Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ohukuya Japanese Restaurant

REALLY? The restaurant is called Japan House? After trying to find Ohukuya on Urbanspoon and literally double checking the spelling three times, I noticed the white sign that says "Japan House" and as I am typing this now, I notice the blue sign that says "Japan House Sushi". Anyway, I think I have tried most of the late night Chinese restaurants on Kingsway Street so I went for the only late night Japanese restaurant, Ohukuya Japan House.

Now know I why the restaurant is called Japan House, it makes sense because the restaurant's interior looks like a cute little house... sort of, well it could pass for one. Fine, I just like the room at the back (not pictured).

Every table has S&B powder, soy sauce, tooth picks and a fake flower. I like that every bottle of soy sauce is covered with a plastic container to prevent dust from landing and is somewhat sanitary in a way (but not really, how often would they clean the containers or the outside of the bottles?). The restaurant has a lot of cute decorations and I keep thinking to myself, how dusty is all of this? Dustiness is not a concern of mine (unless it is near the table or my food) and I do find the decorations cute, I just cannot imagine them dusting the decorations. I would not even want to myself!


The salmon sashimi does not have the usual fatty as well as buttery taste and tastes bland. Although the salmon is not an end cut and is at a good temperature, I am not sure what the reason is. The only other time I tasted bland salmon sashimi was at Hirame Sushi (which was an end piece). Next, the toro sashimi lacks the fatty taste and does not give off the usual yumminess.  Continuing, the hamachi sashimi tastes somewhat fresh and has the natural hamachi taste, however, the slice is too thin. And last, the tuna sashimi tastes fresh, a bit stiff and is the top portion of the tuna which is supposed to be only used for rolls or spicy tuna.

The slices of avocado are fresh as well as ripe, however, the rice tastes a bit warm as well as mushy, and the seaweed tastes very chewy. I thought maybe the seaweed has been sitting out for too long or was not properly sealed, but that would make it soft not chewy. I think the brand of seaweed is the reason as to why it tastes so chewy. The seaweed makes the roll taste like it is your first time making sushi at home and you buy the wrong kind of seaweed (guilty, but hey that was in grade 5!). Other than the seaweed issue, the avocado roll is topped with roasted sesame seeds and I like that.

IKURA ($1.50), TOBIKO ($1.50), MASAGO ($1.50) AND SABA NIGIRI ($1.15). 
The rice does not have enough sushi vinegar and the sushi chef (presumably the son in his 16-20s so not really a big deal) did not shape the rice properly and the bottom is flat. The ikura, tobiko and masago tastes the same as every other restaurants', since everyone orders from the same company. The ikura tastes slightly salty with the texture of soft bursting balls, the tobiko tastes like small soft crunches, and the masago has a light sweet taste with tiny crunches. The only complaint is that the seaweed again, makes everything taste chewy. I was chomping for an extra one to two minutes than the usual time it takes to finish one nigiri. And last, the saba nigiri tastes very fishy (in general) and would have been nice if some some ginger and/or green onion was added to kill the fishiness. Although the saba does taste fresh and we were fortunate to get a couple of cuts right in the middle, which we both prefer.

Thrifty me, found a combo which is pretty cheap considering that we wanted to order tuna and salmon nigiri anyways, and I can always have a california roll as long as it is shredded imitation crab meat and not the stick. The imitation crab that the restaurant uses is different as well as cheaper compared to every other Japanese restaurant that I have posted about, however, it does not bother me. Look wise, the imitation crab looks a bit thicker and taste wise, the taste is less flavourful but not noticeably. I do not think there are any picky hardcore california roll fans anyways. The california roll does not have a heavy mayonnaise taste and I like the roasted sesame seeds. Again, the only complaint is the chewy seaweed. Moving to the nigiris, the tamago has an egg taste and tastes slightly sweet, the ebi is packaged of course and tastes a bit rubbery (some places soak them in Japanese vinegar to make it more tender), and the tuna as well as salmon tastes like the sashimi from earlier (bland, compared to almost every other restaurant that serves sashimi. Btw, if anyone knows the reason why please let me know!).

- Open late night
- Friendly family owned restaurant
- Nigiri was skillfully cut but I could not get a photo showing it

- The seaweed (my jaws got sore from chewing, no exaggeration)
- Food tastes bland compared to other Japanese restaurants (even dirt cheap ones)

- No photos on the menu
- Would have been nice if the wife stuck with working at the front of the house rather than going back to the kitchen because she left in the middle of taking our order
- The husband was friendly and even started a couple of conversations with some people waiting for the bus
- Are you Ohukuya or Japan House?! I still feel like you should be Ohukuya..

Food: 2/5
Service: 2.5/5 (kind of N/A but the owner's are friendly)

Japan House on Urbanspoon


  1. I changed the name to Ohukuya Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon. If you search on 411, it's listed as Ohukuya. Plus, I've driven by it for years (never dined there) but always known it as Ohukuya. Think there was a fatal stabbing there a few months back too.

  2. It is ont a good place for food .

  3. Sketchy beyond all measure after midnight...



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