Masayoshi

01.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Located on Fraser Street, Masayoshi offers only three choices of omakase on their menu. You must also make reservations ahead of time and seating is only available at 6pm or 8pm. The restaurant had won the 2018 VanMag’s Best Japanese cuisine award, so of course I had to come check it out.

 

04.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

We arrived at the 6pm seating on a weekday and it wasn’t too busy. The restaurant is quite small with only three tables of for larger groups, and the remaining seats are at the bar.

 

03.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

We requested to sit at the bar when we made our reservation to ensure we could watch the chef prepare the sushi. This is the best way to truly experience your omakase.

 

02.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

The plate and chopstick holder were very pretty and on the side (which is not pictured) is a holder which has a damp cloth. This is used to wipe and clean your fingers because the chef highly recommends you to eat the sushi with your hands. This traditional way of eating sushi was actually very enjoyable!

 

05.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Echigo Koshihikari Rice Beer

For drinks, we shared the Echigo Koshihikari Rice Beer. I have never seen this beer at the BC liquor store, but it was light and refreshing. Perfect to pair with your sushi if you don’t want sake.

 

06.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Miso Soup

There are three omakase sets available: a 14 piece nigiri set ($80), a 16 piece nigiri set ($110), or a 7 course meal which includes both cold and hot dishes ($120). I noticed many people getting the 7 course meal as you get a variety of dishes, but we really just wanted nigiri so we chose the 16 piece set. Included in the set is Miso Soup which was a great way to start our meal.

 

07.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Spinach Gomae with Enoki with Peanut Sauce and Snapper’s Roe with Ikura

The set also includes an appetizer and that day, we had Spinach Gomae with Enoki in a peanut sauce. A light refreshing start for the meal. On the right was Snapper’s Roe topped with Ikura. The texture of the snapper’s roe was quite interesting and had a bit of salty flavour.

 

08.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Tai

I won’t go into too much detail of all the nigiris as I can’t remember exactly some of the names of the fish I ate. However, the fish tasted fresh and the amount of rice for each nigiri was just right. The nigiris were well made and didn’t fall apart. I liked how the chef brushed a light soy sauce on top before serving so it was just the right amount.

 

09.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Hamachi (Yellowtail)

 

10.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Ika (Squid)

 

11.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Maguro Blue Fin Tuna

The Maguro was one of my favourite! Included in the omakase was also Toro Blue Fin Tuna but I forgot to get a picture of it. The toro melted in my mouth! So fatty!

 

12.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Japanese Sea Bream

 

13.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Missed the name of this one!

 

14.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Saba (Mackerel)

 

15.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Tiger Prawn

We watched as the chef skewered a fresh prawn from Japan and took it to the back to cook. The prawn was large and had a bouncy texture!

 

16.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Hamachi (Mackerel) with Kelp on Top

 

17.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Red Snapper with Yuzu Zest

 

18.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Scallop

My favourite scallop did not disappoint! Extremely fresh.

 

19.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Uni from Hokkaido

The uni was extremely fresh and even my friends who don’t usually eat uni because of bad experiences in the past really enjoyed it. The uni were tiny pieces but very sweet!

 

20.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Geoduck

The Geoduck was cooked to tender and not chewy at all. Loved the texture!

 

21.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Sea Eel (Anago)

The Sea Eel was not my favourite at Masayoshi. I usually really enjoy it but I thought this one didn’t have enough of a grilled flavour. I prefer the one at Sushi Bar Maumi.

 

22.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Tamago

The last piece was Tamago but it was a very different style. It was a bit more spongey than the typical tamago where there are layers. Still, this was a sweet way to end the meal.

 

23.jpg by info9813 on 500px.com

Tofu Cheesecake

The set also includes a dessert to finish and today’s dessert was the Tofu Cheesecake topped with some fresh berries. It was sort of like a mousse and I liked how it wasn’t too sweet.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the omakase at Masayoshi. I found the service to be much more enjoyable than many other omakase sushi shops. I find they are usually too strict and it feels really unfriendly. However, the chef although quite quiet unless we chatted with him, would often smile at us and the dining experience felt quite relaxed. I do find that the price of the omakase to be on the steeper side though, but you do get much more pieces of nigiri than many other shops which offer the set at a lower price. Overall, this would be a good meal to celebrate special occasions.

