Kishimoto

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On my birthday, I asked to have dinner at Kishimoto. I’ve seen gorgeous platings from this Japanese restaurant for quite some time now, but Commercial Drive isn’t exactly the area I usually drive by. Finally, we made our way here, and there’s surprisingly quite a lot of free parking in the residential areas across the street. There was a line up as usual, and we waited roughly 15-30 minutes before we got a seat. The restaurant doesn’t have many fans, so it was boiling hot as well. Most of the servers and chefs looked and spoke Japanese, so I’m assuming it’s Japanese run. Not a huge restaurant though, so I see why there are always line ups.

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Hamachi Ishinabe

First, we got the Hamachi Ishinabe, which I apologize for the blurry picture. It’s very similar to a Korean bibimbap, where the rice is served in a hot stone bowl. It’s topped with hamachi fish, a raw egg, and some seaweed. When you squish the sides of the rice to the sides of the bowl, you get some crispy rice.

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The server helped mix the rice for us, and this is the final product. The fish was very soft and smooth, and I love the flavour of the sauce used. It tasted sort of like the unagi sauce.

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Salmon Oshi Sushi

Next was the Salmon Oshi Sushi. If you’re familiar with Miku’s signature Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi, then you’ll find the one at Kishimoto very similar. Except it’s a few dollars cheaper! The sushi rice is shaped into a rectangular shape, topped with salmon, a creamy sauce and crackled black pepper and seared with a torch to give it a nice char. It’s then topped with a slice of jalapeno. Everything was great about this dish, but if you’re had Miku’s, then I think that their special Miku sauce still wins. Otherwise, I could settle for this less pricey version.

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Chopped Scallop Roll, Spider Roll, Dragon Roll

Kishimoto is known for their plating – especially that thinly sliced radish and edamame flower. I was excited when the rest of our rolls came, since it came just with that beautiful plating. It also came with a candle with a radish sliced into a cylinder. Super cool! You can basically eat all this art too, but I’m not sure how clean it is. On the top left was the Chopped Scallop Roll. Quite average, with a good amount of filling and fresh scallops. In front, was the Dragon Roll, which feature 2 pieces of prawn tempura, tobiko, and avocado and unagi on top. It was flavoured with an unagi sauce. On the right around the flower, there was the Spider Roll, which was filled with avocado, softshell crab tempura, massago, cucumber, and lettuce. It was wrapped around a thinly sliced sheet of radish.

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Salmon Sashimi (9pc) & Tuna Sashimi (6pc)

Then came the sashimi, which came in an impressive block of ice. That’s a huge block! The fresh fish were decorated with flowers and leaves. Super pretty! In the back were the Salmon Sashimi, which we opted for 9 pieces. Each were cut at just the right amount to have a a good texture. Very fresh! In front, the Toro Sashimi were curled up like flowers. Again, very fresh and the toro was smooth and buttery.

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Plain Okonomiyaki

Lastly, we had the Plain Okonomiyaki, which was probably one of my favourites! It came with a side of bonito flakes. The okonomiyaki was quite thick, but filled generously with vegetables. I loved the flavouring and it was something that helped fill our stomachs.

Overall, Kishimoto lived up to it’s hype. Great food at decent prices. I’m not sure if I would make the trip all the way here that often though. But if I’m in the neighbourhood, I wouldn’t mind coming here for some Japanese food!

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Sushi Town (Burnaby)

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Spicy Salmon Sashimi

Sushi Town is very similar to Sushi Garden, with cheap prices and large portions. They have two locations – one in North Burnaby and one in Coquitlam. We went to the one in Burnaby, and it’s located in a weird area with a lot of residential housing nearby. You’ll probably be able to find free parking just down the streets in front of someone’s house. The place is packed, but since I was half an hour late, my friends were already seated. We shared the Spicy Salmon Sashimi, which is one of their popular dishes. Loads of salmon sashimi cut into cubes with a spicy sauce. I love the mix of cucumber cubes in it as well. A good deal!

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Chopped Scallop Roll

I chose the Chopped Scallop Roll. It was filled with lots of scallop, but I wouldn’t say it was that great. The rice was falling apart and the flavour wasn’t the best I’ve had. But for the price, you get filled up if you don’t look at the presentation.

