Saturday, October 21, 2017

Episode #231: Ebisu on Broadway

Vancouver (Northwest), $$$ (Higher Priced)

There are two things I love about Ebisu: sushi boats and relatively cheap drinks. Ebisu's ability to accommodate large groups and its extensive menu (with items in different price ranges) makes it perfect for larger gatherings. Since my own home is not exactly fit for partying in, I frequently refer to the two Vancouver Ebisu locations as my party homes.

To celebrate the end of another exciting semester of TAing, I held an end-of-semester sushi adventure with fellow TAs Angus, Anya, Chris, Jeff and Maria. We were only able to make it for lunch, so we kept the relatively cheap drinks to a minimum. Most importantly, I had to ensure that I wasn't giving everything an A+. We focussed on enjoying our appetizers, rolls, and boats.

Miso Soup - A-

My first item to arrive was the Miso Soup from my BBQ Unagi & Roll Boat. The Miso Soup contained tofu, green onion, and seaweed. It was light and well-balanced.

BBQ Unagi & Roll Boat

The BBQ Unagi & Roll Boat came with two half rolls, a small unagi don, chicken karaage, assorted tempura, and two orange slices. For $13.95, the value was certainly there.

Dynamite Roll - B+

A combination of crunchy prawn tempura, crunchy cucumber, and sweet creamy mayonnaise made the Dynamite Roll a delight. The pieces were also a good size.

California Roll - B

The California Roll was standard fare. The avocado slices were on the larger side, and the imitation crab was sufficiently sweet.

Unagi Don - A-

The Unagi Don comes with three pieces of soft unagi, which had an aromatic smokiness. The seaweed on top provided extra flavour to the don and complemented the steamed rice.

Chicken Karaage - B+

The Chicken Karaage came with tender, crispy chicken. However, I thought that some spices would help liven up the flavour.

Assorted Tempura - B+

Next up, the Assorted Tempura came with two prawns and one piece each of kabocha, yam and carrot. The prawns were meaty, juicy, and crispy, though slightly oily. The kabocha was slightly mushy, while the yam and carrot were a good balance of sweet and savoury flavours.

Orange Slices - C

The only real flop of the boat was the Orange Slices. Cut into small, easily manageable pieces, the Orange Slices were juicy, but they were some of the sourest orange slices I have ever had. They may as well have been lemon slices. (Yes, I did write down notes on my orange slices, and yes, everyone was eagerly waiting for this moment.)

Besides the sushi boats, one other great deal on the lunch menu was the 3 for $12.99 lunch special, where you can choose 3 items from a select list of around 50 items (plus a miso soup, steamed rice, or soft drink) for just $12.99. Since my appetite does not wake up until late afternoon, I opted for just one item from the list (for $4.99).

BC Blazer (half order) - A-

Among the most deluxe items featured in the special was the BC Blazer, a roll with seared salmon, bonito flakes, and green onion on top of a California roll. This is a roll I would come to order again on subsequent visits. Overall, the roll had a rich, creamy, sweet flavour and was a pleasant amalgamation of soft textures. The green onion and bonito flakes on top of the roll provided a small amount of crunch for textural contrast.

Salad - B+ 

Somehow, in the midst of my note-taking, I ended up jacking someone's Salad to try myself. With copious amounts of vinaigrette dressing, the lettuce-based Salad was delectably creamy and savoury.

Mentaiko Yaki Udon - A

The Mentaiko Yaki Udon was a hidden gem in the menu that I would probably never have come across had Chris not offered to split it with me. The rich, savoury udon noodles had just the right amount of firmness, while a mildly detectable spiciness brings the dish to life. The creamy roe has a pleasant bubbly texture and works wonderfully against the udon noodles. The best part of this yakiudon is how it doesn't have the charred, greasy flavour of most yakiudon dishes but still packs plenty of flavour.

Overall, the staff was friendly and accommodating. Unlike the Robson location, which can get pricey during prime dinner hours, the Broadway location offers reasonably price food at any hour of the day. There are lunch specials, happy hour specials, and dinner boats that are a good deal if you have at least two people in your group and can eat a fair amount. The drinks are also slightly cheaper at the Broadway location. That being said, the Robson location has its own advantages too (to be discussed in a future episode).

Ebisu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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