Sherman's Food Adventures: Akashi-Ya


For me, the corner of King George Highway and 72nd is a bit frustrating. You see, there are medians on all 4 approaches to the intersection. Essentially, if you are driving in the opposite side as to your location, you're pretty much screwed. Think of it similar to Richmond, especially #3 Road, except the traffic moves here. Sure, there are "secret" ways around it as mentioned by Drew (in the comments of the Kyoto post). However, I always seem to get stuck going the wrong way. One time, I thought I'd be creative and pull into a side street. Well, I ended up in one of the many strip malls along KGH. Although it was not my ultimate destination, there were a few restaurants there and I filed it away for future food adventures. One was Lido Chinese buffet and I filed it away in my "if I'm desperate or drunk" category. A couple of stores down is a plain looking Japanese restaurant named Akashi-Ya. I would've actually tried it that day; but it was not open yet.

Honestly, it's a bit difficult to find really good Japanese food out in the burbs. In fact, since I've never gone to Japan personally, I'm sure I don't even know what the "best" Japanese food is like. However, I base my thoughts on the very best I've had in Vancouver. Thus, as we move away from the those places (such as Ajisai), our expectations must be tempered. So, as a disclaimer, if I say the food is "good", it may mean "good for (insert city) ". On a side note, I really have a problem with people who complain that the food here is never as good as it is in (insert country) . Duh. Of course it won't be; but how many people are going to get on a plane to have an "authentic" dinner in the originating country of that cuisine???

So the first thing that caught my eye was a lunch combo which included most of the items I wanted to try (sashimi, tempura, California roll - hey it's a roll and choice of karaage, croquette or gyoza). However, I wanted to give the Spinach Gomaae a try first. Not the most appealing looking gomaae, it was a miss. I wasn't that happy with the toughness of the spinach itself. The dressing wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but at the very least, it was not too overpowering. I was happy to receive some pretty decent-looking Sashimi, especially the wild salmon. And it was good being fresh-tasting and not mushy. When I first laid eyes on the Tempura, I was a bit worried. Looks like they used old oil; thus the darker appearance. Not to worry, it was crispy and the veggies were not overcooked.

I know, I know, a California Roll ain't exactly the best way to try roll sushi; but... I wasn't going to order more food, especially for lunch. Anyways, the sushi rice was acceptable. Still exhibiting a decent bite, while not being too dry, the rice encased fresh avocado. I had a choice for my last item between the Chicken Karaage, Gyoza or
Pumpkin Croquette. Since I eat the other 2 items regularly, I went for the Croquette. Quite crispy on the outside with a fluffy and sweet pumpkin filling, I enjoyed it. So once again, I must repeat... "For Surrey", I found that the food at Akashi-Ya to be decent, especially at a reasonable price too. Furthermore, the staff were friendly and kept my tea refilled. It's not going to provide any serious competition to the big boys in Vancouver; but for someone who is in the neighbourhood, it certainly doesn't offend.

The Good:
- Okay prices
- I found the fish fresh (well as fresh as flash-frozen fish can get)
- Decent service

The Bad:
- Gomaae was not very good
- Some other Japanese restaurants in the area are a bit better

Akashi-Ya on Urbanspoon


Mare-bear said...

OH that croquette looks quite good! It reminds me of my mum's one (she's from tokyo). She makes it when her father comes to visit...
I've only driven by that intersection a handful of times but I get anxious just thinking about it!

Sherman Chan said...

Yah, the croquette was good. Hot and crispy. I'm sure your mum makes a better one!

Anonymous said...

The croquette is never as good as it is in Japan ;)

Sherman Chan said...


Mare-bear said...

well she never uses pumpkin, more of a mashed potato/corn recipe, and she is a master at breading and frying!!
I hate to say it but the Japanese have such a great hand and sense when they cook..if you ever get the opportunity to try some of the japanese run chinese restaurants in Japan, oh my goodness, it is well worth the thousands of yen!!!

KimHo said...

Mare-bear, no offence but if I were to pay a plane ticket to try Chinese food in Japan, I might instead fly China... Or, even better, to visit my mom! ;)

(As an old/bad joke says: why somebody flew to Japan to try their local hot dog? Because it is with soy sauce!)

Sherman Chan said...

Mare-bear, I've actually heard of that! Yah, Kim, I wouldn't necessarily put that at the top of my list when I visit Japan one day, but I would try it if I had a chance.

Mare-bear said...

oh guys i hear ya, but i spent a month in japan, and at some point, one wants to venture outside of japanese food (gasp)! even for one meal!!It's not a reason to go, but a great alternative (also the different mcdonalds choices are interesting!)

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