Awhile back, I had noticed that The Orange Room in New West was covered up by a really big banner advertising the new location of Okonomi Sushi. Hmmm... It appears that New West is still not ready for a place like The Orange Room. Rather, places like The Waffle House a few doors down continue to flourish. While I was there, I did sense the faint smell of Ben-Gay though. Make what you wish of that information... So on a random Monday, Karl and I decided to take advantage of Okonomi's 30% off grand opening special. So what do 2 people order to get a sense of the menu? Well, fortunately for us, Okonomi has quite a few "Complete Meals" which, for allintents and purposes, offers up a little of everything.
We decided that Special Assorted Combo A had the right mix of things for our lunch. This included a choice of specialty roll, Chicken Karaage, Nigiri, Sashimi, Salad and Dessert. Also, all of these meals included either Chawanmushi or Sunomono Salad and Miso Soup. For this combo, we chose the Sunomono Salad which as you can see was neatly prepared. It was almost perfect with chewy noodles, cold water shrimp, fresh cucumber and julienned carrots. But the vinegar dressing was a bit bland and really needed more sugar and tartness. On a side note, I love it when a Japanese restaurant (well Korean-run in this case) throws in complimentary Edamame. Next up was the Chicken Karaage which consisted of 3 fried mid-sections of the wing. I found these to be a little lacking in seasoning and a touch overdone. Not a huge problem though. The meat inside was still quite moist, it was just the parts near the skin that were dry. I also didn't find them very crispy, possibly because they didn't serve them right away?
Moving onto the Sashimi and Nigiri, it was apparent that they are very generous with their cuts of fish. Looking at the salmon and tuna nigiri, it was almost as if there wasn't any rice underneath since the slices of fish were that big. Indeed there was rice and in fact, the rice was purple, the benefactor of red cabbage juice. I found the rice to be slightly gummy; yet decent. As for the fish, it wasn't bad. I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was bursting with sweetness and flavour; yet it was better than average. Furthermore, the texture of the salmon was pretty firm and the tuna was not mushy. Decent sashimi. The specialty roll we selected was the Okonomi Special House Roll consisting of imitation crab meat, cucumber and avocado all wrapped up with bacon, then the purple sushi rice and deep fried. It was topped with spicy tuna, tempura bits, house sauce and aonori. The picture doesn't do this roll justice. The darn thing almost stretched the width of the table. Each of the 8 pieces were large and filling. Due to the aggressive drizzle of the sauces, not much of the other ingredients came through other than the spicy tuna. No matter though, this fried roll was more about textures than anything. If one was to order this a la carte, it would be only $8.95 - a very good value if you ask me.
For our second combo, we got the Okonomiyaki and Tempura meal. Since we already had the sunomono, we went for the Chawanmushi. We found it to be silky; yet bland. The ebi was cooked nicely and sweet having a nice snap texture. Somehow, this wasn't served really hot either. Could it have been premade and reheated? Next, we had the Tempura which was very good. The batter was crispy and not greasy. The veggies and shrimp were perfectly cooked. The grand finale of the meal was the much anticipated Okonomiyaki. When it arrived on the table, it sure looked impressive. It was of a decent size and topped by a generous amount of bonito flakes, mayo and sauce. Furthermore, as you can tell in the picture, it was packed with seafood, meat and cabbage. So this was good right? Nope. Nothing could be further from that. The darn thing was so dense, I could've chucked it across the room like a Frisbee. In fact, it could've hurt an innocent bystander. It was that dense. The texture was highly unappealing being doughy and heavy. It was really too bad since the flavours were fine due to the high amount of ingredients and toppings. In the end, I forced Karl to take the leftovers.
Lastly, we were presented with our desserts, which were included with the combo meals. We got one each of the Tempura Fried Banana and Tempura Fried Ice Cream. I decided to only include the picture of the ice cream because they were practically alike in appearance. Both were fried in tempura batter and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Karl and I agreed that the desserts were forgettable since the batter was doughy and not really all the crispy. It's really too bad our meal ended in this way with the okonomiyaki and dessert. If we didn't look at these items, the meal as a whole was decent (especially for New West). Yet, the real draw here are the reasonable prices and large portions.
- Large portions
- Reasonable pricing
- Friendly service
- Food is largely hit and miss