Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Episode #140: Shota Sushi & Grill

Vancouver (Southwest), $$$$ (Luxury), $$$ (Higher Priced) with the lunch specials
www.shotasushi.ca

Due to its far distance from SFU, I have not been blogging very much about sushi restaurants on the south side of Vancouver. However, on my first day back to class, I had a nearly five-hour-long lunch break, so I decided to venture into the Kerrisdale/Arbutus Ridge area. I strolled down the bustling shopping district and spotted two sushi restaurants: Asa Sushi and Shota Sushi & Grill. After walking back and forth between the two restaurants and disrupting the traffic on West 41st Ave., I decided to dine at Shota Sushi & Grill because the awning of the restaurant said "the Best Sushi in Vancouver."


Inside the Chinese-operated restaurant is a sizable, cozy dining area, and most of the seats were occupied by customers when I stepped in. I always like to try out the special things on the menu, but when I saw the daily specials, I was more than a little alarmed.


Now, I know that Tojo's is expensive, but this takes things to a whole new level. $169.95 for a two-course meal with Shima-Aji Sashimi and a veggie hotpot? Or better yet, how about a whopping $189.95 for some Tai Sashimi and a veggie hotpot? Well, if eating the sashimi magically makes me very attractive, then I'll give it a try. For now, I'm going to stick with Sexy Rolls for that purpose. I bet the Kampachi Sashimi is so expensive that the price does not even fit in the space, which is probably why they left it out.

Miso Soup - A

Fortunately, there were more affordable items on the other menus, such as the Famous Roll lunch combo for $12.95 (+$1 for certain choices), which comes with a special roll, a side dish, a Miso Soup, and a Salad. The Miso Soup that came with that combo was solid. The soup contained tofu, seaweed, and green onion and was served at just the right temperature. The balance of flavours was excellent; it was not too salty and had a prominent miso flavour.

Salad - A-

The Salad came with lettuce, mixed greens, and a giant rice cracker at the back for visual appeal. The usual Japanese salad dressing was combined with the peanut sauce used in a Goma-ae, creating a tangy but sweet flavour. As a result, the salad was unique and quite tasty.

Dragon Roll - A
Flamed Sushi - A-

To get the best value, I went for the most expensive roll, the Dragon Roll, which consisted of prawn tempura, cucumber, grilled unagi, avocado, masago, mayonnaise, sesame seeds, and unagi sauce. The prawn had a good snap, and the tempura batter was appropriately thin and crispy. The unagi had a pleasantly sweet grilled flavour, and the avocado provided the finishing touch by blending all the ingredients together. The Flamed Sushi, with two pieces of seared and dressed salmon, came in an unattractive dull brown hue. Spices accentuated the flavour of the thin pieces of salmon, which had a decent smoky flavour.

Hamachi Sushi - A
Wild Red Tuna Sushi - A-
Wild Sockeye Sushi - B+

After finishing the combo, it was time to try some fancy nigiri, which were just a bit less than $3 a piece. The Hamachi Sushi came in a generous portion, and its freshness and smooth texture made it a delight to eat. The Wild Red Tuna Sushi had a nice fatty texture and no fishiness. The Wild Sockeye Sushi tasted fresh, but the texture could be smoother. I found the sushi rice to be just average, especially in the Wild Red Tuna Sushi and the Wild Sockeye Sushi, as it didn't really have that smooth, fragrant, melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Yakitori - A-

Finally, the Yakitori was tender and fresh. There was definitely enough teriyaki sauce, but parts of the chicken could absorb the sauce better. The sesame seeds (the backup plan) worked to enhance the flavour of the chicken.

I was indifferent about the service as it was neither very good nor problematic. Food-wise, a few of the dishes were a little sauce-heavy (as is common with Chinese-operated restaurants), but the food was executed with care and attention. My lunch came to just over $30, which I thought was reasonable given the quality of the food and the location of the restaurant. That's much better than having to spend $189.95 on a two-course meal!

Shota Sushi & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 comments:

Selina said...

Woahh, you went all the way to Kerrisdale from SFU, just for lunch? Now that's dedication!! :D

Raymond Zeng said...

Travelling is part of the fun! I've even gone all the way to Tsawwassen from SFU before just for sushi.

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