Sherman's Food Adventures: Hanamori


How hard is it to find a place to eat anyways?  With all the available options, Viv and I were completely stumped.  Trying to decided where to go was as difficult as saving a down payment for a house in Vancouver.  Wait, maybe not...  We needed to eat within the next 10 years...  Anyways, we briefly considered returning to the Wild Fig in the Executive Hotel via a Travelzoo coupon, but in the end, we headed next door to the hidden Hanamori Sushi.

When the Assorted Tempura was placed on our table, I was confused (and not more than usual).  Okay, the 4 ebi tempura looked a bit off as the batter could pass for Chinese-buffet style fried shrimp, but the veggies didn't look right.  In fact, they reminded me of veggie pakoras.  The mass of julienned onions, carrots and green onion was actually rather wet and unappealing.  Next, the Chef's Choice Sashimi looked both plentiful and attractive upon first inspection. It consisted of hamachi, sockeye salmon, ika, hokkigai, fried shrimp head, tako, tuna, ebi and Atlantic salmon.  We particularly enjoyed the buttery hamachi, but the Altlantic salmon was a little on the soft side while the tuna was a bit too cold.

For my son, he agreed to have Chicken Katsu Don rather than his usual chicken udon.  Turns out it was a good decision as he dusted a good portion of it off in record time.  Although the rice was a touch soft, it was evenly sauced.  The ample amount of white onion was a bit off-putting as it overwhelmed the dish.  On the other hand, the chicken katsu was tender and topped with barely done egg.  Our specialty roll choice of the meal was the Double Red Dragon consisting of a dynamite roll with 2 ebi tempura topped with seared salmon.  We found the sushi rice to be far too soft and wet, hence, the roll ate a bit heavy and was missing that classic sushi rice chewiness.

Served with Breton crackers sprinkled with togarashi, the Encore Tower was a concoction of chopped scallop, ripe avocado, salsa, tobiko and mayo.  This was a mild and creamy sweet dish that was balanced by the slightly spicy and crisp crackers.  Lastly, we had 2 each of the Scallop and Salmon Aburi Sushi.  Afflicted by the same crappy sushi rice, these ate too soft with no textural contrast.  We did like the acidity of the sauce on the scallop, but the salmon was just soft on soft.  As much as there were some good points to this meal, the wet sushi rice was a real turn-off.  We realize the place gets pretty good reviews in general, but for us, the overall experience was too hit and miss.

The Good:
- Friendly people
- Some interesting menu items

The Bad:
- Hit and miss dishes
- Sushi rice too wet

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grayelf said...

Hmm, looks like they were attempting to do a version of kakiage on the veggie tempura. Too bad it wasn't salutary. I love kakiage when done well.