the addition of what appeared to be dried cranberries. Although the aroma of the hot pot differed from a sukiyaki, it tasted quite similar. The vermicelli noodles absorbed the beefy flavour of the broth well. Some of the pieces of beef were decent, while some were sliced too thick and became overly chewy.

The service was friendly during our visit, and the Korean waitress was very patient as well. The only thing we found strange was that our bill arrived mere minutes after the Beef Hot Pot while all of us were still eating. In fact, we were not ready to pay the bill until 20 minutes later. Did they not want us to order any more food? Other than that, we very much enjoyed our experience at Yale Sushi. The food was obviously superior to anything I've had in Langley, and I wouldn't hesitate to say that this was a lucky find!

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