It took a long time for me to convince L to give Sushi Bistro Anzu a try. He doesn’t believe anyone can replace Wa’s, the former restaurant. Wa’s was our favourite restaurant in the city. We would dine there at least twice a month. The food, particularly the chirashi, was a work of art. The owner and chef also took a liking to L, so they would always chat in English and Japanese. The owner told L that he had some health concerns and he had to cut back on the opening hours. Then all of a sudden, the restaurant closed.
As I was sick all week, when I finally got over my stomach bug I persuaded L to give Anzu a chance. Plus, we were picking up meats at Sun’s BBQ, which is two blocks away. He relented but I could tell he wouldn’t give Anzu a fair chance.
What I like the most about Anzu was the cooked food and the way the sushi chef slices the sashimi. L and I shared the bento box with sashimi, chicken teriyaki, and tonkatsu and a sashimi lunch special. The prices were inexpensive for the quantity of the food.
The portion of the sashimi was generous: two large, flat piece of salmon; two pieces of ahi tuna; two pieces of snapper and a small piece of surf clam. Usually I don’t like snapper because I find it sinewy and hard to chew. However, the sushi chef sliced the snapper in thin slices, making it easy to eat. The salmon tasted fresh. The surf clam was sweet. I prefer the raw fish at Anzu more than Nami.
In the cooked food, I saw touches of the old Wa’s. The miso soup was richly flavoured, with needle thin slices of scallions and crab. You would chew it and get this burst of green onion flavour. A little side dish came with root vegetables covered in a wonderful sauce and a piece of marinated beef. The tonkatsu was fresh from the fryer, the exterior crunchy. The chicken teriyaki was unusual. The sauce wasn’t the sickly sweet stuff you find at some restaurants, but lighter and more subtle. The batter around the chicken was soft and squishy, but comforting to eat.
I would like to return to try some of the other kitchen dishes. I saw other bento boxes sail past me and I thought the shrimp tempura looked lovely – long with a snow white batter. There’s also a reward program at Anzu. You get a stamp for every $10 you spend, and after you spend a $100 you get $5.00 off your bill.