Recently, Tamsen invited me to do a real-life escape game with him. I was once an avid fan of online escape games, but having not played an escape game in more than a year, my skills had gotten rusty. Of course, that wasn't going to faze me. I promptly started playing six hours of escape games every day for a week to re-train myself and even lost sleep doing so. It felt just like I was cramming for a final exam. On the day of the escapade, I ended up with only three hours of sleep and could barely text in proper words, let alone sentences. Everything felt just right. Except that just before we did our escape game, I needed to indulge in my secret formula for getting ready for anything—sushi.
I first spotted Sushi Wow when Tamsen and I last had sushi in Marpole, which was at the now-closed Risty's. Sushi Wow is a small but seemingly popular Korean-operated restaurant serving a wide assortment of special rolls. They also have several affordable bento boxes for lunch, but those weren't exactly easy to share (I have a bad habit of wanting to try everyone's food), so we refrained from ordering those.
Salmon Sashimi - B+
Tuna Sashimi - B+
Our lunch started with an order of Salmon and Tuna Sashimi. Given that the restaurant is not authentic and seemingly budget-friendly, the pieces were smaller than expected. The salmon had a nice smooth texture, but not a rich buttery flavour. The tuna tasted fresh, yet it could be softer. Tamsen, having been to Sushi Wow multiple times, noted that the sashimi is often served too cold and occasionally has frost in it. This time, our sashimi was indeed cold, but not to a point where it was problematic.
Mango Tango - B+
The Mango Tango roll consisted of prawn tempura, crab meat, avocado, mango, crunchy potato sticks, and honey mustard. The prawn tempura was savoury and worked well with the mango like a couple gracefully dancing a tango. The sweet crab meat inside largely offset the weakly flavoured sushi rice.
Granville Roll - B
Named after the street the restaurant is located on, the Granville Roll came with prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber, chopped shrimp, tobiko, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. I liked the creamy mix of mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce, while the cucumber and prawn tempura were both quite crunchy. The bland sushi rice was slightly more evident in this roll.
Okonomiyaki - B-
Looking for a cooked item to try out, I saw the $4.95 Okonomiyaki on the menu and suggested that we ordered it. What could go wrong with the cheapest okonomiyaki I have ever seen? I suppose that at $4.95, they stack the pieces for you so that you think there's more than there really is. Also, I suppose that they won't make it taste like a proper okonomiyaki, or they risk putting others out of business. Thick and crispy on the outside, this particular Okonomiyaki tasted like a cross between Chinese radish cake and spring rolls. It actually tasted okay to me, but just completely not what you would expect.
The service was attentive, but not very friendly. A smile would have helped. However, the food was decent given the price, and I also liked how there was such a large selection of items to choose from. After we were done, we bulked ourselves up with some bubble tea and headed over to our escape game at E-Exit. As expected, Tamsen did most of the problem-solving (and got us out), while I just ran around in circles working up a sweat. I am obviously an excellent teammate to have.