With the kiddies running amok and Viv still not home, I didn't have a chance to prepare dinner. It was already 6:00pm and Viv had a hockey game at 9:00pm; therefore, we needed to go somewhere close. We decided to head to Akira Sushi which is next door to Jane's (serves up cheap $3.50 breakfast). I've been to Akira Sushi on many occasions and the sushi is quite decent. On the other hand, the quality of the cooked food depends on who's in the kitchen and how busy the restaurant is. Akira Sushi is a small family-run restaurant, so do not expect a lot of staff. One thing you'll always find consistent here is the little boy sitting at the table closest to the back of the restaurant. When I say family-run, I mean the whole family is here - literally.
When it gets busy, you'll find that service will be sparse. Moreover, depending who is working that night, you might even get the frustrated older lady who seems to crack under pressure. It's also quite amusing to watch the kitchen when it's busy. One lady who works back there seems like she's on Iron Chef, running around frantically and looking disheveled. This is when you know the cooked food might not turn out well. Fortunately for us, the restaurant was only moderately busy when we arrived. We didn't look at the menu and quickly ordered the Akira Boat since we were in a rush. For $26.95, the Akira Boat includes: Miso Soup, Ebi Sunomono, 6pcs California Roll, 3pcs Salmon Sashimi, 2 pcs Tuna Sashimi, 2pcs Spicy Tuna, 2pcs Tako (octopus), 1 pc (nigiri) each of Salmon, Tuna, Ebi and Saba (mackeral), Gyoza, Assorted Tempura, Chicken or Beef Teriyaki with Rice or Yakisoba, and ice cream (green tea or mango). Yes, all this for $26.95. This is a fantastic value for this much food. We actually didn't get to have the soup, partly because the server forgot, and so did we. When you're dealing with kids, you don't even remember what else is going on.
The sunomono was very large (probably the largest I've seen) and it had 2 large cold-water shrimp on top. However, the vinegar dressing for the sunomono was bland and when I say bland, it was more like plain water! Fortunately, the sushi on the Akira boat was fresh and pleasing to eat. The tempura, on the other hand is pretty average in my books. I've never like the tempura here, it's not terrible, but the batter is a bit too thick and it's not always that crispy. The gyoza were fine though, they are fried up perfectly and the filling is quite tasty. The teriyaki chicken was good, the chicken was cooked perfectly, being tender and juicy on the inside. I chose rice instead of yakisoba for the fear of it being too oily (it seems to get oilier as it gets busier). Finally, our meal concluded with a generous scoop of ice cream.
We quickly packed up and sped (well, not really) home. So what can I say about Akira Sushi? Well, it's not the best place to go for Japanese food, it's not the best place for a spacious dining room and the service is sparse due to lack of staff (albeit friendly and personable). So why do we eat here??? It's not my first choice, but it's a great place to go when you need a quick, cheap meal. For what you pay, you can't expect much more then you are getting. Thus, Akira Sushi is one of those places that certainly fits the bill of Plan B if Plan A falls through. Plan A would be Toyotomi, a block west of Akira.
- Good value
- Friendly service, despite the lack of servers
- Good portions
- Small dining room
- Lack of servers, although they are friendly
- Inconsistent food
4219 Hastings Street
11:30am - 9:30pm (Mon - Fri)
4:00pm - 9:30pm (Sat)