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Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

For the last couple of years, the dynamics of Vancouver’s restaurant sector have shifted. More commissary kitchens have opened, some restaurateurs have closed their brick and mortar to switch to a ghost kitchen concept, some aspired restaurateurs and bakers are testing the water without a brick and mortar. It’s relatively lower-cost to run a restaurant operation without the investment of a physical location with equipment, tables & chairs, dishware and decorations, and everything else. It’s especially appealing during the COVID-19 crisis now when a majority of business comes from take-out or delivery orders.

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Coho Commissary

Earlier in the year, Takenaka opened its door, figuratively speaking, by offering different types of Japanese bento boxes. It operates in one of the Coho Commissary locations in Vancouver. Their concept is inspired by the traditional bento boxes created by mom, while introducing a more artistic approach and bringing in fresh and interesting ingredients. The owner/chef Shogo Takenaka came from Kingyo Izakaya and its sister restaurant Raisu. Sous-chef Daiki Ishikawa was trained in Niigata prefecture, known for its finest quality in rice, sake and seafood. I was provided a few of their menu items for a tasting.

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Food

Among the items I received, right away my eyes were drawn to the Kaiseki Bento.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve enrolled in a course. Even though it’s just a 3-day course, and it’s a course meant for working professionals. Still, the concept of carrying a backpack and dressing casually had been a distant memory. So when work sent me to a 3-day class downtown, I had to scout out my lunch spots. And then there was Kita no Donburi right across from the campus (I was at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue).

Let me first start by saying, it’s weird to eat alone. I don’t like sitting by myself and all I have is my phone, emails and social media. Occasionally I like to chat with my dining companion too, you know. Not having made any friends in class just yet, I had to eat alone at Kita no Donburi.

Food

On the first day, I ordered the Chanko Don. It caught my eyes right away on the menu because it just had everything – beef, chicken, prawn, tofu, enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom – all ingredients I love! And it came with a miso soup. It was a satisfying rice bowl. It had some nice umami flavours from the combination of tempura sauce and seafood dressing – it was sweet, it was salty, it had a hint of seafood/seaweed. The beef was the shabu shabu kind, so it was thinly sliced, which helped soak in the flavour from the sauces. It’s really fun to eat because every spoonful gave me different combination of ingredients (it would drive Mr. crazy though, as he likes having a little bit everything in one bite). What would make this even better would be a soft pouched egg, so I would stir in the runny egg yolk into the rice bowl. That would be soooo good!

Chanko Don

I returned the next day, and tried something else. The Chicken Karaage (appetizer version) was a decent portion. (more…)

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My family and I used to frequent Nagano near Coquitlam Centre a lot, before it’s closed temporarily due to a fire. Since then, we have been going to Matoi at Sunwood Square by Lougheed Highway.

Food

This time around, in addition to our usual staple, we also tried a few new things. First, Fresh Sea Urchin (uni). I mean, the whole thing! If you follow me on Instagram, then you would see the video of the live sea urchin as it arrived at our table. The flesh had some natural sweetness, not stringy, and didn’t have the unpleasant fishy taste that some may have. It was served with strips of nori (seaweed), and with a few drops of soy sauce, the taste of sea was accentuated. It’s not cheap but definitely an occasional treat that’s worth every nickel (as we phased out our pennies hehe).

Fresh Sea Urchin (Uni)

Usually Japanese restaurants serve Beef Sashimi almost tataki style, with a quick sear on the outside. Not here. It was straight up slices of raw beef, and with a dip into the yuzu based sauce, you can actually taste the beefy flavour. Our order had some nice marbling, so the meat slices just melt in your mouth. I was hesitant about the 100% raw beef but it was actually really good.

Beef Sashimi

We usually add conch to our soup, so Conch Shell Sashimi was a first for all of us. (more…)

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It’s date night. And once again, we were craving for sushi, so we continued our journey in exploring sushi restaurants in Richmond. Tokyo Joe’s is always busy whenever we are in the area and take a peek inside, so on this day, we finally walked inside.

Food

We ordered a number of things, and unexpectedly, they all arrived on one big plate. The Salmon Sashimi tasted fresh, not too fatty and with firm texture. The slices were pretty big, too, and cost us $13.25. BanZai is still on top of our list for offering the best bang for the buck.

The Stamina Roll had unagi (BBQ eel), avocado, crab meat and smoked salmon. It was packed with lots of ingredients; with a good mix of sweetness from the BBQ eel sauce and saltiness in the smoked salmon. It reminded me of a dragon roll (crab meat, fake or not, with avocado, unagi and tobiko – but some dragon rolls may not have the crab meat part), which is what I usually order because I like unagi.

Salmon Sashimi + Stamina Roll + Chopped Scallop Roll + Negitoro Roll

The Chopped Scallop Roll, my sushi staple, was quite good.
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Sushi date night in Richmond and we decided that we needed to keep discovering new restaurants, so this brought us to the door of Seto Japanese Restaurant on the busy street of Alexandra Road.

Food

Seto offers a “fresh sheet” that features special and interesting items such as horse sashimi and monk fish liver. As adventurous of a foodie as we are, we decided to stick with the basics, so it’s easier for us to tell how good this restaurant is, and compare it to others.

First, we ordered some sashimi. It was a small order each of the Hamachi Toro (Yellowtail Belly) and Salmon Sashimi. The portion was a bit small for the price we paid ($9 for salmon and $14 hamachi toro; a large order would be double the price), especially compared to what we paid at BanZai. That being said, they tasted fresh with great texture. The hamachi toro was fatty, melt-in-your-mouth; it was one of the better hamachi toro I’ve had. I suppose, you get what you pay for.

Hamachi Toro and Salmon

Onto sushi rolls, we opted for some of our favourite staple, Negi Toro and Chopped Scallop Rolls. (more…)

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