Risty's Café & Sushi Bar is a small restaurant at the south end of Granville Street that serves both Canadian and Japanese food. No, I do not mean Canadian-Japanese fusion. Instead, this is probably the only place in Vancouver where you can order a hamburger and a sushi roll in the same meal. I invited my friend Tamsen so that our combined appetite would be enough to let us sample items from both the Canadian and Japanese menus. To my great surprise, I found out that Risty's is actually Chinese-operated.
Salmon Sashimi - [no grade]
Tako Sashimi - B+
Hokkigai Sashimi - A-
Tuna Sashimi - B-
Tai Sashimi - B
Our first item was the 12-piece Sashimi Platter. The Salmon Sashimi had a nice smooth sheen, but Tamsen found a really tiny bug having the time of its life on one of the pieces of salmon. When we alerted the waitress, she promptly provided Tamsen with another piece of salmon sashimi that was twice as big (I will not assign a grade since a replacement was provided). Moving on, the Tako Sashimi was chewy with a nice subtle lemony flavour. The Hokkigai Sashimi was the best of the bunch, while the Tuna Sashimi was a touch too dry and the Tai Sashimi could be smoother. Taste-wise, the tai had a delectable, faintly sweet flavour.
Teriyaki Chicken Burger - C+
The Teriyaki Chicken Burger comes with a side of fries (as with all of their other burgers). The fries were neither salted nor seasoned, so they tasted really potatoey and plain. As for the burger, the bun and the lettuce were moist and passable, but the teriyaki chicken was disastrously overcooked. It was so stiff that I felt like I was nibbling on a brand new pair of jeans. I reluctantly decided to take Tamsen's wild suggestion, which was to fill the burger with sashimi instead(?!). After replacing the chicken with sashimi, the burger was finally chewable and juicy, but let's just say that there is probably a good reason why nobody makes raw fish burgers. Nope, this didn't really work either. (Don't try this at home!)
Risty's Roll - B-
The Risty's Roll consisted of prawn tempura, cucumber, avocado and spicy tuna. The best part of the roll was the avocado, which was really fresh and prominently delicious. The prawn tempura was sufficiently crispy, and the flavour of the prawn worked very well with the avocado. This roll comes with a small side of salmon fries too. There were lots to like about the roll, except... what in the world is up with the mayonnaise?! There's as much friggin' mayo on this roll as there is icing on a gingerbread house! Scooping off some of the excess mayonnaise onto my dish did not make for a pretty scene either.
On a positive note, the waitress was quite friendly and put effort into making our visit as enjoyable as possible. For the most part, the food tasted alright, but there was a rather significant mishap with each of our dishes. I left the restaurant thinking, "Did we visit on a bad day?"