Thursday, September 17, 2015

Episode #120: PeekAbOO Japanese Bistro

Tsawwassen, $$$ (Higher Priced)

I'm not a big fan of rain, so when I heard that showers were in the forecast, I decided to travel all the way to Tsawwassen, which is about 40% drier than Downtown Vancouver. Of course, I used the travel time wisely by catching up on many hours of lost sleep. Things appeared to be in good order when I arrived. Not only was there some sunshine, but a few enthusiastic strangers gave me a high-five after I had hopped off the bus. Welcome to Tsawwassen, I guess?

PeekAbOO is Japanese-operated, and I think the restaurant is aptly named because it was genuinely difficult to find. I spotted the two other Japanese restaurants in the vicinity with virtually no effort, but this place was hidden in the back end of a rather decrepit mall that showed nearly no signs of life. The time it took me to find the restaurant was enough time for me to give birth to a child. Oh wait... Anyways, I entered the restaurant and snagged one of the larger tables so that I could have ample room to order lots of food and take photos. I quickly felt bad about doing so because it took almost no time for diners to occupy all of the other tables in the restaurant.

Beef Shabu Shabu Salad - A-

The first dish to arrive was the Beef Shabu Shabu Salad, consisting of a large dish with thinly sliced beef on top of a green salad. The beef was tender (but not any warmer than the salad) and was dressed with a slight helping of peanut sauce. The waitress informed me that the dipping sauce was made with soy, olive oil, and garlic, but it tasted tangy as if there were vinegar and mirin mixed in as well. I preferred the peanut sauce, but the dipping sauce was not a bad substitute after I ran out of peanut sauce.

PeekAbOO Agedashi - A-

The PeekAbOO Agedashi was a unique take on Agedashi Tofu and consisted of tofu, asparagus, and prawn wrapped with seaweed. Each piece was then surrounded by light and crispy tempura batter. I could sense lots of textures within each piece, from the meaty prawn and the pillowy tofu to the crunchy but juicy asparagus. Aside from the fact that there was no clean way to eat the two pieces with the prawn tails, I really enjoyed the innovation and careful preparation of the PeekAbOO Agedashi.

Unagi Tempura Roll - B+
Tuna Nigiri - B+
Sockeye Salmon Nigiri - B

The unagi in the Unagi Tempura Roll was moist and rich in flavour, and the avocado had a nice creamy, buttery taste. The unagi sauce had a thick consistency and was very sweet and savoury, so the roll required very little soy sauce, if any. The Tuna Nigiri was soft and not fishy in flavour. It had a better fish-to-rice ratio than the Salmon Nigiri, which also tasted fresh, but came with a meagre portion of sockeye salmon. I didn’t find the sushi rice particularly flavourful.

The service was quite friendly, and I enjoyed the cozy but lively environment. The menu is not extensive, but there are a number of innovative dishes. The food was mostly well-prepared, and although the prices are on the higher side, I felt that the healthy stream of customers was justified. I suppose this adventure was worth the travel time and the search time! 

Peekaboo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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