Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sushi Loku


Sushi Loku has been on my list of restaurants to try for the longest time, like two years! It is one restaurant where I have very high expectations for because after spending hours looking through every photo I could find on Zomato, Yelp and Instagram, I determined that Sushi Loku is one restaurant that will consistently serve fresh sashimi. From the sashimi to the nigiri and even the carpaccio that Sushi Loku offers, I could not find one slice of oxidized Hamachi. And hamachi is one type of sashimi where the freshness cannot be questioned because the color does not lie.

So after sampling ten wine chickens to determine which restaurant offers the best for the Chinese Restaurant Awards of 2016, Sherman and I headed to Sushi Loku for dinner. The restaurant is not very big and there are around less than fifteen tables. The seating arrangements are not cramped however and there are a a couple of seats by the sushi bar. A thank you to Sherman for taking some of the photos for me too!


COCONUT CURRY AND SOFT SHELL CRAB ($9.95).
Rating: 4.5/5.
Knowing how I like my soft shell crab, I requested for the crab to be lightly battered with tempura (rather than the typical cornmeal crunchier batter that Korean restaurants use) and our server had no problem asking the kitchen. We also passed on the curry as well, which resulted in pretty much a perfect soft shell crab - juicy and meaty along with a crisp exterior and lightly seasoned.

ASSORTED SASHIMI, "Saba, Sockeye, Hamachi, Tai, Tuna and Atlantic" ($16.95)
Rating: 5/5.
FML my food instincts do not fail me here because every selection of sashimi is as fresh as it can get. To start, the sockeye tastes lean compared the slices of atlantic, which are fresh and buttery. Following, the hamachi exhibiting that burgundy trim tastes buttery, rich and sweet. Continuing, the tuna tastes fresh as well and the proper lower body portion is served where there is more extra flavour. As for the tai, I am not a fan in general so do not mind that the slices of sashimi are not as sweet as usual due to the cut. About that saba though, I wish there was an addition of green onion and/or ginger on top (but still good of course).

BEEF TATAKI ROLL, "Prawn tempura, avocado, crabmeat, seared beef, garlic chip, green onion, ponzu" ($7.50).
Rating: 4/5.
The evenly rolled Beef Tataki Roll is well seared and exhibits a strong smokey flavour. The beef tastes tender and not chewy whatsoever and the fried garlic provides that extra flavour and crunch. In addition, the light and tangy ponzu sauce does not overwhelm. The Beef Tataki Roll adds multiples of welcomed flavours to the basic Dynamite Roll.

TORO ($1.60), HAMACHI  ($2.00) AND UNAGI NIGIRI ($2.00).
Rating: 4/5.
Let me start off with the rice... So I personally love and I mean love, delicious rice in my sushi. More often than not the rice is very basic and you get the occasional "well seasoned" rice at a Japanese restaurant. But damn, the rice here is definitely on my Top 3 list and I do not even have a list yet! The rice is very well seasoned, flavourful yet not overwhelming, is a touch above room temperature and exhibits the perfect firmness where the nigiri does not fall apart. I cannot stress how good the rice tastes! The flavour of the rice makes a HUGE difference for me when having sushi! It just compliments the sashimi so much more.

Other than the rice... the toro and hamachi is as fresh as the sashimi can get. The toro tasting very buttery and fatty while the hamachi tastes rich. As for the thick and juicy unagi, the slices are seared but the smokiness is a touch too mild. But hey, better than many restaurants that just microwave the unagi!

PARADISE ROLL, "Mango, marinated tuna, rice, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, sesame sauce, ponzu" ($7.95).
Rating: 2.5/5.
I am a sucker for any sushi rolls with mango or soy paper... but unfortunately I am careless and overlooked the description because Sushi Loku only offers rice paper! So of course this results in a very chewy and unappealing texture. Think, an extra chewy salad roll without the peanut dipping sauce? As for the ingredients, the tuna tastes fresh and no end pieces are used, the mango actually tastes like mango despite being previous frozen, the avocado is fresh and ripe, and the sesame sauce is fairly rich.

ABURI OSHI SUSHI SALMON, "Salmon, jalapeño, avocado sauce on top with aioli and balsamic on top" ($11.95).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The texture of the rice is on point where it is soft and melts in the mouth while retaining its rectangular shape and does not fall apart, but the oshi is not seared enough. The oshi is lacking that seared flavour and there is a very heavy "excess jalapeño liquid" flavour that I am not very fond of. The oshi is neither buttery, smokey or flavourful and a better tasting aioli could have helped.

