Monday, September 16, 2013

Shizen Ya : West Broadway location


Sigh, finally a break from Shanghainese cuisine and I am no longer rushing to try the last four Shanghai cuisine restaurants in Vancouver anymore. My first choice for dinner was En Cuisine, plus, it has been a few months since my last visit, however, the restaurant permanently closed! Apparently a new restaurant, Takumi Japanese, replaced them. So, my second choice was Shizen Ya. Free parking is available at the back (limited to only four spots I think) and the restaurant is fairly small. Most of the clientele seems to grab take out or only order a couple of dishes and hang out. The restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere.


THE OCEAN QUARTET SALAD, T.S.T SASHIMI, TOFU AND VEGETABLE MISO SOUP, MANGO CALIFORNIA ROLL, SAKURA BLOSSOM ROLL AND TIGER PRAWN TEMPURA.



OCEAN QUARTET SALAD CONSISTING OF SOCKEYE SALMON, TUNA, SPOT PRAWN, AND FRESH CRAB ON SPRING MIX SALAD WITH HOMEMADE MISO DRESSING ($10.95). The spring mix salad is fresh, with no wilt pieces. The salad has a good amount of packaged pieces of crab meat along with slices of avocado, green pepper and white onion. Although I would have preferred red or sweet onion over white. The salad also has a piece of baby shrimp but I did not really see a spot prawn, however, the baby shrimp may have been the spot prawn (I do not think it is and know a restaurant would not lie, but just saying). For the dressing, the housemade sauce tastes flavourful but a bit too salty. Also for the sashimi, the slices could have been a bit more cool rather than in room temperature.


ORGANIC TOFU AND VEGETABLE MISO SOUP ($2.50). The miso soup has a good amount of tofu, seaweed, green onion and carrot, which is nice for those who like extra vegetables, but bad for those who want a clear miso soup. The miso has a subtle taste and tastes a bit salty but not overly.


WHOLE WHEAT TIGER PRAWN TEMPURA ($8.95). The prawns are lightly battered and despite using whole wheat, the restaurant makes it work. The whole wheat batter is not an issue regarding the lack of taste and the tempura tastes pretty good. The prawns are meaty and has a nice bounce. I do have to mention that I am a fan of whole wheat in general and usually bake whole wheat goods, but BF enjoyed these as well.


T.S.T SASHIMI, WILD SOCKEYE SALMON, TUNA AND TORO ($19.95). The sashimi tastes fresh and has nice smooth cuts. However, the sashimi also tastes quite warm, like at a room temperature, the restaurant should turn their cooler higher. The salmon and tuna tastes average, not mushy, and the toro tastes soft as well as fatty.


FRESH MANGO CALIFORNIA ROLL, MANGO ON FRESH CRAB, AVOCADO, CUCUMBER, SPRING MIX SALAD ROLLED WITH BROWN SUSHI RICE WITH HOMEMADE SWEET SAUCE ($11.95). The glazed slices of mango taste extremely sweet and the glaze was unnecessary, since sauce is already drizzled on the roll. The roll is not too tight or loose, and the packaged crab meat is not overwhelmed by the housemade sweet sauce. The sauce does not taste overpowering and tastes quite light.


SAKURA BLOSSOM ROLL, FRESH CRAB, SPICY ALBACORE TUNA, CUCUMBER AND AVOCADO ROLLED WITH BROWN SUSHI RICE, WRAPPED WITH WILD SOCKEYE SALMON AND CREAM MAPLE DRESSING ($12.95). The presentation looks nice with a few pieces of spring mix in the middle, however, the missing piece of smoked salmon does not look as appealing as it could have looked. The roll has a good amount of packaged crab meat, tuna, cucumber and avocado, and tastes average. The only issue is the undercooked rice. The rice tastes powdery as well as hard, something I must have overlooked in the mango roll since that roll tasted overly sweet. Also, if anything, the spicy tuna did not have a hint of spiciness, and despite the menu mentioning maple dressing, there was no hint of it (I do see a bit on the plate though).

POSITIVES
- Western friendly
- Whole wheat tempura works

NEGATIVES
- Limited menu (seems like a restaurant for lunch and take out rather than dinner)
- Small restaurant
- Undercooked rice
- Service can improve
- Sashimi could have been served at the proper temperature (considering the restaurant emphasizes on freshness)
- There are better Japanese restaurants

LITTLE THINGS
- The restaurant was quite empty with three waitresses and no one was very friendly or spoke to us. Empty plates were not cleared and one of the waitresses kind of annoyed me. A dirty straw was left on our table and when we switched to a bigger table, the waitress put the straw in my drink. I do not even know of any Chinese restaurants that would do that. I could have asked for a new drink but did not want to sound annoying, but a waitress should never do that

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5

Shizen Ya on Urbanspoon

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