Having lunch with Whipping Girl has become almost a bi-weekly exercise. This time around, she suggested that we meet up at Kishimoto out on Commercial. Oh that place. Man, I've been trying to eat at that place for awhile now to no avail. Last time, it was so busy, we had to settle for Tangent Cafe across the street. Well, chalk up another epic fail as we had to walk across the street once more (Kishimoto was closed!). We ended up choosing Volcano Sushi & Grill.
For 2 people we ordered a whackload of food including Tempura which came out piping hot. However, it was pretty greasy and lacking in crispiness. With each bite, I could see and taste the oil. With that being said, it was somewhat crunchy in spots and the ingredients were not overcooked. The dipping sauce was pretty sweet, yet it did add plenty of flavour. Looking more like deep fried chicken knees, the Chicken Karaage was very strange. Once we were past the crispy exterior, there was little-to-no texture at all. It appeared that they had tenderized the chicken meat to the point where it was heading towards mush. We didn't know what to make of the sweet & sour-like sauce either.
Equally strange, the Gyoza at first appeared pretty typical. In fact, with an appealing sear on the bottom, it looked tasty. I took a bite and okay, there was a crispy bottom and the rest of the dumpling skin was thin and chewy. Good start. Then the filling... er... *crunch, crunch*... Huh? It tasted like they put pickled vegetables in it. Now if this was say, a regular Chinese dumpling, it would be good. But it was no gyoza. On the topic of Chinese food, the Oyako Don looked very much like a Chinese chicken & shiitake mushroom rice. In some sense, it did taste like it, but just sweeter. As much as it was not very authentic, it did taste good with big tender pieces of chicken and chewy rice.
When it first arrived at our table, the Chirashi Don was very impressive-looking for the price ($13.95). With large, attractive slices of sashimi atop sushi rice, there was not much to complain about. The addition of the fried shrimp head was also a nice touch. Too bad I couldn't eat the whole thing since the shell was not fried enough. Nothing particularly wrong with the fish, other than being sliced too thick. The sushi rice had a good consistency of chewy while not dry. As much as I like vinegar and sugar in my sushi rice, this was a bit excessive. We got one specialty roll being the Awesome Roll consisting of salmon tempura, cucumber, imitation crab with avocado and fried yam strings on the outside. We didn't mind the roll as there was minimal rice while there was a good combination of textures. As if this wasn't enough food, we also had the Chopped Scallop Roll. It was okay with a mild-tasting scallop mix with somewhat gummy rice. Despite some really strange dishes, we didn't dislike our meal. We merely accepted it as non-authentic Japanese food. Let's just say if you wanted authentic, head over to Kishimoto (if they are open and have no lineup that is).
- Large portions
- Good value
- Okay service
- Some strange tasting and prepared dishes
- Some items look and taste like Chinese food
- If you want authenticity, you've come to the wrong place