Japanese · Restaurants · Seafood · Sushi · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – Sushi Hachi – L’s birthday dinner

I booked L’s birthday dinner at Sushi Hachi Japanese Restaurant. Run by a husband and wife team, Sushi Hachi is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Reservations are required, as the small restaurant is perpetually booked.

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I invited N and Beep Beep to L’s dinner. N asked if she could bring her new gentleman friend A-OK. When I spoke to the owner to request an extra seat, I confided to the owner that I was excited to dine at his restaurant. He sounded pleased, but cautiously mentioned that he only serves sushi and sashimi. There is no teriyaki or tempura on the menu. I told him that was fine with me, as I’ve been to Japan before and I’m aware of the difference between real sushi and the North American version. He sounded worried and humbly stated that he didn’t want to get my my hopes up, as his sushi is not as good as what you can get in Japan. For this post, let’s listen to “Saw You in a Dream” by The Japanese House.

When we were seated, L commented that he knew Sushi Hachi was a good restaurant based on the tantalizing smells wafting from the kitchen and sushi bar. Unfortunately, the description of the food we ate won’t be as detailed as I would have preferred. Beep Beep and I were too busy sizing up A-OK. I usually hate the guys N dates, but A-OK was a refreshing break from the norm.

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A-OK and I shared a bottle of cold sake – Hakutsuru Nigori ($17). The flavour was floral, lush and milky in texture. L, Beep Beep and N refrained from drinking alcohol. Beep Beep was driving. L wanted a good sleep. N just came back from her second ayahuasca trip in Peru. Her shaman said she could eat seafood again, but not alcohol, meat or soy sauce. I asked A-OK if the next time, he could slip the shaman an extra twenty bucks so N could eat meat again.

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The Miso Soup ($2) was subtly different from the norm. I read in other reviews that the female owner makes her fish miso in small batches. Each bowl contained a collarbone.

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I ordered four Chef’s Special ($120) – a selection of ten pieces of nigiri and tuna maki. We were given a description of each fish, but I didn’t have time to write any of the names of the fish down.

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The balance of vinegar and sugar in the rice was perfect. The temperature of the rice was neither cool or warm. I noticed the rice was a bit softer than I’m used to. L and I liked the proportion of fish to rice.

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My favourite piece was the bright white glossy piece – it was both crunchy and creamy. The simplicity of garnishes on the nigiri still let the freshness of the seafood shine through.

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The scallops were tender and sweet. My favourite version was the chopped scallop. There’s just something so winning about the combination of delicate scallops and the rich egg flavor of velvety Kewpie mayonnaise.

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I enjoyed crunching into the raw prawn ($3.50). Cold, sweet and with a texture that was both gooey and crunchy. The uni ($4.00) was the most buttery and briniest I’ve ever had. I’d order this again.  L ordered an extra piece of his favourite sushi –  tako ($2.50).

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L noted he’s never tried so many pieces of white fish, each with its own unique flavour. All the seafood tasted pure and clean. 

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A-OK and N ordered a plate of Toro ($18) and Sockeye Salmon ($14). No comment as we didn’t try any of it.

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A-OK also ordered the Grilled Squid ($10.50).  The squid was tender and the juices were reminiscent of charcoal. This dish was simple and delicious.

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N ordered a Tempura Roll ($6) because she was still hungry. She took one piece and announced she was full.  I ate a couple of pieces.  The roll was crunchy and warm from the tempura, made even tastier with a generous slathering of mayonnaise.

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N mentioned that while she can eat fish, she only wants to eat white fish. She felt that the fish with a pink tinge was closer to meat. I disagreed but didn’t feel the urge to argue with her. I’m not a hot shot shaman.

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My favourite part of the night was when L thanked the sushi chef. In Japan, locals go crazy over my husband’s enunciation while I am generally frowned upon for breaking protocol. After L broke out his perfect Japanese, the  chef’s expression didn’t change and he simply nodded to L.  When I went to thank the sushi chef in English, he beamed and bestowed me with a big grin. Take that L.

