Whenever there is a lineup, you can assume one of 2 things: it's cheap and/or it's very good. We see lineups at places such as Anton's, Stepho's, Sushi Town, Kintaro Ramen and Japadog. All the aforementioned places are inexpensive, have big portions and the food is generally acceptable (I personally don't like Anton's). Another one of these infamous "lineup" places is Sushi Garden. I haven't been here since it was only a small one unit Japanese restaurant. Currently, they occupy 2 store units and do good business. There is practically a never ending lineup in front. Last time I tried to crack the lineup, I gave up and went next door to the Green Basil instead. Today, we were determined and actually lined-up. Looks like I've been having some luck with lineups lately because we were seated within 15 minutes.
When dining at Sushi Garden, there are certain concessions to be made. First, you need to accept the decibel level here, it's loud. Second, you really need to give up your personal space because the people beside you are literally sitting right next to you. I was listening in on the conversation beside me and almost wanted to join in! The last time I did that at Lhy Thai, it didn't go down too well... Third, don't expect any service other than the bare minimum (if you're lucky). It's funny how the table next to us kept staring at me taking photos of my food. It was hard to be discreet when the person next to me could've hit me with his chopstick if he wasn't careful.
We started off with the Takoyaki (can you tell it's one of my favourite dishes?) and let me tell you this - you are not here for the presentation. But, hey, they were fluffy with just the right amount of sauce and mayo on top. I only wished that there were more bonito flakes. I usually don't order Gomae; but I really needed some vegetables in my diet (yes, call me pathetic). When it arrived, it looked... interesting. Clumped into 4 distinct sections and violated by an obscene amount of overly sweet dressing, this was a flop. WTH? The dressing was like liquid candy. I could barely taste any sesame flavour because it was so sweet.
Arriving next were the Nigiri Sushi (Scallop, Unagi, Chopped Scallop and Inari). These were very good, topped with large pieces of scallop and eel. Very fresh and very tasty. I particularly liked the sushi rice, it was soft; but still had some resistance when eaten. At $13.00, the Assorted Sashimi looked like a good value on paper. This was confirmed when it arrived on our table. In the middle of the plate resided 3 huge pieces of tuna and salmon respectively. Rounding out the dish were 3 pieces each of Tai, Hokkagai, Amebi and Tako. We particularly liked the tuna because it wasn't mushy. Of course tuna sashimi by nature is never going have the texture like salmon or tai; but at least this one had some meatiness to it.
Last but not least was the BC Roll. I only ordered this because I wanted to try a roll sushi and I assumed it would be small. After all for $2.95, how big could it be? Well, it wasn't big, it was enormous! With very little rice on the outside, it was filled with plenty of imitation crab, cucumber and curiously a small amount of salmon skin. Portion-wise, I have no complaints regarding Sushi Garden. In terms of quality, it was more than acceptable. Service was alright, especially if you take into account how much you are paying. If you are hungry and have little to spend, Sushi Garden can fit the bill. But if you want a bit more quality and service, there are other options.
- Large portions
- Low prices
- Food is decent
- Service is quite basic
- Seating is tight
- For some, it's not worth lining up