Needing to have a taste of Edmonton’s newest sushi joint, I took the opportunity during a recent visit from Speedy Limbs, Cash Girl, and Mama Wags. Now, we can debate the merits of taking out of town guests to an unknown, but really, it makes the visit that much more exciting. Stopping in on Friday night, we arrived around 7 to find the restaurant hosting a large group leaving only a few chairs available.
The center of the restaurant holds a tree, equipped with lights, and the bar style seating around said tree, is where we found ourselves. I went looking for a chirashi (my litmus test), while the others pondered over things with a little more curiosity. With tea on the table (no pot though), we were soon ready to go. Cash Girl and Mama Wags visit so infrequently, that it was nice to get the food portion out of the way and start catching up.
The food, which took some time, arrived over a very strange pace. Maybe this was a sign, but it was a good 15 minutes from start to finish of our plate arrival, which left me waiting for my chirashi (which came last) while the others were finishing. In order of it’s arrival;
There results were interesting. The tofu was fried nicely, but the overall flavour was just pretty average. The gomae was solid, and I liked the different take on plating. The edamame wasn’t that good, with many of the pieces looking dry and wilted. It made me wonder why they even served this handful of beans. The tuna tataki was good, but Speedy Limbs mentioned the sauce was just average. The tempura yam was fried nicely, and probably stole the show. The gyoza was the weakest of the group, and maybe not something worth ordering. My bowl of chirashi was extremely disappointing. Maybe I’m used to having more than a couple types of fish; I don’t think I need 6 pieces of salmon for example. All of the fish, showed some really poor cutting skills (snags & tears) while the tuna was mushy, mealy, and very warm. *shudder* The Octopus had a beef flavour, which made me wonder if it was cut on the wrong cutting board. The creamed scallop was probably the best part of the dish, but the sauce did not let the delicate scallop shine. The rice in my bowl was brutal. No flavour at all (did they forget to season this batch?), it was also hard and clumpy. I could literally pick up golf ball sized chunks with my chopsticks with ease.
If you can’t tell, the experience was mixed. Tea refills were basically non-existent, except when we asked for our bill. The food itself, showed a clear lack of skill when it comes to producing clean fish, something that’s easily hidden in fried products and creamy rolls and the rice needs some work before it would even be palatable for sushi connoisseurs. With it’s location so close to the University of Alberta, I don’t have any doubts the restaurant will be around for some time, but I would suggest you save your money and spend it down the street at Furusato.