Monday, February 29, 2016

Episode #152: Sushi-nism

Vancouver (Northwest), $$ (Moderately Priced)

After finishing all my classes at SFU for the day, I went to study my favourite subject, sushi-nism, at a restaurant named Sushi-nism. Sushi-nism is Korean-operated and replaced Sake Cafe just a few weeks ago. I really wonder why Sake Cafe closed down. The last time I passed by Sake Cafe, there were so many customers that the restaurant could not seem to accommodate them all. It literally looked like Sushi Garden on steroids. Furthermore, the prices looked quite good, and I had wanted to try the restaurant myself. Sushi-nism, however, was virtually deserted when I went in.

Sushi-nism is branded to seem like a semi-fancy Japanese restaurant, but the interior decor was neither elaborate nor fancy. Looking at the menu, I did see the type of combo where you choose three items plus miso soup for $9.95. This was a good deal, but where was the option to choose four items or five items for people like me?

Miso Soup - B+

In the end, I decided to go with the Lunch Box D because it was more in line with what I felt like having. The Lunch Box D came with a Miso Soup, which had a good consistency and a pleasant miso flavour. It was slightly salty, but not overly so. 

Here is the rest of the Lunch Box D. For $12.95, this was a decent amount of food.

Salad - B-

The Salad consisted mainly of lettuce cut into bite-sized pieces. It was dressed with some orange-flavoured vinaigrette, but it somehow ended up watery and weak in flavour.

Tuna Sashimi - B
Salmon Sashimi - B+

Some parts of the Tuna Sashimi were soft, and overall, it tasted fresh with no fishiness. The Salmon Sashimi had a smooth sheen and a mild creamy flavour. It started to come apart at the white lines, but at least the knife skills were clean and the thickness of each piece was just right. 

 Chicken Teriyaki Don - C+

Unfortunately, things went a little downhill with the Chicken Teriyaki Don. Only some parts of the chicken were tender, and the chicken didn't really have a smooth texture for me to enjoy. When I lifted the chicken, I found a small, mushy clump of rice in the middle. There was pretty much a swimming pool's worth of teriyaki sauce to the left, and that's pretty much where all of the flavour came from. It reminded me of my childhood visits to Koya, when I would keep asking the chef to pour teriyaki sauce onto my chicken teriyaki until my parents started yelling at me for consuming so much salt.

Sweet Potato Tempura - C+
Yam Tempura - C-
Kabocha Tempura - B-
Prawn Tempura - B

The tempura was also one of the more disappointing moments of my meal. The Sweet Potato Tempura was coated with way too much batter. It was sweet, but it was also very crunchy. The Yam Tempura came with a disturbing extra clump of batter that was fried to a crisp. Out of curiosity, I tried to eat it, but it tasted like a thick potato chip nightmare (and I don't like potato chips to begin with). The Kabocha Tempura was sliced thin and not particularly rich in flavour. The Prawn Tempura was the most satisfactory of the bunch, and it had a nice savoury flavour, though the batter was again thick and tasted floury.

Awesome Roll - B-

For my special roll, I went for the Awesome Roll, hoping that it would actually be awesome. It consisted of crab meat, avocado, cucumber, salmon tempura, crunchy yam fries, spicy mayonnaise, and unagi sauce. It's too bad that it didn't live up to its name. The crab meat was coarse and strangely dry. The salmon tempura was also rather weak in flavour. However, there was a good amount of spicy mayonnaise, which combined with the unagi sauce to provide adequate flavour to the roll as a whole. The yam fries provided a nice crunch.

Seared Saba Nigiri - A-
Seared Toro Nigiri - B+

They also had seared sushi on the menu, so I went for the Seared Toro Nigiri. I tried to ask the waitress (who in turn asked the sushi chef) about what other kinds of seared nigiri would be good, but both of them kept recommending the Seared Toro Nigiri, which I had already ordered. Finally, after about six or so tries, our problems with English communication were finally solved, and they suggested the Seared Saba Nigiri. The Seared Toro Nigiri came with soft toro, which was juicy on the bottom. The nigiri exhibited decent rice formation and a slight smoky flavour. The Seared Saba Nigiri was the best item of the entire meal, and it had an enjoyable soft and flaky texture.

Despite the English issues, the service was decent and adequate. Since there were very few people in the restaurant, the servers were folding coloured napkins in the corner, and they seemed to be having even more fun than I was while taking notes about the food. For the most part, I found the food to be slightly below average. However, the reasonable prices and convenient location may make the restaurant suitable for those who work in the offices nearby.

Sushi Nism Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Unknown said...

Most likely someone purchased the place from them and the name change along with a good deal of the quality. Looking at the menu, it lost a lot of the charm that Sake Cafe had. A pity really.

Raymond Zeng said...

If Sake Cafe indeed served better-quality food, then I really missed out!

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