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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Sushi Fix @ Sushiyama

After a long day of intense studying culminating in a midterm exam, and a long day in hell for Rich and a long day in a hospital for Ying, the Yummy In Our Tummies Crew was famished and looking to replenish its energy tank.  Nabs was tasting Green Lettuce Beef Fried Rice, but Ying wanted to try another place called Chili Pepper House, and Rich was busy practicing his TKD skills after a shift in hell.  The end result, was Sushiyama.  Makes sense right?  Yup, it does to us too (this is what happens when you're hypoglycemic, don't try this at home).  And so we were headed to Sushiyama.
259 Located along a busy corridor just east of the intersection of E Broadway and Main St in Vancouver, this sushi joint is open from lunch hours until midnight so it can satisfy you during most hours of your day.  It can be pretty hard to spot if you're not paying attention so keep your eyes peeled as you get to the area.  When we arrived at the restaurant around 9:30 pm, we were surprised to find the number of people still occupying the place and we're able to get the last table on our side of the restaurant.

We were greeted promptly when we entered and were shown to our seats, handed menus and delivered teas all within a matter of approximately 15 seconds.  Talk about being on the ball!  It was bam bam bam!  Hungry as we all were, we wasted no time in deciding what we wanted and placed the order.  Initially we got the vegetable gyoza, vegetable tempura and mango mango, unakyu, spicy scallop, and kamikaze roll.  Normally this much would be enough for 3 of us but today, even after finishing all this we were STILL hungry and ended up getting the kalamary and crunch rolls as well as the sushi pizza.  (Little did we know, we would have room for dessert and would go for bubble tea after!)
268_thumb 270
The first part of our food arrived at almost the same time.  The gyozas and tempura arrived first and were fresh and hot upon arrival.  The veggie gyozas were kind of a standard affair and didn't really stand out.  Ying questioned whether the filling was actually veggie but I wasn't about to stop eating even if it wasn't.  (I have a nice spot in  hell waiting for me, but its okay Rich will be there with me).  The tempura was also pretty standard, but I guess its hard to really vary these things.
265 The rolls on the other hand were pretty wow-ing.  Everything was so fresh and packed with melt in your mouth goodness!  As you can see, the first four rolls were delivered on the same dish and all 3 of us instantly knew this wouldn't be enough ahah.  The mango mango roll you see on the left was one we were all new to and it had HUGE chunks of tuna and some salmon packed with slivers of mango and lettuce in a maki roll.  This roll was delicious.  I have had salmon/mango rolls but this was the first time I was eating one with Tuna, and I'm not even a big fan of tuna.  Yet still, perhaps because of its novelty, this roll was great.
The unakyu roll was prepared in the usual manner you'd find anywhere else so it didn't really set itself apart in the appearance or taste department. But what it did well was how fresh it was and how soft it was.  So Yummy!  Unagi rolls that have been sitting aside or aren't prepared with fresh ingredient can be extremely chewy and the meant can be stiff as well (trust me I've had it) but this roll was completely opposite.  Few places have made be wow with freshness like this place!  Any anyone who knows my sushi habits knows I love unagi rolls so this was a total win. 267
263 The spicy chop scallop roll was satisfying in its own.  Again it was a pretty standard spicy scallop roll except that they were pretty generous with their sauce and it actually was quite spicy.  It even made Ying comment about it being more spicy than she expected =O!!  The kamikaze roll was spicy tuna, tobiko and cucumber in a spicy sauce. Richard commented it wasn't too spicy for him and that the tobiko was lacking in quantity but the tuna was really fresh; nothing too exciting but not bad either.  Another new experience for us.
So even after devouring all this, we were still really hungry and ended up ordering the super kalamary and crunch rolls and the sushi pizza.  The kalamary rolls were comprised of tempura calamari and cucumber pieces packed with roe.  This roll was interesting.  The calamari pieces were warm and chewy, a nice change from the usual cold sushi pieces.  The calamari was fresh and lightly seasoned and delicious.  Enough said.  I'm not a big fan of calamari so it didn't sit well with me but Rich and Ying devoured it pretty fast.  Ying interrogated the cause of my intolerance to foods like calamari and shrimp, and being the intellectual she is, she consumed the food slowly with a thoughtful expression on her face while uttering "hmm interesting nabs.. interesting.. hmmm". 274
The crunch roll sounded better on the menu than it actually was but it still wasn't a disappointment.  These pieces were avocado and salmon (I think) topped off with vegetable tempura fried to an extra crispy crunchy consistency.  The crunchy added a whole new dimension to sushi and it was an enjoyable experience.  There are few restaurants that serve crunchy rolls but when I've had one, I've generally been pleased.
278[9] Lastly, the sushi pizza was probably the highlight of the meal simply because of the novelty of the item.  I had a similar sushi pizza at a restaurant in Surrey once and it was not good so I didn't really know what to expect with this one.  The dish, as you can see, is a bed of rice cake with imitation crab covered by slices of tuna or salmon sashimi with sauce drizzled on them.  The crunchy rice cake was offset by the soft and chewy imitation crab filling and sashimi and provided an interesting mixtures of flavour and texture.  On the whole this dish was a win with us, although, unlike Rich and Ying, I wasn't too big on the rice cake part of it.  I'd get this dish again just to stuff my mouth with the delicious sashimi and imitation crab filling.  Yummy in my tummy.

On the whole, Sushiyama really hit the spot and more than exceeded expectations.  The food here was good and fresh regardless of the late hour we went and the service was quick.  Definitely a must visit in my books.

The Yummies:
  • Food is delicious and FRESH!
  • Service is quick
  • Open late night for you insomniacs or late eaters
  • Fairly average priced with larger than average portion sizes (so win!)

The Yuckies:
  • Parking can be hard to find
  • Really not much else that we didn't like

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