Friday, July 14, 2017

Episode #225: Sushi Den

Vancouver (Downtown), $ (Budget)

While waiting for our movie to start, Puzzlefighter and I were in Chinatown looking for Japanese eats. Puzzlefighter likes fancy nigiri even more than I do, but when we eat together, we always end up ordering insane amounts of food. One time, the two of us went to MYST and ended up paying more than $90 for dinner. I literally have no idea how we ended up in that predicament. It's not like we're particularly big guys. This time, since both of us were quite hungry, we went to Sushi Den to keep the bill within reason.

Sushi Den is a moderately large Japanese restaurant located near International Village. It is quite popular due to its cheap pricing and decent assortment of menu items. Unfortunately, this meant that there was no way that Puzzlefighter and I were getting out of there while still able to walk properly.

Toro Sashimi - A-

The Toro Sashimi was just $9 for 6 pieces, and we were pleased with the freshness. The toro was smooth and buttery, and it came in generous slices. Some of the pieces were noticeably softer than others.

Negihama Roll - B+

Next up, the Negihama Roll (chopped yellowtail with green onion) was neatly wrapped. The green onion gave off a nice zing and a slight crunch, while the seaweed was not too chewy. However, the flavour of the hamachi was not particularly rich.

Out of Controll - B

Since we went out of control on the ordering, we thought it would be fitting to get the Out of Controll, a special roll with "lots of stuff." We found salmon, tuna, tamago, and sockeye inside the roll, which was dressed with spicy mayonnaise and coleslaw dressing. Although it did seem like the chef went a little out of control, the fish was fresh, and the roll was very large and filling. We found the roll a little rice-heavy, which weakened the flavours of the fish.

Flower Tuna Nigiri - A-
Flower Salmon Nigiri - A-
Ikura Nigiri - B
Uni Nigiri - B+

Of course, we had to try both types of flower nigiri, which was essentially sashimi wrapped around masago and cucumber (no rice). The Flower Tuna Nigiri came with really soft and fresh tuna, while the Flower Salmon Nigiri contained fresh, buttery salmon. We felt that the cucumber was just there for visual appeal, as it didn't really match the flavour or texture of the fish. 

The Ikura Nigiri came in huge portions, and the creamy flavours of the uni and avocado worked well together in the Uni Nigiri. The seaweed wrapping was a little tough though, which made it hard to eat the nigiri neatly.

Tai Nigiri - B-
Unagi Nigiri - A-

The Tai Nigiri (snapper) was not tough, but came with a little too much sushi rice, which overwhelmed the flavour of the tai. The Unagi Nigiri, on the other hand, was really juicy and meaty. The unagi had an excellent smoked flavour.

Beef Short Rib Yakiniku - A-

The Beef Short Rib Yakiniku is a fun dish where you can grill your own short ribs on a small tabletop grill. Since I didn't want to set the restaurant on fire, I let Puzzlefighter do most of the grilling. When done correctly, the short ribs have a nice charred flavour. The mild marinade did not overpower the ribs, and the meat was not tough due to the thin cuts.

Ten Zaru Soba - B

After all the food above, we decided to get a filler to really hit it home. The Ten Zaru Soba came with 5 pieces of tempura (two prawns and one piece each of yam, sweet potato, and kabocha). We found the tempura quite greasy, but sufficiently juicy and crispy. The cold soba was refreshing, and the green onion and sesame seeds livened up the dipping sauce. We quite enjoyed the soba until Puzzlefighter found a slight error.

Yes, there was a stray udon noodle in the soba! While the udon noodle didn't really bother us, we thought they ought to be just a little more careful, in case other things slipped into their food...

Overall, the food was decent given the prices, and the service was friendly and adequate. Although the atmosphere isn't particularly fancy, it is a place where you can get a good variety of food for budget prices. Despite the amount of food we ordered, our bill was only slightly over $60 altogether.

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


Selina said...

You and your insane portions LOL
Then again...that was me in my past life ;D

Raymond Zeng said...

LOL I don't think I can surpass your past life... I've never eaten 9 slices of XL pizza in one go before. Nope, not even close.

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