Akari (North Delta)

Early on in the life of this blog, I went on a mission to find good Japanese food out in North Delta. Turns out the mission would be a short one since there are only 5 along the Scott Road corridor. Minori was the first one and it turned out to be probably the best of the bunch. The second was Akari and my initial impressions were good. A subsequent visit (w/o my camera, the horror!) was much more average. Okay, now nearly a year later, it is time again to revisit Akari for some updated thoughts. Strangely, I was seated at the same table again, for the 3rd time! Is it a special table? Well, not for me... It's right in the middle of many other tables and yah people stare when I do my take-a-picture-of-my-green-salad routine (while looking quite happy which further makes me look strange).

Today, I figured that I would order something different and went for one of their combos which included a choice of specialty roll and one side dish (Miso Soup and Green Salad as well). As I was snapping photos of the Green Salad, the people beside me were whispering, "hey, that dude is taking a picture of his greens!". It was then that I proclaimed I was not Japanese, I just like taking pictures of my greens among other things. We had a good laugh. I'm sure they still thought I was wacko. As for the salad itself, it was green and the dressing was the typical vinegary sweet type. As part of the combo, I selected the Assorted Tempura as my side. Slightly thick on the batter, it was still crispy and did not get mushy after it cooled. Pretty good.

It didn't seem like that the amount of food in the combo would be enough to satisfy my appetite (which is apparently quite large...), so I added an Appetizer Sashimi. Not cut particularly nicely, the sashimi was alright. I liked the salmon more than the tuna. The salmon was slightly chewy while the tuna was quite bland. The size of the pieces were fair for the price. The second part of the combo was the Philadelphia Roll. I'm not really sure what possessed me to order it since I'm not a huge fan of cream cheese in sushi. I guess it looked the nicest in the pictures on the menu. When it arrived, I noticed that it wasn't the most carefully made roll; but it held together when I picked it up. The rice was on the drier side. It did exhibit some vinegary flavour though. As for the entire roll itself, the ingredients were fine, I just didn't like the cream cheese. If I don't think about my personal tastes for a moment, the roll was fine. Now, not merely satisfied after my revisit, I went again a few weeks later to make sure of my findings. So I had the same combo again with a different roll. This time I went for a more standard one being the Smoked Salmon Roll. It was a combination of smoked salmon, imitation crab, asparagus, ebi, avocado, cucumber and tobiko wrapped in nori. Despite the potency of smoked salmon, there was only enough to provide the necessary flavour without overwhelming the other components. I thought this was a solid roll except for the stringy asparagus. For the second half of the combo, I opted for the Gyoza. Normally, when one orders a lunch combo, it is usually a miniature version of the real thing; not so here. In addition to the 6pcs of sushi, I received a full order of gyoza. They were fried up on more than one side, which made for an interesting appearance; but in the end, it was not bad. The dumpling skin was thin and crisp while the filling was a good combination of veggies and meat which were not mushy. Only thing that I could fault on these was that they were a bit oily. By now, I was pretty much done and could not eat anymore. However, I was stupid enough to order a Tonkatsu-Don as well! It's that old Chinese saying of my eyes were wide while my pants are tight. I was only able to take a few scoops of this before I packed it in. For what it's worth, the rice was pretty good. It was chewy and not mushy nor dry while the tonkatsu was nicely fried up with a sweet mirin/soy mixture on top that seeped into the rice. The pickled ginger provided a nice zing to the otherwise sweet and savoury dish. For me, this was a solid don. So how does Akari fare after 4 tries? I feel that I'm confident enough to say that the food here is pretty decent. Sure, there are definitely better, especially in Vancouver. However, this is North Delta and that is pretty acceptable given its location. If anyone cares, I noticed that the staff, including the sushi chefs were speaking Japanese. Does it make for better Japanese food? Not necessarily; but it does make it seem authentic at least, if that matters to you.

The Good:
- Okay food
- Things seemed fresh
- Service is friendly

The Bad:
- A little pricey
- Food came out a bit slow

Akari Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI - it is Korean owned.

Ryan said...

Good points! I totally agree. I guess they can justify their prices as they don't have any competition in the area. I found their food marginal at best. Maybe a little bit better than an AYCE place. If you ever make it to Richmond you should check out Sakura if you get a chance. Their prices are decent and if it matters they are actually Japanese. Though you may need to order more as you eat more than an average person. =)

Sherman said...

Thanks, but I swear the staff were all speaking Japanese. Maybe I heard wrong.

Ryan, thanks for the tip! Yah, there is no competition nearby. So I guess we judge places with a slightly different criteria...

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is owned by Koreans, and all of the cooks including the sushi chef are Koreans. They're copying easy Japanese to seem as if it's authentic.
Besides, if they were really Japanese, they wouldn't serve Korean hot sauce on rolls, nor would they serve such fat sliced sashimi. Other than that, I guess the food(if you ignore the fact that you have to wait a long time for it) and service are pretty good though.

Sherman said...

Thanks for the clarification!