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Sushi Hachi is a gem. Now that L and I are no longer going on our annual trip to Japan, we can look forward to dining at Sushi Hachi. I’m eager to try more of the adventurous seafood on their sushi menu. Hitting the Sauce gives Sushi Hachi two fat thumbs up.

Sushi Hachi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fusion · Japanese · Restaurants · Seafood · Sushi

Big Catch – 2.0

I had a long week. To improve my mood, L suggested I pick a restaurant for dinner.  I remembered Big Catch expanded from its small kiosk inside Market on Macleod into a full service restaurant in the Save-On-Foods shopping plaza (#130-8835 Macleod Tr. SW).

For this post, let’s listen to Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (recomposed by Max Richter). I think this segment suits Big Catch’s food. Also, I find the emotional range of the violin electrifying.

L admired the woodwork across the walls. He wants to create something similar in our new house. When L complimented the interior design, one of the owners – Non  – informed us the interior was designed by Tomo Nakahara.

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L and I started off with Agedashi Tofu ($6.95) with kalamansi mushroom sauce. L liked how the daikon and sauce remained on the tofu. I enjoyed the crispy, chewy outer layer of the tofu. The brown topping was tasty, made from four types of mushrooms, sake and low sodium soy sauce.

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Non recommended the evening’s special appetizer – Chicken Nanban ($8.75). I noticed the chicken wasn’t heavily battered or super crunchy. As a result, I could better taste the marinade. L raved about the dipping sauce, which he thought was refreshing and light, similar to tzatziki sauce.

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Non was excited when he talked about the specialty rolls – all of which are Big Catch’s original creation. He recommended the Autumn Haze ($15.95) and the Iron Goddess ($15.95).

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The presentation was so alluring, I was drawn into the plate. I marveled at the colours painted and dotted along the rim of the bowl. The placement of the garnishes and  flowers on the sushi was stunning. We didn’t even realize that the paint on the bowl was edible until half way through our meal.

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Each piece of sushi was bite-sized. I noticed there was no reliance on mayonnaise in any of the rolls. Non confirmed there was only one roll that had mayonnaise – the Passion Sunrise.

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L wanted to try the nigiri to see how it compared to their specialty rolls. We ordered a Dynamite Roll ($6.50), two pieces of Atlantic Salmon Nigiri ($2.25), two pieces of Albacore Tuna Nigiri ($2.25) and one piece of Bluefin Toro Nigiri ($4.50).

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The Albacore Tuna was soft and delicious. The taste of the tuna really shone through and just melted in my mouth. I thought the Bluefin Toro had a stronger, fishier taste. I was almost sorry to eat each piece, as it took away from the beauty on the plate.

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I saw several customers dropping in to pick up platters to go. If you check out their takeout menu, you’ll see that there are specially priced combos and platters. I also noticed Big Catch is vegetarian friendly and even has a new vegan roll coming soon.

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Don’t expect to get the volume you would get at an all-you-can-eat sushi joint. Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing. But at Big Catch, the prices are more than reasonable. Our feast come up to $70 and we were both full.

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Big Catch is a place for those who appreciate visually gorgeous food in unpretentious digs. L and I can’t wait to return to sample more of the menu. If you are a fan of art and sushi, you need to check out Big Catch. For the full experience, dine in. If you want to eat from the comfort of your house, their takeout is fabulous and well-priced.

Big Catch Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Chinatown · Japanese · Restaurants · Sushi

Point Sushi

Veronica invited me to One Chubby Hamster’s 14th birthday party. She told me she was thinking of having the get together at Briggs Kitchen + Bar. She asked me which restaurant would be appropriate for eight teenagers.

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I suggested Point Sushi, Calgary’s first sushi bullet train. I could picture One Chubby Hamster and her friends taking Instagram videos of the train and food. For this post, let’s listen to Runaway Train by Soul Asylum.

