Yuko Maki

Having just returned from Whistler (with the front of my car resembling fly paper), we were in search for eats. I originally wanted to hit up Pho Saigon since I usually get this urge for soup noodles after any time away from home. Epic fail because the place closed at 8:00pm. 8:00pm??? That's a bit early in my books... Did they have an "early bird" special as well? Anyways, we were hungry and didn't want to stray too far. Hence, we drove up Lonsdale in search of random eats. That's right. We were simply going to walk up to a restaurant without looking on Urbanspoon, Yelp or any food blog site. We were kickin' it ol' skool. So the place we decided to try was Yuko Maki. It was brightly lit and seemed bustling with activity.

We walked in and we waited. No eye contact from any of the staff. They seemed too busy to seat us. However, finally someone noticed and we sat in one of their large booth seats. As we perused the menu, the pricing really stood out. After our expensive foray at Sushi Village in Whistler, the prices at Yuko Maki seemed almost rock bottom. Right after we had just put in our order, the Assorted Tempura suddenly arrived. It came faster than a pubescent male ogling a Playboy magazine. When we started to dig in, it became clear why it was prepared so quickly. Each piece was oil-soaked with the spring rolls (yes, very authentic eh?) practically inedible due to the grease. The veggies were sliced thick, yet it didn't help dissipate the oil.

Next up was the Spicy Combo consisting of a Spicy Dynamite Roll, Spicy Scallop Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll. The rolls lived up to their namesake where there was a definite kick. We also liked how the Dynamite Roll had 2 crunchy ebi tempura. However, they were poorly constructed, falling apart on contact. We did like the minimal layer of rice though as it was not heavy to eat. And about that rice, the texture was a bit gummy, but the strangest thing of all was the taste. It was somewhat salty... That was not right. Continuing with the rolls, we had the Dragon Roll which was reasonably-priced at $7.95. There were large fatty pieces of unagi atop a stuffed California Roll. Not bad, but the unagi sauce was really sweet. Viv only ate one piece and didn't touch it after that.

Of course we had to get some sashimi, so we opted for the Salmon and Tuna. These were some really large slices and at first wowed us. One bite later and we were not impressed. The salmon was poorly cut which led to a certain chewiness which spoiled the enjoyment. Then, the tuna was overly mushy and bland. Quantity yes, quality no. Lastly, we got a bowl of Chicken Udon for the kiddies. This was also a large portion consisting of many veggies not normally found in a traditional udon. No matter, we didn't mind and the chicken was super tender (it was prepared in a Chinese-style though). While we were there, Viv remarked that the place reminded her of Daimasu during our University days - cheap, unauthentic Japanese food. And judging by the clientele, Yuko Maki does exactly that for people who really don't care. We do though, so no return visit imminent.

The Good:
- Really cheap
- Large portions

The Bad:
- Food is just wrong
- Place is a bit dirty

Yuko Maki (Lonsdale) on Urbanspoon

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