Pros:
– Fish is very fresh
– Service is friendly and ambiance is nice

Cons:
– Price is on the steep side

Price Range: $110 per person for 16 pc omakase set

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Street parking Overall: 4

 

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

 

Sushizanmai (Shibuya East Exit Branch) – Tokyo

IMG_0004

C’s friend suggested that we should try Sushizanmai, which has several locations in Tokyo. A popular location is actually the one near the Tsukiji Fish Market. However, we decided to check out the one at Shibuya’s East Exit. Here, they are open 24 hours! When we arrived, there was a bar table and some tables, and all were empty but around two. However, they told us they were all reserved. We were only allowed to eat at the bar table.

IMG_0005

Plum Wine

I love plum wine and since I hadn’t tried it in Japan this whole trip, I decided it was time to try it out. Sadly, it was slightly different from the ones I’ve had before. It wasn’t that sweet ume plum taste. It was also quite pricey for a very small glass. Should have probably bought a bottle at the sueprmarket instead.

IMG_0006

Maguro Tuna, Squid Legs, Scallop

The nigiris here are a lot more pricey than the ones I’ve had so far. But by no means is it crazily expensive like Jiros. I would say it’s quite average pricing and similar to Vancouver’s. Since we were here for more of a snack, we each ordered a few nigiris only. I chose the Tuna, which was probably the best I had so far. Next were the squid legs, which were decent, but not the best. I wish they had added a sauce to it. Lastly, the scallops were very fresh.

IMG_0008

Blue Fin Toro Temaki

I also added an order of the Blue Fin Toro Temaki. The toro was very fatty and buttery. There was actually quite a lot wrapped in the rice. Yummy!

IMG_0007

Fried Squid

C ordered the Fried Squid for us to share. Grilled Squid which was then battered and fried. It was decent with the squid being very tender, but I thought the batter was just decent.

IMG_0088

Uni Temaki

K ordered the Uni Temaki, which is sea urchin. She said the uni here was much more fresh than the one at Sushi Daidokoya.

IMG_0089

Maguro Tuna, Fatty Tuna, Scallop

She also got a few nigiris. She got the Maguro Tuna and Scallop, just as I did. However, in the middle, she also got the Fatty Tuna, which she said was very buttery.

I believe they also have nigiri sets, which are probably a better deal. Good quality food, but I would settle for the standing sushi bar since it’s much cheaper.

Address: 2 Chome-22-11 Shibuya, Tokyo

Standing Sushi Bar Uogashi Nihon-ichi (Shibuya) – Tokyo

IMG_9832

Prior to our trip, I had done some quick Googling to see which restaurants would be great for sushi, specifically nigiri sushi. There was the popular but expensive Jiro, and a popular one was the Standing Sushi Bar Uogashi Nihon-ichi. Luckily, there are two in the Shibuya area, and one was literally right across the street of our airbnb. It is also extremely close to the Shibuya metro station. K and I decided to head here for a late night snack.

IMG_9833

What’s cool about a standing sushi bar is that there are no seats at all. You must stand in front of a bar table to eat, so it’s not the ideal place if you’ve walked too much and need a seat. Perfect if you want to just eat and go though. You meal will usually last from 10 to 20 minutes. Plates and chopsticks are on the lower bar table. On a higher level, they place a lotus leaf where they place the sushi on. You also make your own tea here. There is a hot water dispenser, and you just add a bit of green tea powder in your cup. You tell the chef what you want to order, and he will make it for you on the spot. They provided us with an English menu and we just pointed.

IMG_9834

Squid (Ika)

First up was the Squid, which was probably the best ika I’ve had! It was very fresh and had a nice bite to it without being too chewy.

IMG_9835

Red Tuna

One of my favourite was the Red Tuna. I liked it because it wasn’t as soft as normal tuna. It had more of a chew, similar to salmon. Very fresh again!

IMG_9836

Egg (Tamago)

Next, K wanted to try the Tamago. I didn’t end up trying this since she wanted both. She said it was very good! As you can see, all nigiri come in a pair. The above three items were all only 150 yen for the two pieces. That comes to only 75 yen a piece! That’s like impossible to get in Vancouver! Such a great deal!

IMG_9837

Scallop (Hotate)

Next, we got the Scallop, which was also one of my favourites. Each nigiri had two pieces of scallop. All nigiris come with wasabi already placed inside. It’s usually the perfect amount, but I found that they put more in the Scallop one. It might be to remove the fishier taste that scallop usually has. Nevertheless, the scallop was smooth and fresh.

IMG_9838

Grilled Squid Tentacles

We then realized many customers were ordering nigiri that were lightly seared with the torch to make it aburi-style. We decided to order the Grilled Squid Tentacles, which was delicious! The tentacles were lightly grilled and topped with some mayo and torched. Loved the grilled flavour and the squid had a nice chew. These were roughly 200 yen, so only 100 yen per piece! A good deal again!