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Takoyaki

For the Takoyaki, it came quite nicely presented, with bonito flakes on top. The inside however was more dough than filling. Definitely not a lot of octopus. I would say they are average.

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Mango Roll

We also chose two of their specialty rolls. The specialty rolls are pretty good deals since they’re around $4-$5. Normally, specialty rolls are at least $8 at other restaurants. But then again, they use more expensive ingredients. The Mango Roll came with imitation crab, cucumber, and some mango. It was topped with cooked ebi or shrimp and drizzled with a mayo sauce. Not bad as you get some of the sweet and sour from the mango. I do wish they had put a bit more mango though.

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Awesome Roll

Lastly, S recommended the Awesome Roll. I believe this was one of their pricier rolls at around $7. However, it included tons of ingredients. It had imitation crab, cucumber, avocado and masago. On top, there was a slice of salmon sashimi, a sweet teriyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. Great flavours when mixed together!

Overall, I was quite satisfied with Sushi Town. You need to go in knowing that quality is not going to be best. This place is all about value, and you’ll definitely be filled up without breaking your wallet. I know that people say that service is quite bad here, but I actually didn’t really experience it at all. The servers took our orders right away (although they sort of rushed us to get our orders down as quickly as possible), but they also poured us tea very frequently. At the end of our meal, we had probably sat for quite some time too, and they didn’t throw us the bill, like many other places would. Definitely would revisit more often if it wasn’t so far for me.

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Charcoal Sushi & BBQ (Revisit #3)

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Chopped Scallop Roll

After my graduation, we decided to go grab a quick graduation dinner. We didn’t have much planned, so we just headed to Charcoal Sushi & BBQ. I’ve blogged quite a few times about it, but I tried a few different items this time, so I find it worth blogging about. First, we got my all time favourite Chopped Scallop Roll. They are filled with lots of scallop and cucumbers and topped with sesame seeds.

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Beef Yaki-udon

Next, we had the Beef Yaki-udon. I think the Mentaiko Yaki-udon was much better. This was flavourful, but wasn’t too special. Tasted just like any other yaki-udon you could get elsewhere.

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Snow White Roll

For rolls, we got the Snow White Roll. It was filled with cooked salmon, and topped with chopped scallop and shaved coconut. I thought the coconut would be sort of weird, but it actually tasted really good together! It was also a spicy roll, as there was a spicy mayo sauce.

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Rainbow Roll

We also got the Rainbow Roll, which is really just California roll with a mixture of sashimi on the top. It came with tuna, salmon, hokkigai, and other white fish I’m not familiar with. Love the sashimi on top! Very fresh!

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Tuna Tataki

Oddly enough, our appetizers came last. I found this a little disappointing, since I was looking forward to eating this at the beginning of my meal. Anyways, we got the Tuna Tataki and although it was seared nicely on the sides, I found it lack flavour. I wish it had a stronger sauce. I felt like I was just eating seared tuna with no seasoning.

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Beef Sashimi

Lastly, we were presented with the Beef Sashimi, which again would’ve been preferred as a starter. It came with many slices and was actually quite fresh. The only issue I had with it was that it was a slightly thick cut and I felt like they had not defrosted it enough. Otherwise, the flavour was really good with a hint of a vinaigrette taste to it.

Overall, Charcoal is always a decent place to go for Japanese food. It’s by no means authentic food, but it’s definitely better than many of the Chinese owned restaurants. Prices are also average. Only issue is the restaurant has a small seating capacity, so it’s important to make reservations.

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Minami

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Seto (Revisit #3)

On my actual birthday, J took me to Seto for lunch before my birthday adventure began. He seems to enjoy this restaurant after I brought him here once. Quality is always good and they make authentic Japanese food. I’ve never been to Seto during lunch hours, so it was a surprise to learn that they had a lunch menu and one that was of good value, especially since their dinner menu is usually quite pricey.

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Seto Box – Teriyaki Chicken, Sushi, Sashimi, Zarusoba, Tempura, Salad, Sunomono, Soup and Rice

Most of the lunch items are Lunch Boxes. J got the Seto Box and it included a lot of dishes for only $15! The Zarusoba came first, and this one was green. It was a decent amount and J said it was quite good.