We took over two booths next to the bullet train conveyor belt. I noticed a long table next to us with its own conveyor belt running along the table. The music was an interesting mix. When we arrived, there was pleasant jazz music. Half an hour later, it was pop and at the end of our meal, house music.  After we finished our dinner, Jughead had to take a business call. I could just imagine his employee hearing the music in the background and thinking her boss was at a club.

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Veronica ordered a whole wack of food. The system allows you to order a maximum of four orders at one time. We started off with Chicken Wings ($5), Gyoza ($5), Shrimp Tempura ($4.40), and Shio Ramen ($5.95).

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Jughead and I thought the ramen was tasty. The broth was thick and flavourful. The noodles were firm, which I prefer. The portion was more than decent for the price. I’d order this again.

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The chicken and vegetable gyoza was soft and floppy. The dumplings tasted better than my description. The dipping sauce had a nice punch to it.

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The shrimp tempura was heavily battered, doughy and dense. The ratio of batter to shrimp was 4:1.  I couldn’t taste the shrimp. This is the only thing I wouldn’t order again.

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Veronica wanted to order sushi. L asked for his favourite nigiri- tako ($4.50). Jughead looked curious and quizzed L on the flavour profile of octopus, as he’s never tried it.  L offered Jughead a piece but he declined.

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I suggested that Veronica try the Spicy Crispy Prawns ($4.50), because since the prawns were cooked, Jughead might try it. When prompted to describe what she was eating, Veronica said it was cold, crunchy and tasted like delicousness. Jughead said it was a succulent prawn morsel.

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I ordered a Spider Roll ($6.95). Yum. This was the least sauced of all the rolls that were ordered. I liked tasting the separate flavours of rice, tobiko, avocado and still warm deep-fried crab.

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Veronica ordered two rolls – the Royal Sushi Roll ($8.90) and Ocean Mountain Roll ($6.50). L doesn’t normally like non traditional sushi, but he enjoyed what he ate.  The sauces were a mix of sweet and spicy.

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It wasn’t just One Chubby Hamster and her friends that enjoyed themselves at Point Sushi. L and I were delighted watching our orders come zooming to our table. It’s fun and entertaining experience, particularly if you haven’t been to Japan. I can see this restaurant being a big hit with families. Thanks One Chubby Hamster for inviting us to your birthday. The party was on point.

Point Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japanese · Restaurants · Sushi

Red Ember – Return of Christina

My all time favourite server is Christina from Red Ember. L and I have been coming to Red Ember since 2012. Throughout the years, Christina has been in and out, as she’s gone back to school, had other jobs and lived overseas. I saw on Facebook that she’s returned. After going out for a drink, L and I made our way to Red Ember for a late dinner. In honour of Christina, let’s listen to Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison.

Even though it was past 8:00 p.m., the restaurant was packed. I also saw numerous takeout orders being picked up. If you pay cash, you get 10% off the bill. For takeout orders over $100, you get 15% if you pay cash. Good to know for my future parties. Christina warmly welcomed us back and asked the sushi chef and owner Calvin to make us a special amuse-bouche. A very lovely treat to start our meal.

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Usually, there’s Calvin and sometimes, another sushi chef working with him. I’m not 100% sure if there is another cook for the hot stuff, like tempura, teriyaki and udon. This evening, Christina was the only server. I’m pretty sure they were short-staffed, because Calvin would disappear and then suddenly the hot food would come out. Red Ember is a smaller restaurant operation, so when it gets busy, the food may take a bit longer.

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L and I shared an order of large assorted tempura ($10.99) and a large Asahi ($7.99). We received four pieces of shrimp and six vegetables. The batter is thick and crunchy. L liked how the tempura wasn’t overly greasy. I wonder if Red Ember will ever consider making tendon (tempura covered in sauce over rice). I think if they did, it would be a hit.