IMG_9839

Toro

Since we enjoyed most of the food so far, we decided to just go for it and purchase one of the pricier items on the menu. The Toro! Tuna belly is expensive in Vancouver, and here, they sold the pair for 400 yen. The toro was very smooth and buttery, but I felt like I’ve had better in Vancouver. To be honest, we thought that the red tuna was more worth it! We ended up getting more of the red tuna instead since it’s of much better value. The chef also served us another pair of the red tuna, but didn’t charge us. Super nice!

IMG_9840

Grilled Salmon

Since the aburi nigiri was so good, we also got the Grilled Salmon. Again, the salmon was topped with mayo and lightly seared. Loved how the salmon would now melt in your mouth. Yummy!

Overall, I would definitely recommend coming to the Standing Sushi Bar. There are many locations all over Tokyo. Great value and great quality. The service was also extremely friendly! I think we paid less than 1,500 yen each and were more than full! I’d definitely come back here again!

Address: 2-9-1 Dogen, Shibuya, Tokyo

Akari Japanese Restaurant (Revisit #2)

IMG_9107

Akari Japanese Restaurant is located in the Coquitlam Town Center and they have made major changes in their menu since the last time I visited. J told me that they now have a $4.95 menu for every item on the menu, so you really need to do some math to figure out which items are a good deal. It’s a Korean owned restaurant, so it’s not exactly authentic Japanese food. We ended up getting several appetizers, but J began to eat them before I even got some pictures! Anyways, here are some of the sushi we got. This included Hamachi, Ebi, Tuna, Sockeye Salmon, and Saba Nigiris. We also got a Chopped Scallop Roll. So basically, each fish was priced at $4.95 and some of them would come with two nigiris or up to four. The salmon and tuna were pretty good deals as each nigiri would come to under $1.25. I found the rolls to be a bit pricey though, as you can usually find typical rolls at a lower price for the same quality. All in all, our food was average. It wasn’t the freshest I’ve had, but it did it’s job. You end up ordering quite a lot since it seems like a good deal, but in the end we ended up paying almost $20 each. You need to be wise when you pick your items here with the new menu.

Akari Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Minami

IMG_8943

A spontaneous night took J and I to Minami, the sister restaurant of Miku. Miku is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants when I’m looking for creativity and aburi sushi, so I had always wanted to try Minami. The restaurant was packed and although we had no reservations, we got a spot at the bar. The environment is definitely much more casual and loud compared to Miku.

IMG_8944

Sitting at the bar was actually quite nice as the bartender pretty much serves you the whole night. We had some great prompt service and she was able to answer all our questions. The only downside is you may not have as much privacy since she’s always standing there making drinks.

IMG_8935

You get two types of soya sauces at Minami. She said that one is the regular soya sauce, while the other is a little sweeter. I liked the sweeter one.

IMG_8937

Premium Nigiri – chef’s selection traditional nigiri

J loves traditional Nigiris, so he got the Premium Nigiri set. It came with seven nigiris that the chef had chosen.

IMG_8938

I believe there was tuna, salmon, saba, unagi, and scallop to list a few. He said they were all very fresh and the amount of fish to rice portion was perfect.

IMG_8939

Aburi Sushi Sampler – aburi temari, oshi and roll topped with specialty sauces and garnishes

For myself, I got the Aburi Sushi Sampler. It came with 7 dainty little sushi. They were so cute! Some were in the form of temari, which are ball-shaped sushi. Others were oshi (square shaped), while some were regular rolls. They were beautiful to look at! I almost didn’t want to eat them.

IMG_8940

Some of the fish I remember included, saba, scallop, salmon and tuna. They were all quite delicious, and the fish was very fresh. However, you don’t get too filled up by these, since they are really half the size of a normal nigiri.

IMG_8941

Ebi Oshi Sushi – pressed shrimp, lime zest, ume sauce

We also shared an Ebi Oshi Sushi. We wanted to try one of the oshi sushi, since Miku and Minami are famous for them. The bartender recommended the Ebi Oshi and it was absolutely delicious. The shrimp was slightly seared and it melted in your mouth. I loved the hint of smoky flavour. Definitely recommend trying this!

IMG_8945

Green Tea Opera – green tea genoise, dark chocolate ganache, matcha ice cream

Obviously we were still a little hungry by the end of the night. We shared a dessert, and I chose the Green Tea Opera. I’ve had this back at Miku, but I found the one at Minami presented slightly different. Again, it was delicious since I’m a huge matcha fan. It was made of a green tea genoise, which is an Italian sponge cake which is really thin. It had layers of dark chocolate ganache, which made the dessert very smooth in the mouth. It was then topped with fruits and caramelized sugar. On the side, there was a scoop of matcha ice cream topped with a sesame crisp. Definitely ended up our meal very nicely.

