Sherman's Food Adventures: Ajisai Sushi Bar

Ajisai Sushi Bar

The previous night, Rich Guy and I attempted to watch the new movie 2012 after dining at Toshi. However, I guess we were a bit naive to believe we'd actually get tickets for opening night. Tonight, we gave it another go by arriving more than an hour earlier. Once again we were denied faster than trying to fight for a parking spot at Yaohan Centre. I suppose next time we should actually just get our tickets online, just like the commercial tells us to before every movie. I guess we just don't pay much attention to ads and previews that last longer than a sitcom on TV.

A bit dejected, we found solace in the only thing that would do the job - food! We took the opportunity that we were without our respective kids once again, to eat at a place which would be either too small, wrong type of food or have a potential lineup. Yesterday was Toshi, today was Ajisai. Bear has been raving about this place before; but it could never accommodate our entire softball team in the summer. With only 2 people and eating at 9:00pm, we felt our chances at getting a seat were better than having your windshields forcibly squeegeed at an intersection. Why must they do that when I have just washed my car? I digress. We ended up sitting at the sushi bar, which was fine by me. I enjoy watching the knife skills of the sushi chef. At Ajisai, they are Japanese sushi chefs and staff. That's right folks, a real Japanese restaurant!

We decided to start with the Salmon Sashimi and it was excellent. The fresh buttery and sweet flesh was a great way to begin the meal. We were quite impressed with the next dish which was the Geoduck in a ponzu dressing. The geoduck was very fresh being sweet and crunchy. The tangy ponzu really enhanced the sweetness of the geoduck by giving a contrasting flavour. We also got a few pieces of Nigiri which consisted of Red Tuna, Inari and Whole Scallop. Predictably, they were once again really fresh (Inari was fresh too, despite being only tofu skin). The sushi rice had the desired soft while slightly chewy texture. Presented on the same platter was the House Roll which consisted of Tuna, Salmon, Tobiko, Imitation Crab, Ebi and Cucumber. Despite being a relatively large roll, it stayed together without being squished.

Saving the best for last, our order of BBQ Gindara arrived with lemon, asparagus, grated daikon and nato (fermented beans). The perfectly cooked black cod melted in our mouths. When combined with the other items on the plate, there was a nice combination of salty, sweet and tartness. At this point, we were a bit full; but a dish we had seen prepared earlier was still on our minds. The Seafood Salad looked so good, we just had to order it! And order it we did. There was a bounty of seafood resting on a bed of lettuce and spring mix. Tako, ebi, salmon and tuna was generously distributed over fresh greens laced with a light vinaigrette. To top it all off, there were corn flakes! It added a nice crunch to the salad.

Seriously, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food we ate at Ajisai. Not only was it fresh, it was masterfully prepared and presented. It definitely is a hidden gem since you actually cannot see it from the street. I'm inclined to say that this is now one of my favourites for authentic sushi. Having visited Toshi the day before, I can confidently state that Ajisai is better. If you ever make it out to Kerrisdale, you gotta give this place a try.

The Good:
- Carefully prepared sushi
- The stuff just tastes great
- Authentic

The Bad:
- The place is so darn small, not sure why the washroom is so big...
- If you didn't know where it was, you'd never find it

Ajisai Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

shokutsu said...

Ajisai is in my top two for sushi in the GVA. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed it too.

Sherman said...

If it is one of your top 2 then it must be good! It's probably my favourite so far...

nina said...

I love Ajisai! I haven't been since they expanded but definitely consider it to be of waaaay better quality than the dime-a-dozen Japanese restaurants you find in Vancouver. Now I have a craving for GOOD sushi...

Anita said...

This is one of my favorite sushi joints as well! Too bad I went there myself and couldn't try everything. This calls for a re-visit!

trisha said...

i love the colour of that red tuna... yum! the sushi places i go to usually don't have that. i need to expand out from sushi town... it's the spicy tuna sashimi there that i have a weakness for.

Sherman said...

Definitely Trisha, Sushi Town is decent if you want quantity and value; but places like Ajisai are all about the authenticity, execution and freshness.

Anonymous said...

You should try this sushi place by our apartment. It's called "Victoria sushi" in
New wesminster (lol). It's impossible to find it without living close to here but their food is off the bar good. The chef is really creative and the fish are always fresh. Try the spicy sashimis the price is ridiculously cheap comparing to portions. Anyways
i'm really enjoying your blogs, It's a good guide too. Thanks.

Sherman said...

Thanks for the tip! I'm in New West quite a bit. Will definitely try! Oh, and thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Ajisai has amazing sushi, I can respect why it is in your top picks.

HOWVEVER, I'm not sure why you have it as a top pick "if you don't want to break the bank." It is not as expensive as Tojo's or that caliber, but it is one of the most expensive sushi places I've been to.

Sherman said...

That's true, it is pricey. I guess I looked at the quality and execution and I compared it to other places of the same ilk and decided it was worth it. Kinda all relative I guess...

Kim said...

random search of sushi and found out your blog, really amazing...
Thanks guys for sharing your adventure of food discovery!!!

Sherman said...

@Kim Thanks for the kind comments!

Benjamin said...

Good choice of sushi.

I like your style of writing. Haven't been to the movies in several years so I don't know your pain with getting tickets although I do know Ajisai sushi bar is a great place to grab some authentic sushi.

If you haven't yet done so, you should check out sushi bar Maumi as well. It's ran by Japanese as well and freshness rivals Ajisai. Prices are slightly steeper though as it's right downtown near Davie.
https://blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfoodie/2016/03/09/the-best-sushi-in-vancouver/
http://www.vancityasks.com/best-sushi-in-vancouver/

I wonder if the salad (which looks delicious as you depicted) would taste better with fried tempura better than cornflakes? I'm sure the texture would help with the corn flakes but it just doesn't seem fitting to me.

Best Regards,

Benjamin