Monday, May 09, 2016

Episode #168: Sushi Mori

Surrey Southeast, $$$ (Higher Priced) 

Semester breaks always give me an excellent opportunity to relax, refresh my brain, and become nocturnal. As soon as midnight strikes, my refrigerator and my cabinet of snacks suddenly turn into huge Raymond magnets, and moments later, I'm sitting at the dining table with a pile of cookies, chocolates, jello, ice cream bars, etc. in front of me. After a nice calorie overdose, my energy level goes off the charts until I feel hungry again, and the cycle continues until sunrise. Besides the sun, there is only one other force powerful enough to stop this vicious cycle: the thought of going on a sushi adventure the next morning.

Miraculously, by harnessing the power of sushi, I managed to get myself up at 8 in the morning. With plenty of time to spare, I ventured all the way to South Surrey to have lunch at the newest Sushi Mori location. I found it ironic that there was a sign outside the restaurant that said "Taste the true Japan," given that the restaurant is in fact Korean-operated. Furthermore, the extensive menu contains a lot of fusion dishes and even some Korean dishes. The typical menu items were priced regularly, while special or innovative dishes came at a significant premium in general.

The Sushi Mori chain is also quite well-known for its highly elaborate dining areas. As you can see, my seat featured a marvelous view of a wooden fish-shaped object dangling from a raised log.

Barbie Doll Roll - A-

Named after one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century, the Barbie Doll Roll featured crab meat, prawn tempura, cucumber, avocado, seared sockeye salmon, orange sauce, white wine, and ponzu sauce. The prawn tempura was rich in flavour and noticeably crispy, while the orange sauce was a good match for the sweet flavour of the crab meat. A mysterious seasoning (that apparently neither the server nor the chef could identify) played an important role in livening up the flavours of this roll. Overall, the combination of flavours was unique and worked very well. This roll tasted just as good as a date with Barbie. Oh wait, I've never even gone on a date...

Salmon Ceviche Goma-ae - B

Next up was the Salmon Ceviche Goma-ae. The salmon sashimi had a soft, smooth texture and was dressed with a citrusy salad dressing. The spinach was also decent but covered with perhaps too many sesame seeds. Sitting at the bottom was a large dose of overly thick sesame sauce, which didn't exactly mix well with the tangy salad dressing. 

Aburi Tuna Nigiri - B
Toro Nigiri - A
Sous Vide Lobster Nigiri - A-

A few years ago, I visited the Sushi Mori in Langley and was not very impressed with their Aburi (seared) sushi. Unfortunately, the Aburi sushi here does not seem to be any better. The Aburi Tuna Nigiri was dressed with salt and pepper, which completely eliminated the seared flavour (if there was any to begin with). There was also too much salt on the tuna. However, I'll give them credit for the above-average rice formation. The Toro Nigiri was excellent and came with a mouthwatering melty texture. The Sous Vide Lobster Nigiri had a nice chew to it and was dressed with sweet chili sauce, which provided a refreshing zing. 

Crab & Oyster Crab Cake - B+

The Crab & Oyster Crab Cake consisted of two plump croquettes with real crab meat, onion, bell pepper, and oyster as filling (in addition to a salad). The crab cakes came with two dipping sauces (sweet chili and orange), which I did not photograph because I did not realize their importance until biting into the crunchy but weakly flavoured batter. Both dipping sauces were good companions for the croquettes. A delicious seafood flavour emanated from the crab meat and oyster inside. The crab meat and oyster were very finely cut, making the filling extremely soft (it borders on being mushy).

Bulgogi Rice Bowl - B+

I don't know about tasting the true Japan here, but at least I could taste the true Korea with the Bulgogi Rice Bowl. This rice bowl featured Korean-marinated AAA beef with rice and Japchae noodles (sweet potato noodles). The beef was tender and high-quality, but for some reason, some of it was bunched up together into chunks. The Japchae noodles were on the softer side and absorbed the flavour of the bulgogi sauce well. Overall, this dish was good enough to stand up to the bulgogi beef at an average Korean restaurant in Vancouver.

I received friendly service during my visit, and I was a little surprised to see that the large dining space did in fact become substantially filled up during the peak lunch hours on a weekday. After tips, my lunch did traverse the $50 mark, but other than the weak Aburi sushi, the food was generally prepared with care. I also ended up so full that I had to walk over to Walmart and browse through the skinny Barbie dolls to convince myself to be a little more conservative with the ordering next time.

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


Selina said...

You should put on a lock on your refrigerator and cabinet...CONTROL YOURSELF RAYMOND!!! ;)

Woww...Sushi Mori's interior is so nice!! It's so far away though...maybe I'll get my dad to drive me there haha!!

"This roll tasted just as good as a date with Barbie." LMAOOO, omg, too funny!

Raymond Zeng said...

If I put a lock on my refrigerator and cabinet, that would just waste more of my time because I'd be trying to open it constantly. There is no controlling my cravings!

They also have a few other locations, but for some reason, I was more satisfied with this one than the other ones. I guess you'll need to find time to make your way there.

Haha now I wonder what a date with Barbie tastes like...

Unknown said...

Hi Raymond. Can you tell me more about the sous vide lobster nigiri? Was it a special? It's a very unusual offering.


Raymond Zeng said...

Hi Moyen Chow. The Sous Vide Lobster Nigiri is basically what the name indicates. It's a piece of lobster prepared using the sous-vide method (put into a plastic bag and then steamed). It wasn't a special - it was listed in the nigiri section for $2.95.

Unknown said...

Thanks Raymond. Hmmm the price & your description of how it was prepared doesn't seem right to me.

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