POSITIVES
- Friendly staff
- Perfect soft shell crab
- Sashimi cannot get any fresher

NEGATIVES
- Not a fan of the rice paper
- Oshi could have been more seared

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5



Since I enjoyed Sushi Loku so much, I had to share my experience with a friend and made a revisit.

MISO SOUP ($1.25).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The fairy light tasting Miso Soup is not memorable and you can tell this is the batch from lunch rather than dinner. I appreciate the soup is actually served hot though.

ASSORTED TEMPURA ($5.95).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The selection of Assorted Tempura includes yam, zucchini, eggplant and a couple of prawns. The flaky and crispy batter is a touch on the heavier side on certain parts of the tempura and even taste a bit doughy. With that aside though, the tempura does the job and is not too greasy.

COCONUT CURRY AND SOFT SHELL CRAB ($9.95).
Rating: 3/5.
Unfortunately unlike the first time here, the soft shell crab has a thicker batter and is topped with arugula. When the plate arrived, I frantically removed the arugula ASAP because I worried the topping would result in soggy pieces of soft shell crab. The crab exhibits a crisp exterior but is very oily and the meat is not juicy like on the first visit. I also requested for the curry on the side just to sample the flavour and it tastes light, but very rich at the same time. I still prefer my soft shell crab as is with nothing else though!

BEEF TATAKI ROLL, "Prawn tempura, avocado, crabmeat, seared beef, garlic chip, green onion, ponzu" ($7.50).
Rating: 2.5/5.
Since the Beef Tataki Roll was really good the first time, I had to order it again. This time however the roll is not seared enough and the beef tastes chewy. There is a hint of smokiness though... but it could have been smokier for an aburi roll. I remember being pretty sad about this :(.

DELUXE ASSORTED SASHIMI, "Atlantic salmon, amaebi, hokkigai, hamachi, sockeye salmon, toro and tuna" ($21.95).
Rating: 4.5/5.
This time around I ordered the Deluxe Assorted Sashimi and neither the selection nor the quality disappointments. The sashimi is as fresh as it can get and the selection is truly deluxe where it includes higher selections such as amaebi, toro and hamachi. It is truly disappointing when many restaurants offer a deluxe option and do not even include amaebi or toro. Moreover, the price of $21.95 is very cheap.

BEEF IRON GRILL, "Tepanyaki sizzling entree with rice, miso and hibachi styled vegetables ($9.95).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The Iron Grill did not arrive sizzling and there is not much of a charred flavour from any of the ingredients, but the slices of beef taste tender. I personally would not order or recommend this though as I find it nothing special and would try a teriyaki instead next time.

HAMACHI ($2.00) AND TORO NIGIRI ($1.60)
Rating: 4/5.
Consistent with the first visit, the rice for the nigiri is pretty much perfect and the hamachi along with the toro taste fresh. I only took a point off because we ordered hamachi rather than hamachi belly, despite that many people may prefer the belly more.

Sushi Loku overall is a Japanese restaurant that I will visit if I want fresh sashimi and well prepared nigiri. I cannot stress at how the prices are so reasonable too! As for the aburi items, it may be a hit or miss, which is why I would only come here for sashimi. Okay, that is a lie... I would order the Beef Tataki Roll again just because it was really good the first time around.

POSITIVES
- Cheap prices
- Friendly staff
- Really good sushi rice
- Fresh and quality sashimi

NEGATIVE
 - Seared items may be inconsistent

Food: 3/5
Service: 3.5/5

SUSHI LOKU
592 East Broadway Vancouver, BC V5T 1X5
Telephone (604) 298-4403

4 comments:

  1. I went to Sushi Loku not long after it opened, and I found the food to be quite mediocre. However, after seeing such high ratings for their sashimi, I think I need to give them another chance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! Their sashimi is as fresh as it can get :). I have been visiting a few times every couple of weeks lately lol. Their aburi items may be inconsistent though!

      Delete
  2. Halal Meat VancouverHalal Vancity is the food resource for those looking for halal restaurants, butchers, grocery outlets caterers, and banqueting facilities in beautiful Vancouver British Columbia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Halal Food
    http://halalvancity.ca/
    Halal Vancity is the food resource for those looking for halal restaurants, butchers, grocery outlets caterers, and banqueting facilities in beautiful Vancouver British Columbia

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...