I had originally visited Maguro during the early stages of blogging and declared that the food was pretty decent for Ladner, if not the GVRD in general. Looking back, I now cringe at such statements because I had only a limited cache of Japanese restaurants in my blog. So there was no choice but to head back to see if my initial assessment was on the mark or completely bogus.
I started with the Appetizer Sashimi. The well-sized slices looked and tasted fresh (as much as flash frozen fish can be). There was a nice sheen which translated into a natural sweetness. The presentation was pretty clean and appetizing in my opinion. I thought the portion size was good for the price. They didn't skimp on the wasabi either. Next was the Appetizer Tempura which was also a healthy size where the batter looked a bit thick, yet ultimately it was light and crispy. Inside, the ebi exhibited a buttery snap while the veggies retained a bite despite being cooked through. I liked how the sweet potato was sliced thin enough where it wasn't dense.
For my main, I tried the Katsu Don which featured a large pork cutlet atop chewy rice. I found the meat to be slightly tough, but the crunchy exterior coating made up for it. The tonkatsu sauce was quite potent with a significant Worchestershire sharp hit. I wasn't a huge fan of the large amount of slivered white onions underneath as they were not cooked enough and the resulting moisture made the bottom of the dish wet. On another visit, I gave the Spicy Tuna Tataki a go. It consisted of 4 thick slices of nicely charred tuna doused with a sesame vinaigrette, spicy sauce and bonito. I thought the slices could've been thinner, but in the end, it was meaty and quite good. The sauce was a bit much, but I did like the acidity.
For my requisite maki sushi, I tried their Woonia Roll constructed of spicy chopped scallop and avocado with deep fried halibut cheek topped with tobiko on the outside. A drizzle of unagi sauce and spicy mayo added some moisture and zip. I wanted to like this roll as the mild flavours were accented by the sauces. Also, the crunch from the fried cheeks was a good textural contrast. However, there was far too much rice, which was a bit gummy, that made the roll quite heavy. So these 2 "revisits" pretty confirmed what I initially thought - Maguro is the best in Ladner but would be average everywhere else.
- Decent eats for Ladner
- Efficient staff when not busy
- Decent eats for Ladner, but there is obviously better elsewhere
- Sparse service when busy