Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sushi by Yuji

With such a high rating and many positive posts on Urbanspoon, Sushi by Yuji caught my attention. The restaurant is located in Vancouver on Kingsway Street, along with 75% of the Asian restaurants. When walking in, the restaurant was almost silent; with two seated tables and a couple sitting at the sushi bar.

Sushi by Yuji is a very small restaurant with only five tables and four sushi bar seats. Also, I presume the location was a previous retail store because the restaurant only has a homestyle stove, rather than a kitchen.

The salmon carpaccio has a heavy sauce tasting of sashimi soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and green onion. Unfortunately, the sashimi is drenched with sauce and the taste of the salmon is overwhelmed; less sauce would have tasted a lot better. Furthermore, the salmon tastes fresh as well as fatty and the slices have a nice thickness, but this is not the proper way to make salmon carpaccio.

Asides from the taste of sashimi or lack of, we were not fans of having skin left on the sashimi. This is not an all you can eat restaurant and there is no need to save the skin. Actually, out of every AYCE restaurant that I have been to, only one restaurant saves the skin (Toyotomi). Since the skin was attached, the salmon tastes a bit chewy and has a fishy unpleasant aftertaste. 

The menu does not mention what is included in the deluxe assorted sashimi, but we asked if ika could be omitted just in case. I was quite pleased when the waitress okay'd it with no questions asked. However, despite the request written on the bill, it was overlooked by the sushi chef and ika was included.
Starting with the salmon, the sashimi tastes fresh but again, there is a bit of skin left on which results in a fishy aftertaste. Continuing along to the tuna, the upper body portion is served which is always (unless at an AYCE or lower priced Japanese restaurant) only used for sushi rolls and spicy tuna. The tuna tastes fresh but for the price, the proper portion should have been used. Up next, the tako has a nice chewy snappy texture and a light octopus flavour. Tako is supplied pre-cooked and packaged to restaurants, and it is up to the restaurant to rinse, then slice for sashimi or rolls. However, the tako was not properly rinsed and tastes a bit gritty like sand.

Further on, the hamachi could have been more fresh and lacks that nice bright burgundy red color due to sitting out for too long. Next, the restaurant uses loose uni and serving broken pieces rather than one slice, is a bit stingy. Up last, the saba has the usual slightly salty and fishy flavour which we personally enjoy; although we were a bit surprised that no ginger and/or green onion was added. Oh right, the ika. The ika has a slightly slimy texture and a soft snap, along with a mild sweet flavour. 

HAMACHI ($2.75), SABA ($1.75) AND TUNA NIGIRI ($1.50). 
After ordering, I noticed an option on the menu to choose the size of rice for the nigiri (small, medium or large). We were not given the option or asked, but I assume we received a "small" size. Starting with the hamachi nigiri, the slices could have been more fresh. Once hamachi has been sitting out for too long, it loses that nice bright burgundy red colour. An interesting fact about hamachi is that the colour does not lie, and it was already loosing the bright redness. Next, the saba nigiri is topped with ginger as well as green onion, for a more pleasant and less salty as well as fishy flavour. Up last, the tuna nigiri. Again, the portion served is the upper body portion which is meant for only rolls and spicy tuna. 

The negitoro is topped with a quail egg and tastes fresh as well as refreshing, because of the green onion. Following is the hamachi and avocado roll, the rice is pretty heavy and the slices of avocado are small. In addition, the amount of hamachi is a bit on the stingy side and the whole roll has the equivalence of only one small slice of sashimi. I feel like this may be considered overcharging, unless the quality is there.

Continuing to the uni, the restaurant uses loose uni (broken uni) which costs slightly cheaper, compared to a whole piece of uni. For $4.00/EACH is it fair to say that I expected a whole piece of uni? Sort of. Two thin slices of loose uni makes the restaurant look cheap. 

Furthermore, there is also a spike leftover from the sea urchin. The spike has nothing to do with the restaurant and is from the packaging, but most sushi chefs would not miss it.

TORO NIGIRI ($2.50). 
The toro tastes fresh, fatty as well as buttery, but broken sashimi or nigiri should never be served. As for the sushi rice throughout dinner, the rice tastes overcooked and mushy. However, the taste of sushi vinegar is well mixed.

Nigiri carpaccio... it is what it is. Tuna and salmon sashimi topped with sashimi vinegar, sesame oil, pepper and green onion. Some will either like it or think it is not very unique and a silly invention. Furthermore without sound like a broken record… the upper body portion of the tuna is served which should not have been used. As for the masago, they taste like tiny small crunches as always.

- Complimentary pocky
- Friendly but forgetful staff (forgot about our drink order and ika was overlooked)

- Small restaurant
- Expensive for what it is
- Skin attached to sashimi and improper portion of tuna served
- Broken sashimi/nigiri should never be served (I do not even think that I have been served broken pieces anywhere or at an AYCE restaurant)

- Wasabi is provided on the first plate only and a very small amount (the flavour is also quite weak)
- Dishes comes out slow which is understandable, but the food quality and presentation does not make up for that
- We waited about thirty minutes for the first dish because the sushi chef makes one table's whole order before starting on the next. To be more efficient, I would think to make all sashimi orders, then rolls, then … would be faster, rather than washing the knife back and forth
- A young man was pretty rude tonight and made a big deal about cancelling his order since it took too long. The staff remained friendly, charged him for what he ate and still gave him pocky
- There are a lot of restaurants that charge the same prices but deliver the quality and/or presentation
- "Authentic" does not mean good sushi (having said that, the carpaccio is not very authentic)

Food: 2/5
Service: 3/5

Sushi by Yuji on Urbanspoon


  1. Yuji is the only sushi chef I believe and owner, looks like sloppy work

  2. Tried Yujis a month ago, didnt like it either, overrated and he didnt talk much to our table like what other people said

    1. There is only one sushi chef and I do not expect him to start a conversation with any customers, since he is busy with making orders.I just had higher expectations

  3. Sashimi looks jaggey. Is wasabi supposed to show on nigiri?

  4. Which japanese sushi place would you highly recommend then?

    1. For authenticity, fusion or value? Also, for mainly rolls or sashimi?

  5. THANK YOU. Finally someone who knows what the #%^* they're talking about. Geezus Christ. Tell him to go back to being an apprentice holy, do people not know sushi in Vancouver? He needs to step up his game and go back to basics. Warm sushi rice, rolls fall apart, no broken sashimi like yours but shitty imagination. Got ika and uni, nastiest combination. If he improves, great, the reviews will match his restaurant

    1. There is always room for improvement no matter what level a sushi chef is at. I just hope he takes constructive criticism well and and improves.

      PS. For future comments, any comments that I believe are rude or insults against a restaurant will be deleted.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...