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L always order the chirashi ($18.99). The rice was fragrant with vinegar. Christina asked Calvin to give me two amaebi (raw spot prawns) as she knows this is my favourite sushi. When eaten raw, the prawn is sweet, creamy and crunchy.

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L can’t look at me eating the shrimp head without making a face. A little judgy L.  I think the part that grosses him out the most is seeing the attenas poke out of my mouth as I munch away. He has no idea what he’s missing out on. The best part is when the remaining head is deep-fried as it taste like soft-shelled crab.sushi.jpg

L and I also shared some rolls. Dynamite Roll ($4.95), Negitoro Roll ($4.25), Chopped Scallop Roll ($5.99), Tako ($2.50) and Amaebi ($2.75). This turned out to be way too much food for us. The rolls were large and packed with filling. The seafood tasted fresh.

Office Dad and Asian Persuasion prefer Red Ember over Zipang and Roku because former offers more generous portions of sushi and sashimi. Both are also are a big fan of Red Ember’s lunch bento boxes. I like Zipang’s tuna and salmon slightly  more than Red Ember. However, Red Ember’s amaebi and scallop consistently taste fresher than Zipang and Roku.

Calgarians are lucky to have an affordable sushi joint, conveniently located in the inner city. L and I feasted away and our bill only came up to $60.  Hitting the Sauce gives Red Ember two fat thumbs up.

Pro tip. There isn’t any street parking immediately outside, but there is a parkade on the second floor, right next to the restaurant. My friend What’s Up Hamsup never pays for parking because he says if he gets a ticket, he just won’t pay it. L was feeling lucky and didn’t pay for parking either, despite my protests that it was only $2.00. Park and don’t pay at your own risk.
Continue reading “Red Ember – Return of Christina”

Japanese · Restaurants · Special Occasion · Sushi

Minami – Yaletown

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For Beep Beep’s birthday, I picked Minami.  She invited her friends Doris, Emma, Tien, Vanessa and my friend Naomi. Naomi, Beep Beep and I arrived early at 6:55 p.m for our seven o’clock reservation. Doris arrived at 7:35 p.m. Emma came at about 7:40 p.m. because she went to the wrong restaurant. Vanessa was only 25 minutes late. Tien pushed convention and arrived at 9:10 p.m. For this post, let’s listen to Carole King It’s too late.

Naomi ordered Miyazaki #2 cocktail ($15). I ordered Beep Beep a bottle of sparkling nigiri – Yauemon Shu Awa ($56/500 ml). I wasn’t feeling well so I refrained from drinking alcohol. I did take a sip of the sparkling nigiri – it tasted like all the other ones I’ve tried. Slightly sweet, cloudy with a pleasant dry finish. I thought the sake was well priced compared to Calgary. The liquor stores in Vancouver also charge less for sake than the liquor stores in Calgary. I’m guessing this has do to with taxation and the liquor markup in Alberta.

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Beep Beep and I shared the Salmon Oshi ($17), Ebi Oshi ($17), and Saba Oshi ($17). Beep Beep liked the salmon version the best. The flavour of the BC wild sockeye salmon and miku sauce was enhanced by Minami’s flame-seared technique. We both took the jalapeño off because you never know when you get a really hot one. I liked how the salmon oshi had two layers of salmon, unlike the ebi and saba oshi.

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Initially, I thought I wouldn’t like the ebi oshi because the flavour profile would be more delicate than the salmon. I was pleasantly surprised that the ume sauce was deliciously smokey. The pressed shrimp had a nice bite, the lime zest added a refreshing zing to it.

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The house cured mackerel was our least favourite. The fish was fishy and the texture was a bit mushy. I also thought the miso sauce didn’t do much to jazz it up. The sushi rice was the perfect balance of sugar and vinegar, so that I couldn’t taste one over the other. The rice was served at below room temperature.

