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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Apple Sauce… not really… Applause

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It was a fine March afternoon. It was a good day to eat! The yummy crew decided to head out for some yummy sushi…at Apple Sauce. Hehe, the place is actually called Applause; but the first time we passed it, Rich read Apple Sauce instead and the name stuck! We had initially tried this place really randomly on a rainy day last year after some failed photography at Jericho Beach. We were surprised to find such yummy sushi and have been back several times since then. On this occasion, we were joined by Turtle and Vicky. :)
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The interior was well lit, although we were mainly basking in the glorious sunshine. It is clean and cozy, able to seat ~30-40 people or so comfortably. I really like how they have these dark blue curtains (much like the ones at the front door) that can be used to separate tables to give more privacy. 

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They always have a Chef Special menu with different items every day. We’ve had their tuna tataki salad in the past – it is superb!
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Apparently they use something called oil guard to make deep fried food healthier… Deep fried food isn’t supposed to be healthy <.< You aren’t even supposed to have any in your diet…We only had one item this afternoon that was deep fried!
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The first dish to arrive was Vicky’s Holenso Gommae (chilled spinach with sesame sauce). I thought the portion size was quite small with just a small mound of spinach topped off with sesame seeds and sauce. Although I didn’t have a taste of this, Vicky had no complaints. It looked fresh at least… not withered away like some places; nor did it look like it was drenched in sesame sauce. Good start.
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Next up was Nabs’ choice of Corn Cream Croquette – deep fried yumminess! They served four of these golden pieces of croquette that were crispy on the outside, and had sweet and creamy corn on the inside. It was served with a side of Tonkatsu sauce (?) that wasn’t really necessary as the dish was so flavourful already. I really liked how it wasn’t overfried. Nabs really liked this dish as it was “SO GOOD”! hehe
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Now these I believe were truly vegetable gyozas… unlike the questionable ones we had at Sushiyama. Now that I think of it, I don’t really remember what the ingredients were any more. I can just see plenty of shredded wood ear mushrooms and an amalgamation of various other veggies. The filling was flavourful, while the wrap was thin and just fried lightly. This was served with a pepper oil soy vinaigrette, that I personally enjoyed but Nabs didn’t care much for. Rich was just too busy snapping photos to really care that day. :P
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The first time I had this dish was with a friend over the summer at Applause. When it first arrived, I got super excited, because I thought it was unagi (eel). You can sort of see the resemblance…right? Anyhow, I was disappointed for all about oh… let’s say two seconds, because this dish is just really really good! Anyhow, it’s called Nasu Dengasku (eggplant baked in miso sauce). As you can see, it is essentially half an eggplant, drizzled in miso sauce, baked to perfection then sprinkled with sesame seeds. The miso sauce is mildly sweet, but really brings out the flavours of the eggplant. I know eggplant is an acquired taste for some people, but there’s just something about the mushy yumminess that really tickles my tastebuds. Only complaint was the fact that…I had to share?! Just kidding. :) However, it was a bit tricky splitting it with only a spoon and some chopsticks. It felt a bit like dissection…
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I saw this item on the menu and decided to try it since it sounded interesting to me: Enoki Gyuu Maki (enoki mushroom wrapped in beef). Sadly, it was the most disappointing dish of the afternoon. Although the beef was thinly sliced and well seasoned, it was way overcooked that it became super tough. The concept was good as the two ingredients meld pretty well together, but execution was definitely lacking.
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The stars of this meal finally arrived! We ordered five rolls in total.
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Mango & Smoked Salmon Roll (wrapped by Soy Sheet). These two are some of my favourite foods ever! (same goes for Nabs I think) This roll is so simple, yet so delicious! I liked how they used the slightly sweet soy sheet instead of the usual sushi nori, which would overpower the delicate flavours of the smoked salmon and mango. Win! Dynamite Roll – this roll was somewhat underwhelming in the midst of the rest of the yumminess. It was average at best, and pretty sloppily put together as you can tell from the picture.  I must say I wasn’t a big fan of this one.
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The Rainbow Roll on the other hand was superb! I really liked how they used really fresh ingredients (i.e. the sashimi on top). There was also a good variety with large pieces of wild salmon, tuna, avocado, tai, and ebi sashimi. This is one of my favourite rolls at any sushi place, and Applause does it pretty well!~
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We also got the Chopped Scallop Roll. There were plenty of juicy, fat pieces of fresh scallop, which was well-received by the yummy crew. I liked how they didn’t drench the scallop with Japanese mayo, which helps to obscure ingredients that aren’t as fresh at some other places. You could really appreciate the delicate taste of the scallop and appreciate its texture.
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Last but not least was the Caterpillar Roll, which was hands-down the best selection we had! It is essentially a unagi roll topped with avocado and tobiko. The concept is simple, but look at the presentation! Can you see how the first piece is shaped to look like the caterpillar’s head? (with the octopus/fish roe combo as eyes and the avocado pieces placed slightly askew almost like a mouth?) Delicious and oh so cute! I love unagi rolls and I love avocado… so this roll was a double win for me! However, clumsy me dunked one of these pieces into my tea by accident. So fail! :( The plus was that the waitresses were super attentive and immediately brought me a new cup of tea. :)

The Yummies:
  • Really good, fresh sushi!
  • Attentive service
  • Some dishes are really well done!
  • Parking next to the restaurant!
  • Reasonably priced 
The Yuckies:
  • This place can get really busy during peak dinner hours – you may have to wait a bit for a table
  • Don’t order the enoki gyuu maki…

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Applause on Urbanspoon
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Turtle and her donkey hat ;) Hee-haw!


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