Sashimi - Vancouver Restaurants

 

Toyama Sushi (All You Can Eat, downtown)

Toyama Japanese Restaurant (web site, map, 757 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-688-3256) is a new “all you can eat” sushi restaurant that is open from 11am till midnight every day. Price is $11.95 for the all you can eat menu at lunch time, and $20.95 at dinner time. (They also have a late night price that is reduced to around $11 as well).

Toyama has been getting good reviews from visitors on the website DineHere.ca (click here to read), including galvinkuo2 who writes:

We really like this place and are considered regulars. Food is always fresh and very tasty. This is the best place for the price you can find in Downtown, too bad they don’t have all you can eat sashimi during lunch time, But Our suggestion is to go for a lunch all you can eat menu option. We always go for a lot of salmon sushi since this is the best place to get it. And of course the Oyster Motoyaki are “the must try” and the New stuff “BBQ Korean Pork” spicy and tasty!!

Pictured below are some of the items we ordered. I’m definitely going to go back to Toyama Sushi, maybe even on a regular basis!

Nigiri sushi from Toyama Japanese Restaurant

Nigiri sushi from Toyama Japanese Restaurant

Sushi cones from Toyama Sushi - All You Can Eat Japanese restaurant downtown

Sushi cones from Toyama Sushi - All You Can Eat Japanese restaurant downtown

Alaska roll and chopped scallop roll sushi

Alaska roll and chopped scallop roll sushi

Assorted sushi from Toyama All You Can Eat Chinese/Japanese food

Assorted sushi from Toyama All You Can Eat Chinese/Japanese food

Assorted Nigiri Sushi from Toyama All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant downtown.

Assorted Nigiri Sushi from Toyama All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant downtown.

Toyama on Urbanspoon

98,483 views - Posted Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

 

Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant (Kitsilano)

Last weekend I visited Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant in Kitsilano (web site, map, 3116 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada, phone: 604-732-7249).

I was sad to read on their website that they are closing on July 12th 2009. Hope this is only temporary and they will be back soon! Here’s your chance to experience this great restaurant before they close.

Shokutsu has a detailed review on Sai-Z on his site, along with some nice photos, and writes:

[A] hot appetizer we had was this noodle wrapped and deep-fried shrimp served with a spicy mayo dip. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the plump, juicy shrimp inside was superb […] Each [sushi] piece was densely packed, making it feel more filling than it already was […] The fish was good, each fresh and succulent, and not too big that it would take more then one mouthful.

All the dishes were beautifully presented and were a creative notch above the typical Japanese restaurant you’ll find around town.

I enjoyed the Sashimi Salad ($7.50, pictured below), a delightful arrangement of green salad topped with a variety of raw seafood.

For an appetizer I ate the Ebi Chili Mayo ($5.50, also pictured below), which is a generous serving of deep fried prawns covered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with Japanese masago (smelt roe) garnish. These were some of the best Ebi Mayo prawns I have had around town – it’s a shame the restaurant is closing soon or else I would definitely go back to have them again.

As for sushi, we ordered the Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll, which is reasonably priced at $5.50 (also pictured below) – and you can see from the photo that it was very pleasing to the eye.

The chef at Sai-z makes quite a daring and delicious decision to combine papaya, avocado, and salmon. The roll we ordered also had some lettuce in it, and I felt the lettuce made the sushi a bit too watery, but it was refreshing and tasty nevertheless.

My vegetarian friend ordered the Vegetarian Sushi Combo (also pictured below) which was great looking, yummy, and affordable (maybe around $6 to 8?).

A complimentary Salmon Skin appetizer from the chef at SaiZ Japanese Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

A complimentary Salmon Skin appetizer from the chef at SaiZ Japanese Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Sashimi Salad from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant ($7.50)

Sashimi Salad from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant ($7.50)

Vegetarian Sushi Combo from Sai-Z Japanese Tapas restaurant in Vancouver.

Vegetarian Sushi Combo from Sai-Z Japanese Tapas restaurant in Vancouver.

Ebi Chili Mayo prawns ($5.50) from Saiz Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver.

Ebi Chili Mayo prawns ($5.50) from Saiz Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver.

Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll sushi ($5.50) from Sai-z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll sushi ($5.50) from Sai-z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Another shot of the Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll Sushi from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Another shot of the Papaya Avocado Salmon Roll Sushi from Sai-Z Japanese Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada.

Sai Z on Urbanspoon

11,819 views - Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

 

Irashai Grill – Japanese Fusion in Coal Harbor Vancouver (Part 2)

Irashai Grill (web site, map, 1368 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 604-688-8697) is a newly opened Japanese fusion restaurant in the Coal Harbour neighborhood of downtown Vancouver. Having attended their open house a few weeks ago (see Part 1), I was interested in trying out the restaurant for an actual meal. I was in for a real treat!

My friend and I first ordered the Dragon Roll Sushi ($13.50, pictured below), which looked and tasted amazing. The Dragon Roll was on their special rolls menu (not listed on their web site) and was a creation made with shrimp, tempura, avocado, barbecued eel (unagi), and of course the sushi rice and nori seaweed. It was quite sweet tasting (because of the sauce that the eel is marinated with), and was light and immensely satisfying. I commented to my friend that I could easily eat one of these every day. If only I could afford it!

The Tako Sunomono (a cold salad made with octopus, vermicelli noodles and a sweet and tangy vinegary broth) was $7.50 and was presented very nicely in a large cocktail glass (pictured below). It is one of my favorite appetizers at Japanese restaurants and the Irashai version did not disappoint! I would have liked it to be bigger, but that is just my wishful thinking because it was a decent size for an appetizer after all.

Now comes to the most interesting part of the meal. We were perusing the menu and discovered a very unusual sounding sushi roll item. Unusual I say? Yes! I’ll explain.

In general, for creative dishes that are designed by the chef using a culinary “artistic license”, the name of the dish, if it is somewhat abstract and not a simple description of the ingredients, will relate to the theme of the dish in some way. What this means is, I was curious to see exactly what a Poison Spider Volcano would taste like. No kidding! Would there be an actual spider involved in this sushi, and would this spider have some sort of deadly poison? Also it was very important for me to find out how a volcano would be represented in the form of rice and other sushi-like ingredients on a dinner plate.

The good old poison spider and its friendly volcano home ($16, pictured below) was made with asparagus, soft shell crab, cream cheese, and was sprinkled with cheese. It was baked before serving and then topped with a super spicy miso sauce. Super spicy is an understatement! The powerful spicy sauce reminded me of the Crazy Boy Roll at Mr. Sushi but the Poison Spider Volcano sushi had a much more complex and rich flavor (thanks to the cheese and cream cheese). It was very filling, which is a good thing in my books. My vote: thumbs up, but the sauce was too spicy for my friend.

For dessert we tried their Marscapone Tiramisu ($5.50, also pictured below) which was a generous amount of cool sweet marscapone cheese served in an interesting ceramic tray topped with a layer of dusted cocoa. The cocoa was very fine and powdery. This was a wonderful contrasting dish to calm things down after the spicy spider!

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Dragon Roll Sushi from Irashai Grill Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Vancouver BC Canada ($13.50)

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Tako Sunomono Salad ($7.50) from Irashai Grill in Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Poison Spider Volcano Sushi ($16.00) from Irashai Japanese Restaurant in Coal Harbor, downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Marscarpone Tiramisu dessert ($5.50) from Irashai Grill Japanese fusion restaurant in downtown Vancouver BC Canada.

Irashai Grill on Urbanspoon

19,307 views - Posted Saturday, June 20th, 2009