Sherman's Food Adventures: Tatsu Japanese Bistro

Tatsu Japanese Bistro

Due to late night hockey, we're generally in search for late night eats.  The usual spots are always there such as pubs, wonton noodle joints and pho.  However, it is a real challenge to find Japanese food readily available after 10:00pm.  Sure, we see some Izakaya joints around, but any not regular Japanese restaurants (well, except for SD Sushi Gallery).  However, on our way to Tangent Cafe a few weeks ago, we noticed Tatsu Japanese Bistro was open late as well. With another later game, it was the perfect destination for some "somewhat" healthier eats.

Arriving first, the Tuna Tataki Roll consisted of tuna and avocado with tuna tataki on top dressed with green onion and sesame seeds.  Considering all the soft ingredients, the roll took on those textures.  The tuna itself was soft, but not mushy and had a fresh taste.  The sushi rice was minimal as well as maintaining a nice chewy texture and mild flavour.  Majestically plated, the Salmon Sashimi was impressive.  It had a nice fresh sheen while the natural sweetness of the fish really came through.  The texture exhibited a slight resistance as well.  Some of the best salmon sashimi we've had in a while.

Up next we 2 more specialty rolls being the Rainbow Roll in the foreground and the Spicy Dragon Roll  in the background.  The Rainbow was essentially a California roll with salmon, tuna, ebi, avocado and unagi alternating on top.  This was well-constructed and in turn was quite enjoyable to eat.   The Spicy Dragon Roll was a dynamite roll on the inside with spicy tuna and tobiko on the outside. What was consistent with all the rolls was the balance of ingredients and the right amount of sauce. Onto some cooked items, we had a couple orders of Pork Gyoza.  As much as the exterior was really crispy and not greasy, it was a bit dry and possibly over-fried.  Inside, the meat mixture was quite soft except for the crunch from the cabbage.  I would've liked to see actual meat textures rather than being overprocessed.  

The Tempura Platter was neatly constructed and prepared.  Each item was cooked nicely, including the delicate eggplant.  The tempura batter was extremely thin and light, yet still crispy at the same time. Beautifully arranged, the ingredients in the Nabeyaki Udon dwarfed the noodles in terms of portion size.  Moreover, each item was prepared properly where the shrimp had a snap while the veggies were still vibrant.  I liked the soup base as it had a good balance of flavours while exhibiting some depth.  We were not that impressed with the Chicken Karaage as it was dry and lacking moisture.  There was not enough batter on the outside to lock in the juices while at the same time ensuring the exterior would be crispy, not chewy.  In terms of flavour, the meat was moderately seasoned.

Lastly, we had both the Spicy Sushi Pizza and mild Sushi Pizza (not pictured).  As much as the raw ingredients were very good, the fried rice crust was a bit too dense and hard. Too bad really as the fish was aesthetically-pleasing and fresh (as much as frozen fish could be).  The spicy sauce had a kick, but was not overly strong.  Despite some issues, we felt the food in general was pretty good.  They prepared each dish with care and put some effort into the presentation and neatness.  A decent option for late night eats on The Drive.

The Good:
- Carefully prepared eats
- The raw items we had were good
- Attentive service

The Bad:
- Small place
- Not exactly expensive, but not cheap either

Tatsu Japanese Bistro on Urbanspoon


Jade said...

I love this place! They are very accomodating in having brown and black rice options as well as low sodium and gluten-free soy sauces. Also they are ocean-wise which is extremely important for me. I wish more restaurants were more socially concious. You can tell from the quality and presentation of the food that they take pride in their restaurant. I'm so glad you liked them since I think they offer great value to the money based on the entire dining experience.

Sherman Chan said...

@Jade Agreed. It's too bad so many places just throw things together and call it sushi... But I guess they're cheap...