Ajisai Sushi Bar is located in a little nook in one of Kerrisdale’s walkways. It’s pretty hidden, so you won’t notice it unless you actually walk down this alley. Offering a menu of authentic Japanese sushi, it’s a fairly small restaurant and is famous for the line ups. Luckily, when we arrived for dinner, it was only a 15 minute wait, which really isn’t too bad. Definitely not a great place for large groups though.
The seating is really just bar seats, with a line in front of the sushi chefs, and the other seatings against the window.
K and I started off with the Tamago Nigiri. The colour wasn’t the bright yellow ones you find at cheap restaurants, which is always a good sign. It was slightly sweet and there were some other ingredients inside, which made it very flavourful. I liked how you could actually feel the layered texture when you chewed on it.
Scallop, Red Tuna, Toro, Masago with Quail Egg, Negitoro, Baby Yellowtail
These were J’s selections. I’m not exactly sure which roll he got, so I won’t comment on that. However, the baby yellowtail was a special on the menu and he said was very good! He was ultimately satisfied with his plate.
Natto Negitoro Roll, Tuna, Negitoro, Unagi
K’s selections included the Natto Negitoro Roll, which I don’t normally see in many menus. I find that their menu has many half/half rolls, which is quite interesting. Her unagi was also quite a large piece!
Scallop, Chopped Scallop, Negitoro Roll
As for myself, I chose some nigiris and a maki roll. The Negitoro Roll was really good! It was filled with a good amount of negitoro and I liked how there was wasabi already in it. My Scallop Nigiri was very fresh and came with a piece of seaweed underneath which I found interesting. As for my Chopped Scallop Nigiri, it was one of the better ones I’ve had. The scallops were fresh and there wasn’t an overload of mayo.
Ika, Red Tuna
I also ordered the Ika Nigiri, which was very tender and came with a leaf underneath to bring it a minty flavour. My Red Tuna Nigiri was okay. I wish it was more tender. This one didn’t seem as fresh as the rest.
Overall, Ajisai is a great place to go for good quality authentic Japanese sushi. However, the prices are a little steep, so it’s not a place to go crazy unless you have a huge budget. Their menu has a lot more variety compared to say Sushi Hachi. You’ll find non-authentic rolls here as well, so I guess that’s why it’s so popular. Be ready for a wait here!