Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hi, Dozo Sushi

After being rejected at Tamarind Hill because the restaurant was booked for the night, we headed to the next restaurant which was across the street, Hi, Dozo Sushi. In general, every Korean restaurant, to be exact, Korean owned Japanese cuisine restaurant, is always friendly and welcoming. Some great examples are SushiUOmo, Tokyo Hon, Kaya Japanese and even Sushi California.

But… walking into Hi, Dozo Sushi, the vibe felt like Congee Noodle King or even worse, Rose Garden. There were no greetings from the sushi chefs or a word from the waitress when we walked up. The restaurant seemed cold for a Saturday evening.

Hi, Dozo Sushi is located in New Westminster and the restaurant is fairly spacious. There are wooden booth seating arrangements as well as  seats by the sushi bar, and a large waiting area at the front.

TORO SASHIMI ($11.99).
The sashimi is the proper toro portion and the restaurant even removed the end pieces. However, the sashimi does not taste fresh and is missing that nice fatty taste. There is not even the slightest hint of fattiness.

The soup base has a seaweed udon broth flavour and there is a good amount of ingredients. In addition, there are a couple of each ingredient and not just one, such as cuts of chicken, prawn tempura, enoki and white mushroom, as well as mussels.

Whoa, the restaurant actually uses large scallops! No fast one here. The skewer is nicely grilled on both sides and the bacon tastes soft with a slight crispiness. As for the scallops, they are not overcooked and taste tender, along with a slight saltiness from the bacon. Furthermore, there is no stupid sauce that ruins the dish. Actually, this is better than Black + Blues'.

The lobster roll is reasonably priced and there is a generous amount of ikura on top. As for the taste, perhaps the roll is sliced too thin because despite the good amount of lobster meat, there was not much taste. However, the batter on the tempura is not too thick and the roll does not fall apart.

We requested for a light tempura batter rather than the usual cornmeal breading which most Korean restaurants use, and we got the tempura batter. Although the batter is extremely thick and heavy which resulted in a hard crunch, we both prefer the tempura batter over even the thinnest layer of cornmeal. The soft shell crab tastes moist as well as meaty, and is a bonus for those who enjoy hard crunches.

TUNA ($1.50), SALMON ($1.50), EBI ($1.75), TAMAGO ($1.25), HAMACHI ($3.00), SABA ($1.99) AND MASAGO ($1.99).
The slices of nigiri fillet for the tuna and salmon are so thin… that you can see through the rice! As for the taste, there is not much because of the thin slices which could have also been more fresh. Moving along, the ebi and tamago tastes generic. Following, the hamachi tastes alright and the saba is properly done. Topped with green onion as well as ginger, and has a strong pickled taste. Up last, the masago, no complaints. Overall, the nigiri have a perfect amount of rice with a light taste of sushi vinegar, and did not fall apart.

TOTAL: $76.05 + TIP $3.95 = . $80.00.
All in all, the sashimi as well as the nigiri are not that great. However, the cooked food such as the bacon wrapped scallops along with the nabeyaki are not bad. As for the service, despite the not very busy restaurant on a Saturday evening, there was none. Empty plates were not removed, there was no effort to make customers feel welcomed, and it was hard to get a waitstaffs' attention.

After waiting for the bill, finally receiving it as well as paying, the waitress immediately ran off. We were left with a twenty dollar bill along with some change. Furthermore, neither of us had change and I did not want to have to wait a long time just to wave a waitstaff down. Should we have spent another ten minutes waiting to get change for a proper tip? Most likely. But, I chose not to because of the unfresh sashimi and to me, if a restaurant is not busy on a Saturday evening, a customer should not need to wait a long period of time to get the bill. And proper change for tips should be provided.

However, I did feel guilty when one of the sushi chefs said goodbye to me when he noticed me taking photos of the interior.

- Cooked items are reasonably priced
- Perfect amount of rice for the nigiri
- Complimentary candy
- Comfortable seating arrangements

- Toro sashimi (1/5)
- Nigiri (2/5)
- Service is hard to get and not friendly

- Some of the prices for sashimi are really high. $34.99-$44.99 for only tuna, salmon, tai, hokkigai and hamachi? There is nothing deluxe about the selection of sashimi compared to other restaurants which include amaebi and toro

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Hi, Dozo Sushi on Urbanspoon

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