Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hiro Sushi

You know how stubborn some people can be? Well, I can sometimes be one of them when it comes to food. When meeting a friend for a late lunch, neither of us had anywhere in mind because we thought the other person already chose a restaurant. So as half an hour passed driving along Hastings Street and both of us tight on a schedule, my friend practically forced Hiro Sushi on me (she really did). Sushi Hiro is a Chinese owned and operated Japanese cuisine restaurant that replaced the former No.1 Chinese Restaurant (which had one of the best cream and butter sauce live seafood, along with the friendliest owners!).

Hiro Sushi has completely renovated, but the owners decided to keep the mural paintings of Italy which were originally from an Italian restaurant before the Chinese cuisine one. As for the seating arrangements, there are booth seats along the wall, tables in the centre and seats by the sushi bar. After seating, my former negative thought of "this restaurant is not going to be good" disappeared as I noticed the restaurant offers a daily special! The special includes uni and red tuna, which I admit to being biased by assuming only "better" Japanese restaurants offer. Unfortunately the restaurant did not have any though.

Like many bento box specials, an order of miso soup is included. The miso soup is served warm and tastes watery as well as bland.

So, my face looked clearly unhappy when the deluxe sashimi plopped on the table because the first item I noticed was the hamachi. I mean, sometimes when I am being stubborn and assume a restaurant would not be good… I do not really think that and secretly have high hopes for the food tasting average. The hamachi is not fresh, the burgundy portion turned brown, and the sashimi has been sitting around for too long. In addition to the poor quality, the end portion is served which is always reserved for rolls. The hamachi was the last item I tried because, well, it does not look appealing, but I still felt obligated to try the sashimi. The hamachi tastes like how it looks.

Beginning with the huge slices of salmon, the exterior is slightly gooey but the sashimi tastes okay and there is a mild butteriness. Continuing along, fortunately the tuna is very fresh! The tuna has a nice cool temperature and was probably defrosted a couple of hours before we arrived. Furthermore, the proper cut is served.

Moving to the tako which I wish I took more pictures of, the slices are chunky as well as thick and inedible. Silly me, actually tried a piece and had to spit it out because it is just too chewy. Following, hokkigai is always generic and packaged but these lack that soft crunch and slight juiciness. I am not sure why but the hokkigai tastes very soft and flat. Last up, the baby amaebi has a gooey exterior and does not taste fresh. It also lacks that nice sweetness.

The bento box includes miso soup, salad with ponzu dressing, california roll, beef teriyaki and tempura. The california roll is one of our favourite items of the meal, despite that most of the pieces fell apart. The avocado is fresh and the roll is light on the mayonnaise.

Most of the time, Chinese owned Japanese restaurants serve better cooked food than sashimi. But in this case… not so much. Starting with the beef teriyaki, the thin slices of meat taste tender but are not caramelized. It is not that bad though because we enjoy the sauce, which tastes rich and thick rather than watery along with salty. Following, the tempura selection includes a prawn, pumpkin and yams. The tempura batter tastes very crunchy, rock hard, and "clunked clunked" when I hit a piece on my plate. My friend was not very amused of me doing that...

Continuing along with fried food, the soft shell crab exhibits the same characteristics of the tempura above. The crunchiness, rock hard pieces, and the "clunk clunk" if hit against a plate. However, the batter is also thicker which is not a big deal since it was inedible anyways.

HAMACHI ($2.25), TORO ($1.50), TUNA ($1.20), SALMON ($1.30), AMAEBI ($1.50) AND MASAGO ($1.00).
First up, the hamachi looks a lot better than what we received in the deluxe sashimi. The hamachi looks fresh but oddly tastes bland. Continuing, the toro is more fresh compared to the other items and tastes slightly fatty. Next, the tuna along with the salmon taste okay but the amaebi lacks that light sweetness. As for the rice, there is not much flavour and the formation of the nigiri is too loose.

I enjoy sushi rolls because they are filling and I always choose something simple as well as healthy. The previously frozen house-cut mangos taste a bit sweet and the fresh avocado makes this a healthy treat. But similar to the california roll, it falls apart.

TOTAL: $54.70 + TIP $7.30 = $62.00.

I like supporting family businesses, but the kitchen staff needs to improve. Hiro Sushi is what one may call a "typical Chinese operated Japanese restaurant". As for the service, the waitress could have been more attentive because we were brushed off a couple of times when we needed to get the bill (despite only two other tables in the restaurant??). However, she was friendly. If anything, the seats could have been properly wiped down considering the restaurant is newly renovated and was not busy at the time of our visit.

- Newly renovated restaurant

- Horrible tempura (0/5)
- Deluxe sashimi is not deluxe
- Inexperienced kitchen staff

Food: 1.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Hiro Sushi on Urbanspoon


  1. eeeekkkkkkkksssss. just eeeeeekkkksssss.

    1. Might as well have added cream cheese to everything lol

  2. Gahh ... they still haven't fixed the tempura?! The tempura they served me was bitter and foul-tasting =(



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