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Beep Beep and I shared the the Premium Trio Aburi Oshi Sushi ($25). My favourite bite was the hokkaido hotate and botan ebi, topped with mentaiko aioli and amaranth. The raw shrimp was cool and creamy. The scallop was sweet.

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I liked the combination in the albacore tuna and otoro oshi. The garnish of tobiko oroshi ponzu and yuzu zest made this bite pop. The quality of the Japanese wagyu and hickory smoked bacon was excellent. The garnish of wasabi negi relish on the meat reminded me of the combination of horseradish and prime rib.

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The deep-fried shrimp head was cold and flavourless. I think it would have been better if the shrimp was fresh out of the fryer, squirted with  lemon, with a little more salt.

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Next time I visit I want to try the shittake mushroom nigiri ($2) and eggplant ($2). Naomi thought the nigiri was plain and needed soy or tempura sauce, as neither were provided. You can order vegetarian nigiri either tempura style or regular style.

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Naomi ordered the Nutigreen Farms Crumbled Tofu Salad ($14). It’s a delicious and flavourful salad, filling too. Chock-full of goodies like avocado, crispy tempeh, organic baby greens, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, and shaved apple. It’s the type of salad that taste so good you know it’s high in calories.

I like Minami. The food is quite good and the prices are reasonable for the quality. I do prefer Miku over Minami for service, view and overall ambience. Hitting the Sauce gives Minami one fat thumb up.

Minami Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Deli · Japanese · Restaurants · Sushi

Zipang Sushi Bar

I’ve been helping out a new colleague at work – Cayenne. She wanted to take me out for lunch as a thank you. I told her it was unnecessary but she insisted. Cayenne picked one of her favourite restaurants – Sushi Bar Zipang. For this post, let’s play something that suits this extreme cold weather. What will it be? Coldplay? Vanilla Ice? Nope, I pick Ice Cube You Can Do It (Put your back into it). 

Warning – vulgar language. 

Originally Cayenne reserved a table but when we arrived, we saw it was right next to the door. The owner/chef saw Cayenne, came out and immediately gave us a better table. Throughout our meal, extra special attention was paid to her. Damn girl! I had no idea you were a VIP.

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Cayenne ordered the tempura and sushi lunch special ($16.99). Ayecaramba ordered ebi fry and a California roll ($16.99). I picked the sushi lunch special ($18.99), which included a tuna maki roll, two pieces of ebi, tuna and salmon nigiri.  All lunch specials include miso soup, salad or rice.

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My miso soup was full of salty goodness. There were lots of tiny cubes of tofu and seaweed floating around.

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The salad was not your standard greens with a splash of dressing. We received baby corn and all the vegetables were fresh and crunchy.

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I was so intent on taking pictures of everyone else’s food, I forgot to take a picture of my own. Cayenne’s tempura was light and crispy. She oohed and ahhed over it and told us this is one dish she always orders at Zipang. Nice portion size too, she received two pieces of shrimp and three vegetables.

sushi.jpgThe sushi tasted fresh. I thought the rice was good, sticky in texture, the grains were firm, and the amount of vinegar and sugar in the rice was in my opinion, a taste bud pleasing balance.  Out of all the sushi, the salmon was my favourite, buttery and cool.

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Ayecaramba enjoyed her ebi and California rolls. I noticed she didn’t eat her potato salad. Tsk tsk. The Japanese make the best potato salad.

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After lunch, I bumped into Karplop at a meeting. She told me she stopped going to Zipang because she found the food inconsistent. After she heard about my experience she said she would try Zipang again. Her go-to spot is Roku in Royal Oak. I told her I found the food at Roku inconsistent. Ha. We can talk this forever, comparing notes on our experiences and inside tidbits.

 

Sushi Bar Zipang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japanese · Restaurants · Seafood · Sushi · Vancouver/Richmond

Vancouver – Sushi Hachi

So I’m going to preface this by reminding you that I now live in Calgary, a landlocked city. I’ve lived there for so long now that I naively assume that any sushi place in Vancouver is superior to what I can get back home. I need to start giving Calgary more street cred.

