Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan 21st - Jumbo Sushi Vancouver

Dragon Roll

Jumbo Vancouver Roll

This a cute little neighbourhood sushi joint. The cosy kitchen decor and photocopied menus in plastic sleeves belies the yumminess within. It isn't a Toyos or a Nobu. But it is a 5 minute walk from home. It is cosy and not dinery. And they have a good line of thematic rolls. I like your well done classics as are typically served, done to perfection, in your higher end sushi restaurants. However, once in a while, I get a craving for the original and creative rolls. Take for example, the Captain Crunch at the Eatery in Kits. It has tuna and tempura crunchies on top. Jumbo Sushi has photos of their creative line on their storefront window and I've been walking by for a year when I go to the Apple Hill market. I have no good reason why I've not tried it earlier. Their rolls are as pretty as their photos and just as tasty.

Broadway Roll
It's run by a young family. There was a tiny 6 month old sitting in a high chair watching movies on a laptop. It was pleasant, like a true village or neighborhood place. I've never seen it full but there's usually a steady seating. There are takeaways as well. We were alone in the dining room tonight. The service was pleasant and not rushed. She was quick and ready with the tea, which I love.

They serve a whole line of the classic rolls as well as nigiri. Additionally, they have a number of other Japanese fare like donkatsu, teriyaki.

We had three of the larger creative line:

Dragon Roll

An inside outside maki roll with Tempura Shrimp, Avocado and cucumber with BBQ Eel on the outside topped with a slightly sweet teriyaki-like sauce, mayo and roe. (Inside outside roll means that the nori/kim/seaweed, is on the inside of the roll like a Yule log cake)

This was a very nice roll. Warm and freshly made. It is said that you can judge the quality of a sushi chef by his omlette roll (Tamagoyaki). The flavour, seasoning, sweetness and texture of the egg is very telling of the chef's skills. That might well be true. I think on the lower, more affordable range of sushi restaurants, I think you can tell quality of the place by the Yam tempura or Shrimp tempura rolls: Is it warm or crispy, cooked recently? Is the yam soaked through with oil? Is it a tiny little shrimp in alot of batter?

As well, a popular roll in Vancouver is the BC Roll or the Salmon Skin roll. It is topped with a similar teriyaki-like sauce. In some of the cheaper places downtown, particularly along Dunsmuir, the quality is terrible. There is so much starch in the sauce that if you don't eat it immediately you will have a congealed, gooey, muceous on the plate that is highly inedible.

The sauce on this roll did not congeal yet it was thick enough to cling to the roll. D thought it was a bit too sweet. I disagreed. I guess it depends on how sweet you like your BBQ sauces. The mayo added a nice richness, perhaps there was a touch too much but not so much I had to try to remove any. Overall a lovely roll I would order again.

Broadway Roll

An inside outside chopped spicy Tuna roll with Scallop rolled on the outside and topped with a black sesame dressing and roe.

D loved this roll. The tuna was plentiful on the inside and gently piquante. The scallop on the outside was delicate. The sesame dressing was fairly neutral to slightly nutty. The only thing I might change about this roll is how cold the tuna was. I guess that's a bit tough given the nice quantity of fish. Though perhaps not as cold as it was.

Jumbo Vancouver

Salmon, Tuna, Crab stick, Egg, Cucumber, Avocado and Lettuce. This was the least thrilling roll but it was still very satisfying. It was indeed Jumbo. It's like futomaki roll where you need to not to be on a date or on a work lunch to order this roll. You can bite it in half as you eat but you're not supposed to. To get the full flavour you should have all the flavours in our mouth. That goes for the cones too. I've seen them shoved with palms right into gaping mouths in the nicest of japanese restaurants. I'll admit, I had to bite it in half. I liked the lettuce and the tuna and salmon was very fresh. It was refreshing next to the other two rich rolls. Yum.

On a purist level, the rice could have had more flavour. The rice itself should have a seasoning of sugar, mirin, rice wine vinegar during the fanning cool stage. The mixture is a secret to each chef and can be the difference between good and great sushi. I don't know that the rice here (or in most of the innumerable affordable sushi restaurants in Vancouver) was seasoned. It is a deal breaker when many of the other aspects on quality hit the mark. I will eat here again.

Cost: $ (relative to other 'affordable' sushi places) but $ overall
Ambience: Quaint cozy kitchen
Staff: Friendly, helpful and attentive.
Location: Fairview Slopes a few blocks from Cambie Skytrain Station

Jumbo Sushi - Vancouver
780 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1A5
(604) 874-9090

Jumbo Sushi on Urbanspoon

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