Sushi And Maki

Last modified on October 10th, 2009

Having lived in Vancouver for over ten years of my life, it’s safe to say I’ve been exposed to a pretty wide gamut of sushi. I’m told that Vancouver sushi is pretty much the second best in the world, the first being obviously Japan and Tokyo. While I’ve never had it, San Francisco sushi is supposed to be pretty tasty as well, although many of my friends who have had both prefer Vancouver sushi.

I spent ten days in Tokyo back in 2006, and was treated to some of the best tempura I’ve ever had in my life. Eating out in Tokyo is a pretty cool experience, mainly because dinners are long and drawn out compared to North America, which means you can leisurely have a few beers with some friends for a few hours all while having a nice restaurant experience. In fact, you don’t really ‘ask for a cheque’ in Tokyo. When you’re done eating, you simply go to the front and pay for your meal.

While I don’t mind real sushi or sashimi (that is, food typically containing raw fish), I find I’m pretty much indifferent to it, and would rather have rolls on most days. In BC, many sushi restaurants have BC rolls which are BBQ salmon rolls that are super tasty (some places actually use BBQ salmon skin for their rolls). I’m also a big fan of dynamite rolls, which are rolls stuffed with prawn tempura usually.

One of my biggest sushi pet peeves is when restaurants serve rolls that are obviously too large to be eaten in one bite. In that scenario, you’re forced to bite the roll in half, which usually causes it to fall apart into a big heaping mess of rice. If it falls apart over your soy sauce dish, you’ll left with a pile of crud that you have to scoop out in addition to a messy roll. I really don’t understand it — it’s not something I ever saw in Tokyo.

If you’re looking for good sushi in Vancouver, I really can’t say where the best spots are anymore. My favourite hole in the wall place was Spin Roll sushi on Pender. MoMo sushi in Gastown was also pretty good back when I used to work there. But for the most part, Vancouver sushi is good wherever you go. Just look for places with small rolls.

8 responses to “Sushi And Maki”

  1. Agreed. Sushi is a one bite ordeal.

    I’d also recommend As a general rule –though there are exceptions, to stick to the Japanese owned places.

    Two that come to mind are Nishiki in West Vancouver, and a more expensive choice Octopus Garden.

    Another tip, is to sit at the bar, and just ask the sushi chef to make you continual small plates till your full. But be aware that it can get pretty expensive. Cheers.

  2. Jen says:

    I’ve got to agree with John on the last point: Omakase (eating “chef’s choice” small plates) is awesome if you don’t have any aversions/allergies.

    And if you love Sushi, a pricey but delicious splurge is Tojo’s on Broadway. You can’t go wrong with the man who invented the California Roll.

  3. I’ve been in tokyo for only 8 days now, but I’m not convinced the sushi here is better than Vancouver. Vancouver definitely has the best price / value for sushi for anywhere I’ve been, but I liked New York’s sushi more.

    I think my favorite Vancouver places are the place at the round house, yamato (on davie at granville), and toyo just off the cambie street bridge near broadway :).

    So far I’m finding tokyo sushi places quite hard to find, with the exception of the one or two “stand up” sushi places downtown.

    Good post, and I think most people would second your pet peeve about rolls that are too big (causing unnecessary embarrassment no matter how you try and eat it ;-))

  4. Duane Storey says:

    It’s kind of hard to say “better” or “worse” I think. You can say you think Vancouver sushi tastes better for your liking, but I think in terms of judging sushi as a food, you kind of have to rate it against what the gold standard for sushi is, and that’s Japan.

    Have you been to the fish market yet?

  5. Yeah, I think I can agree with that ;). Though Vancouver without a doubt has way more sushi than anywhere I’ve visited. It’s too bad I never had any in SF, I had no idea they were a good sushi city.

    I’ve not been to the fish market yet, only read about it :).

  6. Keira-Anne says:

    My favourite sushi in Vancouver is, manicured hands down, Miko Sushi on Robson. Best Dynamite rolls in the world!

  7. Duane Storey says:

    Not sure if I’ve had that, I’ll have to check it out next time.

  8. Keira-Anne says:

    It’s great… they add a stalk of asparagus to give it an extra crunch.

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