L and I picked Beep Beep up. We decided to go somewhere close for lunch. The wait at Jinya was too long so we opted for Sushi Hachi. For this post, let’s listen to So So by Bob Marley.

Sushi Hachi’s strength appeared to be the cooked food. The agadashi tofu everyone else was ordering looked good – generous amounts of fluffy fried tofu piled high on a plate. Most people ordered chicken teriyaki or bowls of udon. We unfortunately ordered sushi.

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The lunch specials are cheap. I ordered a spicy tuna and spicy salmon roll with the sauce on the side. For $8.99, this should be a steal. However, the rolls were mostly overcooked rice with too much vinegar. The rice tasted sour to me. The miso soup was strong and salty.

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L ordered a sushi combo with sashimi and nigiri. I ate the scallop and roe sushi. Both were a bit fishy, but the proportion was right. He said the sashimi was okay.

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Beep Beep ordered a California roll and negitoro roll. Both were so so. I could tell all the sushi was freshly prepared.

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Service was good despite being understaffed. The one server did a good job helping all the customers though understandably it took a bit longer to get tea refills and such. There was a snarky female customer who seemed unhappy with how long it took for the food to come out and life in general. After she asked if her food was coming out she sniped, “It would help to have chopsticks to eat my food.” The male server graciously responded that yes it would be helpful and her chopsticks were already there, to her left. She flushed and finally looked like she was done talking. She wasn’t. Ah, one of my first jobs was working at the nearby Starbucks. Let’s just say I do not miss those days.

Sushi Hachi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Japanese · Restaurants · Sushi

Nami Sushi

When Beep Beep was in town, I cooked several meals. By Sunday night, I was ready to order in for dinner. I used Skip the Dishes and decided on Nami Sushi. For this post, let’s listen to Led Zeppelin, one of my favourite rock bands. And yes, I know this music doesn’t go with the food in this post. Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants.

We ordered a Negitoro Maki ($4.25), a Rainbow Roll ($10.95), a Salmon Battera ($9.95) and a Flames Roll ($10.95). Including delivery and tip, our bill was about $50.00. When you have a baby and motoring around is complicated, the convenience is worth the extra charges.

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My least favourite roll was the Rainbow Roll. This is pretty much a glorified California roll with pieces of raw fish and mango sauce draped on the top of each piece. I was surprised Beep Beep ordered this because since I knew her in 1996, she never ordered a Rainbow roll. When I asked when she started eating Rainbow rolls, she responded it was a new thing. Beep Beep noticed the tobiko was green. She said she never ate green tobiko before. I thought it was festive and reminded me of Christmas.

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Our favourite roll was the Salmon Battera. The torched salmon was smoky and slightly sweet. There was a thin layer of avocado underneath the salmon. Decadent and delicious. The appearance of the sushi rolls weren’t the most appetizing, but it tasted good to us.

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The negitoro roll was very salty. I liked the addition of fresh chives and that there was more filling than rice.

The Flames roll was good, but not as good as the salmon battera. I found the unagi sauce too sweet and the tempura bits inside the roll competed too much with all the other ingredients – spicy salmon, avocado, and benito.

I would order take-out again. It’s not in the same league as Shokunin, where the fish is incredibly fresh and of superb quality and immaculate presentation. But if your home  and don’t want to leave the house,  Nami Sushi and Grill will do in a pinch. I would order the Salmon Battera again and perhaps some simple maki rolls.

Nami Sushi and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japanese · Sushi

Sushi Bistro Anzu – Birthday Lunch

For my birthday lunch, my office family took me to Sushi Bistro Anzu. I picked Anzu because neither Asian Persuasion, What’s up Hamsup and Office Dad have been before. Also, the bento boxes offer wicked variety and value. Office Dad threw a hissy fit in the car when I told him the reasons I picked the restaurant. He retorted that he doesn’t like bento boxes. I told him when it’s his birthday, he can decide where to go. He sulked in the backseat and would intermittently start an argument with the other members of the office family.

