Every now and then, I like to motivate my friends to get good grades by offering to treat them to sushi if they do well in their courses. Last semester, I offered to treat Patrick and Sean to Victoria Sushi if they each got at least an A in a course specified by me. I expected this to be reasonably challenging, but little did I know that Patrick would try to obtain that A by studying at least 6 hours virtually every day throughout the semester. He turned down sushi adventures, weekend parties, and even raves that he already had tickets for just to study. I don't think I could have studied that much even if my reward was a two-month trip to Japan. Nonetheless, both Patrick and Sean got their A's, and off we went to Victoria Sushi.
Taking transit to Victoria Sushi is not exactly an easy task. The last time I visited Victoria Sushi, I tried to walk there from Columbia Station and got hopelessly lost. This time, Patrick offered to drive me there instead. However, due to the darkness of the night, we ended up on the wrong lane and were forced to go all the way to Surrey, which caused Patrick to start low-key raging. What should have been a three-minute drive ended up taking us more than 20 minutes.
The last time I visited Victoria Sushi was in 2014, when they first started rolling out their Aburi offerings. Since then, the restaurant has become much busier, and the menu was expanded to include a full range of Aburi options. Victoria Sushi previously held the 4th place spot in my books for the best Aburi Salmon Oshi (behind Miku, Minami, and Green Leaf), and I was interested to see whether they had kept up the quality over the years.
Salmon Roll - B
Chicken Teriyaki Roll - B
We started off with two simple rolls. We found the rice in the Salmon Roll rather sticky, and other than that, there was nothing particularly remarkable about the roll. The Chicken Teriyaki Roll came with tender chicken, but would have benefited from a stronger grilled flavour.
Soy Ginger Duck Miso Yaki - B
Going for something more adventurous, I selected the Soy Ginger Duck Miso Yaki. The duck was rather fatty, but was not as tender as we expected. The seasoning on the duck provided a slight spiciness, but it was hard to detect any miso flavour.
Salmon Oshi - A-
Scallop Oshi - A-
Beef Oshi - B+
Our three orders of oshi sushi came in a marvelous checkered display. The creamy oshi sauce on top of the Salmon Oshi and the Scallop Oshi was seared to create an excellent, well-rounded savoury flavour. The Beef Oshi, made with AAA tenderloin beef, was topped with onion and garlic mayonnaise. Overall, the toppings on each type of oshi were well-prepared, while the rice was overly sticky and too tightly packed. I later learned that we had come on an off day, as the rice issue was fixed on a subsequent visit.
Prawn Tempura - A
Due to the overly sticky rice, the Prawn Tempura ended up being the highlight of our dinner. The prawns were delicious, juicy and fried to just the right amount of crispiness. The amount of batter on the prawns was perfect. I would have gotten ten orders of this if I had the stomach room.
Boneless Karaage - A-
We were almost full at this point (we also had a Deluxe Bento, which I covered in Episode 39), but we decided to go for one last dish—the Chicken Karaage. It was pleasantly juicy and crispy, but could have been better with an additional sprinkling of spices.
Shime-Saba Oshi - A
A few days after our dinner together, Sean went back to Victoria Sushi and reported to me that he would give the Shime-Saba Oshi an A+. Since Sean almost never gives out A+'s for anything, that prompted me to return to the restaurant just to try the Shime-Saba Oshi (along with the fact that I had forgotten to take a picture of the restaurant). The oshi did not disappoint, and this time, the sushi rice was indeed packed correctly. The saba was savoury without being overly salty, and the soft texture of the saba was a perfect match for the rice underneath.
Despite the restaurant being rather busy, we were not disappointed with the service. It was too bad we encountered minor rice problems with our oshi, but Victoria Sushi remains one of the top places for affordable oshi in my records. If Victoria Sushi was in a more convenient location, I would undoubtedly become a regular.