Sherman's Food Adventures: Umami Sushi

Umami Sushi

With a 2+ hour break in between games during our hockey tourney at Great Pacific Forum, going home did not seem like a good idea.  With the high gas prices and waste of time driving, I figured I might as well drop off my gear at work nearby and let it air out.  In the meantime, I would go in search of eats.  Well, any gas savings blew up in smoke when I decided to venture all the way out to Cloverdale for some sushi.  Yes, I do travel for food...

I was warmly greeted by the staff and made myself comfortable in the clean and nicely appointed dining room.  I started off with the Appetizer Tempura which was served hot and crunchy.  The batter was fairly light and easy on the grease.  Buttery with a light snap, the ebi were prepared nicely.  As for the veggies, I thought the yam and sweet potato were sliced a tad too thin where the batter-to-ingredient ratio was too equal.  Next, the Chirashi Don was attractively constructed as well as sporting an impressive assortment of vibrant-looking sashimi.  It consisted of Tuna, Hamachi, Tako, Tamago, Sockeye Salmon, Ebi and Tai.  I enjoyed all the neatly cut pieces except for the tamago as it was a bit crumbly in texture.  All of this sat atop chewy sushi rice which was well-seasoned with a purposeful amount of rice wine vinegar.

Lastly, I got one of their specialty rolls being the Red Dragon.  It was a spicy tuna roll topped with avocado, unagi and tobiko finished with unagi sauce.  I thought this was carefully constructed with a minimal amount of rice.  The spicy tuna was quite mild, but texturally on point.  The unagi was buttery with just the right amount of sauce. On another visit, I was intrigued by the Stinky Roll (due to the name).  It was comprised of a tuna roll with fried garlic chips, yam strings, tempura bits and baby scallops finished off by a combination of sauces.  This looked much larger than the sum of its parts, but was decent nonetheless. Once again, the small amount of rice was chewy and surprisingly good.  The garlic chips could've been fried longer as they were chewy rather than crunchy.

I also got the Tonkatsu Don that was served in a small casserole dish.  The pork cutlet itself was not exactly dry, but it wasn't succulent either.  I liked the crispy breading though.  Similar to the chiraishi don, the rice was chewy and toothsome.  However, it was doused in teriyaki sauce which didn't really go with the tonkatsu.  Also, the addition of sprouts and onions made the rice a bit wet. Despite the strange Tonkatsu Don, the rest of the items were solid. Definitely more-than-acceptable for Cloverdale and ultimately decent in general.

The Good:
- Carefully prepared sushi and sashimi
- Nice people

The Bad:
- It may upset those looking for authenticity (I didn't mind it)
- Not expensive, but not cheap either

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