When we arrived at Sushi Anzu, we ordered green tea ($1.50) and gyoza ($6.00) to start. The gyoza here is tasty. It tasted homemade with its silky, extra big wrapper and juicy, flavourful pork filling.

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We all order slightly different versions of the same bento box ($13.99). Office Dad and I picked mackerel, tempura and sashimi as our main proteins. Our combos also came with a hot, flavourful bowl of miso, rice, a salad and a side dish of root vegetables and tofu. The tempura was oily and not as light or fresh as Red Ember‘s version.

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This was my first time eating grilled mackerel. I ate the skin too. The flesh is heavier and has a more pronounced flavour than cod, salmon and tuna.

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The cuts of sashimi were small but fresh. I thought each piece of fish was cut well and when you bite into it, it would cleanly tear away from your teeth.

Office Dad enjoyed his food and exclaimed how much he likes bento boxes because of the variety and generous portions. I pounced on him in a millisecond. “I told you that I picked this restaurant because you guys like bento boxes.” He nodded in agreement and responded, “I know. I don’t know what got into me earlier. I think I was just hungry.” Damn Office Dad, I’ll be keeping a Snickers in my purse for when you get hangry again.

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What’s Up Hamsup picked the pan-fried sliced beef with Anzu’s special yakiniku sauce, breaded deep-fried tenderloin pork cutlet and nigiri.  He really liked the sauce  and the onions in the sliced beef dish. I took a bite and it was tasty and tasted homemade.

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Asian Persuasion picked the same thing but chose sashimi instead of sushi. She wasn’t a fan of the katsu sauce.  She also thought the salad was plain. I agreed, the dressing on the lettuce was almost nonexistent.

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Office Dad insisted the four of us share dessert. He wanted to order mango ice-cream but Asian Persuasion and I both told him we would rather have sesame ice-cream. Since it was my birthday, he consented. Man, I love the taste of sesame, it’s so nutty and rich.

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Service was great and the food was excellent value. Asian Persuasion, What’s Up Hamsup and Office Dad still think Red Ember has the best bento box in the city. Red Ember is awesome and I always enjoy the food and service. However, Sushi Bistro Anzu is a nice alternative if you want to try traditional Japanese dishes. Both Red Ember and Sushi Bistro Anzu get two thumbs up from me.


Sushi Bistro Anzu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cabos San Lucas · Mexican · Patio · Sushi

Los Cabo – Day Four

Well that was short-lived. I have to change Mr. Round Eyes back to boring old L. L wasn’t happy with his name change, though he got that name because he jokingly reminds me all that time that his eyes are round. I thought it would be fine to call him Mr. Round Eyes because he called himself that. L said it was racist and when I asked my boss Tread Lightly at work what he thought, he backed L up.

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L and I started off our day having breakfast at Starbucks. My spinach and ricotta cheese breakfast sandwich was 69 pesos ($4 CAN) and L’s favourite breakfast – a toasted bagel with cream cheese and jam was 40 pesos ($2.66 CAN). A tall regular coffee cost 39 pesos ($2.60 CAN).

Screen Shot 2017-01-10 at 7.58.04 PM.pngDo you know why I loved eating breakfast here? You can flush tissue paper down the toilet. At our Airbnb, the plumbing won’t permit anything but organic material. Only a few places in Cabos had modern plumbing, such as the Puerto Parasio Mall, touristy high volume restaurants, and Wal-Mart.

