Furusato Japanese Restaurant – Edmonton, Alberta

Furusato Japanese Restaurant
10012 82 Ave (Whyte)
Furusato Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

As I look back to my last visit to Furusato, I can’t help but wonder where the time went. With months having passed since I walked through the wonder doors, I have to say it felt like coming home. You know the feeling; a comfy chair that conforms to you, familiar smells that beg you to stay and food that is sure to leave you happy. So, as Sarah and I walked down Whyte Ave on Saturday, I was drawn to Furuasto like a moth to a flame.

Puling ourselves up at the sushi bar, we were greeted by the general manager, and head itame, just as warmly as the green tea we handed. First to the table was a bowl of salmon balls, something I think every patron in the restaurant was given on this night. A meaty concoction that was seasoned just right and coated with thin layer of teriyaki. I think this is a fabulous way to use off cuts, and trimmings.

The first dish to arrive from our order was a plate of medium sashimi. Sliced with care, it provided Sarah with an opportunity to try most of the standard offerings in their truest form. As someone who loves traditional dishes, it was nice to go piece by piece with Sarah and compare the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between each type of seafood.

With two new creations on the specials menu, we decided to sample the butterfly roll. Combining the mango and avocado (sweet & rich) was nothing new to me, but the addition of tempura flakes added a fantastic texture balance. We were informed a new dipping sauce was under construction, as Dave motioned us to a small dish containing a miso based dipping sauce. I have to say, the sweetness from the miso worked better than I thought. And, while I could easily dip the roll into the more traditional soy sauce, I found it took away from the subtly of the mango.

BBQ’d squid was up next, and was cooked perfectly. A bit of bite in the tentacles, with just the right texture through the thicker parts of the body, it quickly disappeared. We both agreed this was a nice change from the typical deep-fried calamari offerings. In fact, Sarah and I thought that more restaurants should start selling this.

For a bit of richness, and to finish the meal, I put in for an order of tuna belly. I can’t think of a time I was disappointed with this cut of fish; at any restaurant. Maybe a true food of the goods.

As we stood to leave, we were asked to provide a bit of feedback on another new creation. What arrived was, I think, called a lovers roll. Each side of the heart easily dismantled to make for a manageable bite. Along with the salmon, the interior was a mix of crab meat and those often discarded tempura bits. Again the sauce was miso based. Not a bad creation, I liked that Dave mentioned with so many restaurants around town offering the same sushi (with different names), he’s been pushing himself to create more Furusato specific items. Something I applaud even if I don’t eat a lot of new-age, fusion style sushi. Walking out in the warm weekend evening, I couldn’t help but feel happy and full. Thanks Furusato, you did it again.

4 thoughts on “Furusato Japanese Restaurant – Edmonton, Alberta

  1. Here here, old school wins. Still my favourite sushi bar. My defaults include softshell crab, black cod and beef tataki. The ultimate test of any sushi chef worth his yen, the medium sashimi rocks. I’m overdue for a return visit. Thanks for the review and photos!

  2. Not a bad creation, I liked that Dave mentioned with so many restaurants around town offering the same sushi (with different names), he’s been pushing himself to create more Furusato specific items.

    (sigh) I wish that wasn’t the case, i.e., he ended up creating a roll because people demand rolls and, as you mentioned, tried to create something “unique”. But, still, visually, looks quite decent. Should the head chef drop by Vancouver one of these days and, ahem, “borrow” ideas from restaurants from here as well?

    • *Sigh* I wish that was the case too Kim. Or more specifically; that the demand for new and innovative cuisine would come directly from the consumer instead of being forced in by the sushi chef. I think there is an inherent danger in the world of sushi innovations. Especially with the average consumers tastes so numbed down by standard rolls filled with mayo, deep fried shrimp, and sauces.

      Who knows how the new dishes will work, or if people will like the combinations. I do think they were constructed well, and the miso sauce added a new experience (for myself at least), but then again I’m a sashimi kind of guy.

      I’ve often wondered if the chefs check out restaurants when they travel. I know it might be mundane (what with running one back in their home city), but you never know what another mind has come up with or where the next level of inspiration may come from.

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