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Tempura

Next, they brought us the Tempura. One yam, one zucchini, and two prawns. All lightly battered, and didn’t feel too greasy.

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And here was the rest of the items in the Seto Box. It had two pieces of salmon sashimi, two pieces of tuna sashimi, teriyaki chicken on rice, ebi, tuna, and salmon nigiri, a salad, and some sunomono salad. Sashimi was fresh as usual, and nigiris were all constructed well.

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Saba Nigiri, Salmon Toro Nigiri

J also ordered some Saba and Salmon Toro Nigiris.  I didn’t try the Saba as usual, since I think that it’s probably quite fishy. I did try the Salmon Toro, which is essentially the salmon belly, and this was quite delicious. The texture is much more soft and buttery compared to just normal Salmon because the belly area is more fatty.

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Lunch Box C – Teriyaki Chicken, Sashimi, Nigiri Sushi, Tempura, Sunomono, Soup and Rice

And last but not least, I had the Lunch Box C. Pretty much the same as the Seto Box, except I don’t have the Zarusoba and Salad. The Seto Box would have been too much food for me anyways, so the Lunch Box C was just perfect. A filling meal and only for a price of $12!

Now that I know Seto has such good deals during lunch time, I think I may come here more often during lunch if I’m craving some quality Japanese food. It seemed that most diners got the lunch boxes because of the good deals. They have quite a variety of boxes to choose from too!

Check out my previous reviews at Seto: https://everydayisafoodday.com/2012/05/21/seto-japanese-restaurant/

https://everydayisafoodday.com/2013/07/17/seto-sushi-revisit/

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Guu Richmond (Revisit #3)

I’ve been to Guu in Richmond plenty of times, and for my birthday dinner with my family, we somehow ended there again. I wanted to Zakkushi, but we were quite last minute, and they were fully booked up. My family ended up wanting to go to Guu, so why not, since it’s close by.

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Complementary Salad

After placing our orders, we were given two small bowls of this Complementary Salad. It was mostly yellow cabbage, and was lightly marinated with a sour sauce. Quite refreshing, but nothing too special.

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Beef Tataki – thin sliced seared beef w/ ponzu sauce

As usual, I went with the Beef Tataki, because I always enjoy the sauce that Guu uses. I’ve had some bad experiences with the beef tataki at Guu Richmond, but this time, they were very nicely seared. It wasn’t overdone, and each bite was easy to chew.

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Oden – Fish Puff

K ordered Oden, and got the Fish Puff. This was my first time trying this. It had a very funny texture and was a bit bouncy, but soft at the same time. It’s so hard to explain, but it was good! Reminded me a little of fish tofu puffs. The oden was also very delicious.

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Kabocha Korokke – Pumpkin and boiled egg croquette

The Kabocha Korokke is also one of my all-time favourites at Guu. It’s essentially mashed pumpkin wrapped around a boiled egg and then deep fried. It’s then topped with a mayo sauce. I also love the pumpkin chips on the side.

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Okonomiyaki – Deep fried squid & cabbage Japanese pancake w/ tonkatsu sauce & mustard mayo

This time, I also wanted to try some new items. I chose the Okonomiyaki, and this was really good! I think the mustard mayo really made the pancake taste really good. It had a decent amount of squid inside each piece. This is a perfect dish to easily share between four people.

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Aigamo Pizza – teriyaki duck breast Guuu’d style pizza w/ tomato sauce & mayo

And then I decided to try the Aigamo Pizza! Yea, I’ve seen this plenty of times on their menu, but have never thought of trying it. So glad I did, because this was really delicious! There were an abundant of teriyaki duck breast, and each piece was thick, yet had an incredible chew. Extremely tender. We were however, disappointed that half our pizza crust had been burnt. Sort of too burnt to be edible, at least in a health perspective…

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Karubi – BBQ garlic sauce marinated beef ribs

My dad is always a beef ribs person, so he ordered the Karubi. There were only a few on the plate, and it came with some mustard on the side. We thought that this was way too salty though. My mouth just felt like salt after and I had to wash it down with tea. Not recommended!

