Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24th - Yamato Sushi

D is back from Montreal and you know what that means? Yes, BAGELS! I am a die hard fan of Montreal bagels and a firm believer that they are the only real bagels you'll find in Canada. There are a few exceptions or rather wannabe's. Solly's here in Vancouver are not bad but they are 75% the size of a real bagel. They definitely do have that meaty, dense texture, though not as dense as Montreal. There are a few Solly's throughout Vancouver. One on Main near 27th, one on 7th near Yukon by the Canadiantire and one on 4th toward McDonald, I think. Though I wouldn't go out of my way to get a Solly's bagel, their cinnamon rolls are insanely good but that's another story.

For the rest, particularly super market bagels and most bagels in Toronto, they're basically bread donuts. The closest cousin to a true bagel in Toronto is, surprisingly, the Canadian Bagel, chain. Well, they're best when they're just baked. They're fairly chewy and dense but they are closer to the New York bagel than a Montreal bagel. Both real bagels but very different species. A New York bagel is just as dense, chewy, moist and flavourful but it is fatter. It is so fat that the hole is closed up. The Montreal bagel is slightly thicker than a giant pretzel, or say, 1" in diameter.

I had them for breakfast and lunch. Yum. We normally get a few dozen and freeze them. The freezer is a bit jam packed at the moment since I was just recently in Toronto and mom sent home Kalbi for D.

We went for pre-movie sushi for dinner. Pre-movie food can be a bit tricky as we both work 'later' than your normal 5 o clock whistle so we try to squeeze in a place where the food will still be nice yet quick. Sushi will usually fit the bill in Van. There is a sushi place on almost every corner which, as I've written before, means risk of crap sushi is that much higher.

Yamato Sushi on Davie near Seymour is one of the many places here that have a very well priced sushi maki roll combo box. It's actually kind of funny, that the prices as you go south of say, well Davie, the prices on those boxes drop considerably. Where a 18-22 piece maki combo will go for 8$ for a very basic California, Cucumber and Tuna combo, they'll go for 5-6$ and be of equal or better quality. Take for example most of the sushi joints on Dunsmuir between Granville and Homer are horrible.

Yamato is D's regular lunch joint where Excellent Sushi is mine. But the kitchen chairs and linoleum floors in Excellent aren't really D's cuppa. Plus, I've never tried Yamato. Actually, it's pretty funny. On that block of Davie between Seymour and Granville, there is this strip of 4 or so tiny restaurants sandwiched in the middle of two corner pubs: Chinese, Persian hukka tea lounge and two sushi restaurants. The two sushi restaurants are two doors down from each other. I've been to the one closer to Granville a couple of times. They have more seating and it looks less kiosky....plus they're licensed. ....oh and they have a bathroom. That said, all of the restaurants on that block are always full. Regular through traffic as well as take away all the time, though I can't say much about the Persian. The important point of this observation is that turnover on the food is high so pretty fresh.

So like many of the sushi places, they have the 5.95 lure. It's on a sidewalk sandwhich board enticing you with 22 pieces with miso and salad. Yamato has four set boxes unlike others where you can choose 1 roll from the 3 tiers. I chose the BC Roll special combo: 6 pieces BC Roll, 8 salmon maki, 8 yam tempura maki. The BC Roll was a bit greasy and they dressed it with a gelatinous sort of teriyaki sauce that turns to goop once it cools to room temp. It was a good rice to filling ratio though. The salmon and tempura rolls were quite good. Salmon was fresh and not puny. The tempura was likely cooked slightly earlier but definitely not old or sitting around too long. You can tell by the colour of the Yam and the crunchiness of the tempura. The miso was fine but the salad was pathetic. It was a few bits of iceberg lettuce with some pureed carrot. Strange.

D didn't order a special combo. He ordered a Dynamite combo because whenever possible, he prefers Nigiri to maki. Maki are the classic 'cigar rolled' and sliced sushi. Nigiri is a single, larger piece of fish on a small egg shaped ball of rice. Overall the rice was a good texture, not mushy but there was not alot of flavour which is the distinction of good, better and best of sushi. Some of the horrible places on Dunsuir seem to use regular rice that's over cooked.

We also ordered a tempura appetiser with two prawn and three pieces of veg. Very crispy, fresh and nice portion. The prawns were much lighter than the veg pieces though.

Overall, not bad but not great. Definitely filling and quick. Downsides are that is tiny, not licensed and there is no toilet. Just have more soy I guess. Oh speaking of, they don't offer you the option of low sodium soy.

Cost: $
Location: Central/West End
Ambiance: It is tiny and dingy
Service: quick

Yamato Sushi
616 Davie St

Vancouver, BC
(2 on 7)

Yamato Sushi on Urbanspoon

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