While waiting for Hitoe Sushi to open for dinner, I decided to venture once again into UBC. I needed to get a small snack to keep me alive for the next two hours, so I thought I would get something small at one of the many fast food joints on campus. Unfortunately, fast food is way more popular at UBC than it is anywhere else in the Lower Mainland. At every Starbucks, Tim Hortons, White Spot, etc., there was a massive line-up that either went all the way to the door or beyond. Come on, people, eat less junk food and eat more sushi!
The restaurant has a very modest exterior. Their name, "Hitoe", is written in small letters on a piece of paper taped to the window (although their Japanese name, ひとえ, appears in a bigger font). Inside, the decor is also modest, but all of the staff were wearing Japanese outfits. Also, there is a large variety of Japanese-themed decorations to make the place feel more Japanese-themed. This is all fitting because Hitoe is actually run by Japanese people. When I opened the menu, the first thing that stood out to me was the large number of gluten-free items. The next thing I noticed was that the font was really small, but since I am a university student, that didn't bother me much.
EEEEEEELLL Roll - B-
The EEEEEEELLL Roll (yes it's spelled like that) consisted of tempura ebi, cucumber, crab meet, BBQ eel, avocado, masago, teriyaki sauce, olive oil and mayonnaise. It was a generous portion with 10 pieces presented neatly in a circle around a small seaweed salad. The seaweed salad was my favourite part of the whole dish. Regarding the roll itself, the unagi had a nice sweet flavour, but this was masked by the bland avocado and the overuse of vinegar in the sushi rice.
Next, I had the Black Cod Set Meal (BBQ miso-flavoured black cod, steamed rice, takuwan, seaweed salad, appetizer sashimi, miso soup) pictured above.
Miso Soup - A-
The Miso Soup was made with a dark miso paste, giving it a uniquely rich flavour. It certainly doesn't taste like your average miso soup, and there is an abundance of seaweed and tofu too.
Salmon Sashimi - B+
Tuna Sashimi - A
Sockeye Salmon Sashimi - B+
The Appetizer Sashimi did not come in big portions, but it certainly fulfilled the freshness criteria. The Salmon Sashimi had a decent texture with just enough flavour. The Tuna Sashimi was especially soft and with a nice balanced taste. The Sockeye Salmon Sashimi was just a smooth texture away from an A.
BBQ Miso-Flavoured Black Cod - B+
The BBQ Miso-Flavoured Black Cod was very soft and exhibited good moisture preservation. The unique sweetness from the miso was quite enjoyable, though it could have more of a BBQ flavour.
The servers were especially friendly during my visit and even presented me with a packet of Pocky sticks on my way out! The prices were reasonable considering the location and if you like authenticity, then Hitoe can fulfill that. The place even has that "authentic smell" as you pass by it. However, it doesn't necessarily have a fancy atmosphere and the lighting can be improved. In my opinion, the food was slightly above average, and it was a bit of a shame that I was too full to try their aburi nigiri.