Overall, Minami wasn’t too bad. However, I find that the prices are only a few dollars cheaper than Miku. With that being said, I would rather pay a few extra dollars and dine at Miku, since the environment and dishes are much better in my opinion. I find the atmosphere too loud at Minami, and it’s more casual. I also found that the food at Miku was executed more carefully. Not a bad option if I’m in the Yaletown area though.

Minami 炙 on Urbanspoon

Sushi Hachi

IMG_8792

Finally! Finally, I was able to try Sushi Hachi. I remember coming here with J twice, and each time, it was each fully booked or it was closed. They only open on Tuesdays to Saturdays and only for dinner from 6pm to 9pm! It’s like almost impossible to get a seat here without reservations too, since the restaurant is extremely small. It fits around 30-40 guests too, so they probably only get around 2 rounds of diners.

IMG_8793

The restaurant is solely run by a man and his wife. The man does all the cooking, while the wife takes orders and serves food. Therefore, the wait time for your food can be a long time if you arrive at around the same time as other diners. Be sure to make a reservation before coming or you’re likely to be told to come back another day.

IMG_8794

Salmon Sashimi

We started off with an order of Salmon Sashimi. It comes with 7 pieces. Very fresh and nicely cut.

IMG_8796

Sushi by piece: Scallop, Red Tuna, Toro (Tuna Belly), Tamago

Sushi Hachi is famous for their nigiris because they offer fresh fish. They also don’t do any crazy rolls, so if you’re looking for creativity, this place isn’t for you. The man crafts authentic sushi and looks for quality. We first did a round of nigiris, and you are only able to order them by piece. They can be quite pricey, but they were definitely of high quality. For myself, I had a piece of the Red Tuna and Toro. The red tuna had a very nice bite and reminded me of salmon sashimi. On the other hand, the toro just melted in your mouth. So fatty and delicious!

IMG_8797

Sushi by piece: Saba, Chopped Scallop, Mirugai (Geoduck)

Our next tray came, and I had one of each nigiri. First, the Saba was simply seasoned with a bit of ginger to rid the fishiness that saba usually has. The saba was very fresh though, so it didn’t taste too fishy. The Chopped Scallop was extremely fresh with the right amount of mayo and tobiko. The Geoduck was one of my favourites, with a nice chew, but not too tough.

IMG_8798

BBQ Squid

Other than nigiris, they also have some authentic dishes and BBQ dishes. We chose the BBQ Squid was extremely delicious! I highly recommend this! It was grilled lightly, and seasoned with a sweet Japanese sauce. It wasn’t over seasoned so you could still taste the flavour of the squid. The squid was also extremely tender!The tentacles were my favourite!

IMG_8799

Unagi Don

Dad and E shared the Unagi Don. I’m not a huge fan of unagi, so I can’t comment much about it.

IMG_8800

Chef’s Choice Sushi (10 piece + 1 roll)

Lastly, we also ordered the Chef’s Choice Sushi, which is a good value for an individual who wants to try an assortment of sushi. I believe the sushi changes daily, based on what’s fresh on the market. Here, starting from the back row on the left were a 5 piece Tuna Roll, Chopped Scallop, Scallop, and Marinated Red Tuna Nigiri. The bottom row is a bit of a mystery for me as I couldn’t quite figure out each fish. They are fish that I normally don’t consume regularly, so I was a bit confused. Pretty sure there was some Hamachi, Saba, and some type of tuna. Since we only got one of each, I can’t really comment on them. From the ones I had though, they were all extremely fresh!

Be warned that you are likely to be still hungry after a dinner at Sushi Hachi, although you have probably spent quite a lot. That being said, Sushi Hachi is about quality over quantity. The nigiris are quite small, but pricey at the same time. However, it’s a very nice treat when you want some high quality authentic sushi. Highly recommend to try at least once!

Sushi Hachi 鮨八 on Urbanspoon

Sushi Mori

IMG_4022

We were in Coquitlam and craving some Japanese food as usual. And of course J is always craving his nigiris. So we urbanspooned around for a while to see what was nearby. Sushi Mori popped up and the reviews seemed pretty good so off we went.

IMG_4023

The inside is extremely nice! It’s filled with wooden furniture and cherry blossom trees with lanterns so it glows. It almost feels like you’re in a cherry blossom wonderland in Japan. The place seems to be operated by Koreans though, as they all knew how to speak Korean.