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Crazy Salmon Sashimi – lightly seared salmon

We also wanted some sashimi, and like many authentic Japanese restaurants, salmon sashimi is not usually found. They had it in some assortment sets, but my dad wanted just salmon sashimi. Well we saw something on the daily special menu called Crazy Salmon Sashimi, so we asked our server what it was. She told us it was basically salmon sashimi, but it is lightly seared, just like tuna tataki. So we ordered 12 pieces. It was definitely lightly seared and melted in your mouth with a few chews. The only issue we had was the saltiness again! It was topped with way too much freshly ground pepper and salt. It had a very smoky flavour to it, which I didn’t mind, but the saltiness of it was beyond what I could take. It seemed that tonight’s chef seasoned everything too salty!

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Yakiudon – Pan fried udon w/ beef, mushroom, green onion & soy sauce and butter

Lastly, we got our usual Yakiudon. Guu’s yakiudon is always my favourite. Their sauce is just spot on, and the udon is cooked so it has a nice chew, and the sauce makes the noodles a little sticky, which I really like.

All in all, it seems that the dishes I usually order are still spot on. And now I will add the pizza and okomiyaki to the list. However, I would stay away from the beef ribs and crazy salmon sashimi. Service was wonderful as usual, and we didn’t need to wait long before our dishes arrived.

To read my previous visits at Guu: https://everydayisafoodday.com/2013/01/04/kitanoya-guu-richmond/
https://everydayisafoodday.com/2013/01/24/kitanoya-guu-richmond-revisit/

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Sushi Mori

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tsuki Sushi Bar

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I’m so behind on my posts again, but now that school is over, I’ll be more consistent with posting on time… Anyways, M, J and I wanted to grab some lunch and they put me in charge of where…as always. Trying to find something that everyone would enjoy and had good ratings, I ended up suggesting Tsuki Sushi Bar. The sign is pretty tiny, so I legit stood at the intersection for two minutes with my Google maps, trying to figure out where it was.

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I was late, so the two had already gotten a seat. Inside, it’s very spacious, but there aren’t too many seats. I’m guessing it can be quite packed on a busy day. There’s also a sushi bar where you can see the sushi chefs prepare the sushi.

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I love the wooden tables, and the lighting gives it a very clean and fresh look. We had a long table, so we did have to share a table with a few other diners, but we were still given enough space to have our own conversations.

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Complementary Miso Soup

Shortly after placing our orders, we were each given a complimentary miso soup.

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Sockeye Salmon

J got the Sockeye Salmon which was glistening in colour. It was fresh and sliced to the perfect size. Really good!

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Enoki Mushroom Salad

M got an Enoki Mushroom Salad, which I believe isn’t on their menu normally. It was one of the items on their chalkboard for daily specials. It was flavoured nicely and was a refreshing appetizer.

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Tuna Tataki – Seared Tuna with Ginger, Garlic, Tosazu Vinegar

J and I also shared the Tuna Tataki and the pieces were huge! I think you got around 5 pieces, but each piece was cut quite thick. It was lightly seared and there was a good bite to it.

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I have no idea what M ordered, but I’m guessing the red nigiri is Sockeye Salmon. I think the white one was on their chalkboard, and I honestly have no clue what he ordered as the craft roll… It looks really good and he said it was delicious.

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Smoked Salmon Nigiri, Scallop Special Nigiri, Special BC Roll(Seared Salmon and Ikura on top of BC Roll), Alaska Roll (Dungeness Crab, Cucumber, Masago w/ seared Sockeye, Mayo on top)

J got the Smoked Salmon Nigiri which was literally a piece of smoked salmon with a slice of lemon on top. Looked pretty good! As for myself, I got the Special Scallop Nigiri, and I enjoyed this as it was different from other restaurants where they slather a bunch of mayo on it. This one was strictly scallops, and you could feel the texture of each scallop. We also shared the Special BC Roll and Alaska Roll. The Special BC had salmon on top of an ordinary BC Roll, but the salmon was ever so lightly seared. It was also topped with lots of tobiko. Not bad! And the Alaska Roll was bascially like any other Alaska Roll, except they used dungeness crab instead of imitation crab.

I was quite pleased with each dish. It seemed that they took the time to craft them with care and they were all presented nicely. The price point also isn’t too bad. It’s actually quite reasonable for the quality of food you get. Most of the craft rolls were a little under $7 and they use some pretty good ingredients.

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