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After breakfast, L and I walked to The Office and Mango Deck. Both restaurants are located on the beach and are well advertised to tourists. I overheard several tourists ask the water taxi driver to take them to The Office or the Mango Deck because they thought that was the only way to get there. L figured out there are two ways – walk around Puerto Parasio Mall or stroll along the beach. Walking around the mall was a little faster (10 minutes), but I preferred to walk on the soft sand. The water is clean and refreshing as it laps up around your calves.

I didn’t bother to take L to Mango Deck, as the restaurant hosts rowdy contests for tourists and he doesn’t have any tolerance for that sort of stuff. We went to The Office instead asked for a table on the beach. A server looked around and couldn’t find an empty spot. He told us to go up the stairs. We went up to the bar and saw  a table. We asked a server if we could sit there and he informed we would get a table soon. About 10 minutes when by and L started to poke around. He found out we were suppose to put our name on the list at the back of the restaurant. He went to speak to the host who was really rude and yelled at L because his name was difficult to spell. L got pissed off and told me we were leaving.  That was fine with me. The food and drinks didn’t look appealing.

Instead, we hopped on a bus to Wal-Mart so I could buy more tequila to bring home. At the bus stop, we met a loud, know-it-all  woman and her husband. She told me her husband booked a tour for every single day of their trip and each excursion was expensive and awful. She told us she was from Edmonton. I told L that I think she’s from somewhere far worse.

The bus drivers don’t always give you back your change. It’s suppose to be 27 pesos for tourists. A local overhead me say to L that the driver wouldn’t give me my change. He said to me, “You want your change?” I nodded and he shouted at the driver to give me my money. What a nice guy.

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At the strip mall, there’s a few random stores like Radio Shack, a BBQ store, an open air food court, a Japanese restaurant, Wal-Mart and my favourite store, La Europa. I couldn’t find Naomi’s tequila, but I did get Don Julio 70 for only 530 pesos. So cheap. An employee recommended an even better bottle for 1000 pesos, but I declined. Don Julio is good enough for my level of appreciation of tequila and budget.

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I read good things about Koi Sushi and I wanted to eat there for lunch. The restaurant has two floors and comfortable seats. When I came in, all the servers, managers and chefs would look over and giggle at me. I was the only Asian there and I think they thought it was funny or novel. I didn’t see too many Asian tourists in Cabo. Each time I did see one, I wanted to high-five them or nod my head in recognition. I didn’t of course, because that would be weird.

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L and I shared the tuna bowl and sushi combo set. The tuna tasted clean, cut into paper-thin slices. The rice was good, sticky with a nice balance of vinegar and sugar. The small bowl of rice and tuna was about $7 CAN.

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The sushi combo was more substantial. The knife skills weren’t the best but the raw fish was good. The combo was only about $12 CAN. I noticed everyone else at the restaurant was ordering fantastic looking rolls. The cost for this lunch was about $20 CAN. I would have been happy to come to Koi again but L said he didn’t come to Cabo to eat sushi.

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For dinner, L wanted street tacos. I took him to El Gran Pastor, a taco stand open late at night. He ordered two al pastor tacos for 50 pesos. He had a couple of beers before and when he was eating them, he told me the tacos were awesome. When I asked him the next day, he said the tacos were good but not the best he’s ever had.

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I saw a crowd of tourists and locals eating at El Gran Pastor. There’s only one guy cooking and two other individuals taking money (cash only). There’s freshly grilled onions and a whole whack of condiments.

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If locals get tired of tourists, I can see why. When we were standing around eating, it seem every drunk tourist had to come over and command another customer (a local) to help them order. Some tipsy guy from the next door bar started shouting, “These are the best tacos of my life”. I thought that was funny.

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On the way home, I noticed there is a chain of strip clubs called Show Girls. An employee hollered at L to come inside. L pointed to me, made a face,  and shook his head. The guy laughed and each subsequent night we would walk past to get to our studio room, the employee would recognize L and heckle him.

Highlights of Day Four: Walking on the beach, finding cheap Don Julio 70, and watching Back to the Future II at the end of the night.