IMG_4024

The tableware is extremely cute. The teapot has an ancient feel to it, and the tea cups are so petite! Okay, a little too small, making the need to repour yourself some tea after every sip… We were also given some Edamame Beans to start as a complementary appetizer.

IMG_4025

Spicy Tuna Roll

J got the Spicy Tuna Roll, and it was drizzled with a lot of spicy sauce. Essentially just a normal tuna roll, but drizzled with the spicy sauce.

IMG_4026

Crazy Boy Roll – Deep Fried California Roll, Masago

Everyday, they also have a list of items that are at a discounted prices. I think the Crazy Boy Roll was one of them for that night, hence we got it. I’ve tried this type of roll at another sushi restaurant, and it is essentially a california roll that has been battered and deep fried. It was covered with a spicy mayo and topped with masago. I thought it was pretty good, but anything deep fried is usually tasty.

IMG_4027

Salmon Don

For myself, I got the Salmon Don. There was a large amount of salmon sashimi – a total of 8 fatty pieces. On the side was a bit of marinated squid and seaweed salad. I did find it quite bland though, and the rice wasn’t cooked that great and wasn’t well seasoned. Something was just lacking, and it tasted rather bland. I wouldn’t say that the salmon was extremely fresh either.

IMG_4028

Complementary Salad

Halfway through dinner, we were also given a Complementary Salad. Sort of random, but we’ll take it if it’s free! It was actually a really large plate too. I’m guessing they had extra scraps of vegetables or something. It was filled with lettuce, julienned cucumbers, beets, and pineapples. The pineapples were  a real surprise for me, but also my favourite part. I love how the sweetness gave the whole salad some flavour. The portion was definitely too big for us though and we didn’t end up finishing it.

IMG_4029

Saba Nigiri, Hamachi Nigiri, Ebi Nigiri

And here were J’s Nigiris. I think the Ebi Nigiri was also on the special menu, hence he ordered quite a few. I didn’t try any, as none of the fish are really my favourites, but he said they weren’t good at all. He was quite disappointed and said they were priced at too high of a price for the quality you are getting.

Overall, I wasn’t too amazed by the food at Sushi Mori. J, on the other hand, was extremely disappointed and said he wouldn’t be coming back. I guess I can’t say much since I only had the Salmon Don, and it honestly isn’t too hard to make. J, however, had high expectations for his nigiris, so he wasn’t happy with them at all. We both agreed that the restaurants atmosphere and decor is probably the reason why people come here. Really nice looking place, but definitely just average food. Probably not coming back again.

Sushi Mori on Urbanspoon

Seto Sushi (Revisit)

We were in Richmond, and J wanted some authentic Japanese food and some good nigiris. I honestly don’t know too many truly authentic Japanese restaurants, so I immediately thought of Seto Sushi. I always know that I’m going to be getting good quality food, even though their prices can be a bit steep sometimes. It’s worth it if you want some good food though!

IMG_3964

Fresh Saba, Saba, Hamachi Nigiri

J and his nigiris… He keeps ordering fish that I would have never otherwise tried, but I guess that’s a good thing. I didn’t dare try the saba, since it looked pretty fishy, but I did try the Hamachi. It had a nice texture and was extremely fresh. Not fishy at all. J said the Saba was also pretty good, but you definitely get the fish taste to it. They also had Fresh Saba on the special menu, so he tried that as well. What I love about Seto’s nigiris are is that they put the wasabi inside the piece of sushi too. Makes it so much more authentic!

IMG_3965

Chopped Scallop Roll, Negi Toro Roll, House Roll (4 pc)

Seto doesn’t have any creative rolls, and they stick to the basics and authentic sushis. So I didn’t dare try to explore and try something new, and stuck to some of my favourite items that I reorder every time. The Chopped Scallop is always good with an abundant of fresh scallops and a mixture of mayo sauce. I also got half an order of the House Roll, which is always too big to eat in one bite. I end up dissecting the sushi to eat, but it’s always good. It’s filled with salmon, imitation crab, avocado, and topped with tobiko. J also got the Negi Toro Roll, which looked quite typical.

IMG_3966

Pickled Plum (Ume) Yakionigiri

J also got the Picked Plum Yakionigiri, which is essentially onigiri, but slightly grilled. It came with seaweed packets so you could wrap it up yourself, which we had some trouble in the beginning. The pickled plum is extremely sour, so it’s not for everyone.

Again, I was extremely pleased with Seto. Definitely one of the best Japanese restaurants in Richmond.

To see my previous post on Seto: https://everydayisafoodday.com/2012/05/21/seto-japanese-restaurant/

Seto Japanese Restaurant 瀨戶壽司 on Urbanspoon