Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Episode #222: The Grand UBC Sushi Crawl (Part Two)

After waking up from Vancity Noms' class and having an epic piano-off in the library (where we got a little too loud), the two of us were somewhat ready to resume our grand sushi crawl at UBC's Vancouver campus. I say "somewhat" because Vancity Noms was still somewhat full from eating way too much at the first stop of our crawl, and I felt like I had consumed way too much soy sauce. Whereas others would be burnt out from doing such a crawl, I was soy sauced out. However, the time was ticking, and if we didn't make our move, the sushi places would have started closing.

The Seven Sushi Places on UBC's Vancouver Campus
  • Honour Roll
  • Suga Japanese & Korean Restaurant
  • Mio Japan
  • Bento Sushi
  • Miyamae
  • Togo Sushi
  • One More Sushi
This post will cover the last three.


The whole time I had been exploring UBC, I never knew that there was an entire underground Asian food court at University Village. When I first saw it, I was quick to suggest to Vancity Noms that we should do a food crawl featuring all the stalls in the Asian food court, but quickly retracted the idea after realizing all the unfortunate things that would happen to my health if I did that. Not to mention that I would also be doomed if what happened during the Grand SFU Sushi Crawl were to happen again...

Miyamae serves a variety of bento boxes, which range from $6.95 to $11.95. I went for one of the higher-end ones since I had an unagi craving at the time.

Miso Soup - B-

The Miso Soup came with adequate miso paste, some seaweed, and some tofu. Although it was rich in miso flavour, it was also quite salty.

Dynamite Roll - C

If anyone were to make sushi that did not look appealing to me, this was about as close as one could get. The Dynamite Roll featured crunchy tempura prawn and a somewhat decent filling, but the sight of the rice made me go "Uh oh..." It was not only soggy and mushy, but there was also too much of it.

Slice of Orange - A
Salad - C+
Unagi Don - B

The one thing they did nail was the Slice of Orange. Although it wasn't exactly the prettiest slice of orange ever, it was one of the sweetest and juiciest slices of orange I have ever had. The Salad consisted mainly of lettuce, and I wasn't fond of the vinaigrette dressing, which tasted strangely like soy sauce. The Unagi Don came with very soft, but somewhat fatty unagi. The unagi sauce was sweet, and the don was sizable enough to be a good filler. 

Togo Sushi

After I'd finished the bento box, Vancity Noms suddenly had to leave, so I was left to make the long, perilous journey from University Village to Wesbrook Village in the dark all by myself. I decided to walk there in order to burn a few extra calories. I made my way through various hazards, which included trees with branches, students playing soccer, and eerily quiet residential areas, before arriving at Togo Sushi 15 minutes before they closed at 8 p.m. I was lucky enough to be the last customer whose order they took.

Togo Sushi is a small fast food chain with locations scattered across Metro Vancouver. I've always considered it to be the best of Metro Vancouver's fast food sushi joints, and I was hoping for no disappointment here. 

Seared Salmon Roll - B+

The Seared Salmon Roll was a new addition to the menu, and it was fairly well executed. It had a nice, smoked flavour that was accompanied by a good helping of spicy mayonnaise. The imitation crab meat was sweet, and the textures were on point. 

Inari Nigiri - B
Salmon Nigiri - B-
Toro Nigiri - C+

On the other side of the plate, the Inari Nigiri had a nice, sweet flavour and tasted somewhat eggy. The salmon in the Salmon Nigiri was creamy, but weak in flavour. The rice was a bit too tightly packed, but at least the fish-to-rice ratio was correct. Finally, the toro was soft, but tasted quite fishy. Throughout my visits to Togo Sushi, I've found that tuna is consistently one of their weaknesses. 

Nonetheless, what I had at Togo Sushi was good enough to be the highlight of my entire crawl. I'd originally planned to try the sushi at the nearby Save-On-Foods as well, but once I saw that they served exactly the same sushi as Nesters Market at SFU, I ran away as quickly as I could.

I had just one more sushi place left...

One More Sushi

By the time I walked all the way back to University Village, everything was dark and deserted, with signs of life few and far between. I walked into One More Sushi at 9:30 p.m., just half an hour before closing time, and I was their only customer.

If you are looking for something you can legitimately call a sushi restaurant at UBC, One More Sushi is the place. It was a large restaurant that resembled a Chinese diner more than a Japanese restaurant. The menu items were quite pricey, but the special that day allowed me to order a California Roll for half price. Even though I was stuffed, one simply does not say "no" to discounts on sushi.

California Roll - B-

The California Roll came with an abundance of sweet crab meat. However, there wasn't really enough mayonnaise inside, so things ended up a bit dry.

BBQ Black Cod - B

The BBQ Black Cod was served as a small filet along with some of the most teeth-exercising vegetables out there. There was some sweetness and some smokiness, but the cod could have been juicier.

Hotate Nigiri - B
Toro Nigiri - B

The hotate (scallop) was sweet and soft as expected, while the toro was fresh with a nice, melty texture. While the neta (the seafood on top) was above average, the sushi rice was mediocre as it was too tightly packed.

Mango Tuna Roll - B-

The Mango Tuna Roll came with fresh mango and some not-so-fresh tuna. The tuna was slightly fishy, and it was not very soft either. The roll was quite small, and at $8.50, it was very pricey for what it was.

After consuming 66 pieces of sushi (amidst other things) and getting both carbed out and soy sauced out (never again...), I can now present to you UBC's seven sushi vendors from best to worst:
  • Togo Sushi
  • Honour Roll
  • One More Sushi
  • Mio Japan
  • Miyamae
  • Bento Sushi
  • Suga Japanese & Korean Restaurant

One More Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


LotusRapper said...

Wow, quite the feat ! And good thing you're not Type 2 diabetic !

"Honour Roll" ..... cute name.

I guess Togo can rest on its "chain" quality/standards.

Where area will be the next sushi crawl ? Broadway (between MacDonald & Alma) ? Robson ? W.4th ?

Raymond Zeng said...

It was a feat I don't think I ever want to repeat again! Or if I do, I think I'll need a much bigger group.

Togo is decent when they get it right... which is about 80% of the time.

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