After our first game victory of the Easter hockey tourney, we were in need of eats. Actually, I was in need of eats before the game, it only served as a conduit. Yah, I'll admit it. I often daydream while playing hockey, softball and golf. The thoughts of a bakudanyaki often replace a softball, a crab cake doubles as a puck and a juicy meatball for a golf ball. What can I say, I have a one-track mind! It probably explains the crappy goal I let in through the 5-hole in the last half of the game. Oh whatever, we won 5-1, now time to eat! We tossed a few ideas around and it always seemed to come back to Japanese. The question was where? Being in Coquitlam right next to the Port Mann bridge presented many options; yet none of them exactly close. Finally, Lionel Hutz suggested an ol' New West favourite - King Sushi.
Yah, sushi and New West doesn't elicit much promise, other than Ki Sushi and if you prefer AYCE, Top Gun. Everyone thought it was a good idea, especially Groundskeeper Willy, since he lives only a few blocks away. I liked the idea too since I'd never eaten there before and it is on my very long list of "to visit" places. We were given an interesting table that had a built-in leaf which essentially could be expanded into one large table. However, no need for that since half of the people wanted to share and half didn't. Guess which side I was on??? So we exiled the non-sharers (Gadget Girl, Silent Bob, Holmes & Groundskeeper Willy) from our delightful sharing table of me, Lionel Hutz, Picachu, Milhouse and Emilicious. Strangely, we had to make sure we ordered some cooked items since Picachu doesn't really prefer Japanese food, particularly the raw items. Not exactly a weird situation, other than the fact that Picachu is Japanese! LOL... Anyways, we went ahead and ordered a whack load of items and started with Wakame Salad. It is a type of seaweed that has a slightly chewy, snappy texture much like jellyfish. And similar to the preparation of jellyfish, sesame oil and soy are primary flavouring agents (in addition to rice vinegar in this case). The wakame salad here exhibited the aforementioned qualities and we tried to share it amongst the 5 of us. LOL...
If that was hard to do, try sharing a Spinach Gomaae as well! Not a problem because it was terrible. First, look at it. Way too much sweet sesame dressing, you can't even see the spinach! Furthermore, what you can't see is the huge pool of water underneath. Definitely a turnoff. I much prefer the type of Gomaae with a simple shoyu dressing and toasted sesame seeds. Fortunately our meal got back on track with the Agedashi Tofu. A crispy exterior revealed silky tofu which rested on a light tentsuyu sauce which consists of dashi, mirin and shoyu. Too bad Picachu doesn't eat raw fish because the order of Deluxe Assorted Sashimi was quite visually appealing and fresh. By its appearance alone, it's quite evident that the fish is fresh (well as fresh as flash frozen can get). On the plate was wild salmon, salmon, hamachi, tai, ebi, tako, uni, tuna, ika with tobiko, toro and hokkigai. Nothing that could be mushy was mushy except for the tuna. That was a bit mushy. To my surprise, the uni was quite fresh and sweet. Viv thinks it tastes like garbage. I'm not sure where she gets that idea from...
"Hey, who ordered the chicken nuggets?" was the initial question when the Chicken Karaage arrived. Well, unlike its AYCE version, chicken karaage is not necessarily fried chicken wings. More often than not, it'll be pieces of leg meat. These were pretty good (green salad on the side) with juicy meat and a crispy exterior. We got more raw stuff in the form of the Chef's Choice Assorted Nigiri. Luckily there was one item that Picachu could eat - the unagi. Also on the plate was tako, tobiko, scallop & tobiko, tuna, salmon, toro, ika, wild salmon and ebi (with 2 pieces of tamago). Once again, everything was quite fresh and neatly presented. The sushi rice was actually quite good exhibiting a nice chewiness without being undercooked.
Exclusively for Picachu (well, not really, we ate some too), we got the Teriyaki Beef Donburi. When it arrived, I was a little concerned. Look at it, there seems to be quite a lot of sauce. Mind you, there is a generous amount of beef as well. After a couple of scoops, it was indeed too saucy and thus overly sweet & salty. That's really too bad since the beef was quite good while the rice was properly prepared (being slightly chewy). The sauce also counteracted the rice by softening it up. And what is a visit to a Japanese restaurant without a few rolls? Well, we all agreed to not order anything remotely close to a California Roll. No offense to the CaliRoll, in fact, I don't mind it; but we just want something a bit different. So we got a Red Dragon Roll and a Spider Roll. The red dragon is essentially a BC Roll topped with smoked salmon, tobiko, unagi sauce and sesame seeds. Nothing Earth-shattering here; but a solid roll nonetheless. What I particularly liked was that the smoked salmon didn't overwhelm all the other flavours. As for the spider roll, it is not a bunch of creepy crawlers from the corner of your basement. Rather, it is a roll consisting of fried soft shell crab, avocado and cucumber topped with mayo, special sauce and tobiko. Once again, a solid roll with plenty of filling and minimal amount of rice. I would've preferred the crab to be a bit crispier; but that is a minor issue.
To fulfill our deep fried quota, we got both the Vegetable Tempura and the Prawn Tempura. It would've probably been more cost efficient to get the assorted tempura; but there would've been only 2 pieces of prawn to split among 5 people. Thus, we had to order both to get a bit of everything. Normally, I'm not a big promoter of AYCE Japanese; but if you prefer items like prawn tempura (since 6 pieces already costs us $7.25), it is a good value (assuming it's good). And about that tempura, it was pretty decent. It was crispy, not very oily with properly cooked veggies and prawn. Possibly, the batter could've been a bit lighter; but again, not a major issue. The non-sharers also enjoyed their meals and as a consensus, King Sushi is a decent choice in New West. Once again, if it was located in Vancouver, it would be hard-pressed to compete. As we were dining, we noticed that the staff were not Japanese, which leads me to believe it's not Japanese-run. No real biggie since it didn't make a big difference in food execution (well, except for the Gomaae and Beef Don).
- Good for large groups
- Items generally fresh
- Service is efficient, if not a bit stoic
- Decent food; but some misses
- Good for New West, average for the GVRD