There used to be a time when it was easy to meet up with the few active food bloggers in Vancouver. We could literally sit at one table. Fast forward to the present and we'd probably need a concert hall for everyone. Hence, it is not often that I get to meet up with a blogger (that I've never met before) one-on-one for a meal. Since we are both involved in the Chinese Restaurant Awards, Emily (aka Miss Piggy Vancouver) and I got a chance to connect and grab a bite to eat at one of her "to visit" restaurants in Sushi Loku located where Seb's used to be.
We ended up getting an assortment of eats including the Assorted Sashimi. Plated attractively and consisting of appealing cuts of fish, we were pretty excited to dig in. The best slices by far was the Hamachi in my opinion. They were buttery with a fresh sweetness while not being too soft. We also enjoyed the salmon and tuna equally as they were skillfully prepared. With the 6 pieces of Nigiri (Toro, Tai and Unagi), the vibrancy of the fish was also apparent by appearance, smell, taste and texture. Underneath, the sushi rice was appealingly chewy while mildly seasoned. As much as unagi can be pretty sweet and one note in flavour, the one here had a buttery smokiness.
Although Fried Softshell Crab was not on the menu, Emily used her charm (or was it persistence) to order such a dish. She requested a lighter batter and we got exactly that. The fairly large crab was crispy (albeit a touch greasy) on the outside while still soft and sweet on the inside. It was mildly salted where it didn't overwhelm the delicate crab. Trying to channel Miku into the meal, we got their version of the Aburi Salmon Oshi. Compared to Miku, this one seemed less "buttery" and soft. The rice was definitely firmer while the jalapeno slice was thicker. Therefore, the whole thing was more stiff in general. With that being said, the salmon was still soft while the flavour was a bit spicier. Personally, this one had nothing on Miku.
We ended off with 2 rolls including the Paradise Roll consisting of mango, marinated tuna, sushi rice, cucumber, avocado and lettuce in rice paper sauced with ponzu and sesame. Although the individual ingredients were quite good, somehow the roll didn't work as a whole. It probably had something to do with the rice paper. There was a level of disconnect. On the other hand, the Beef Tataki Roll was pretty good. It was made up of 2 ebi tempura, avocado and imitation crab topped with beef, garlic chips, green onion and ponzu. The buttery beef was only lightly seared and equally lightly sauced by the ponzu. Combined with the garlic chip, there was some nice aroma going on to compliment what was essentially a glorified dynamite roll. With the items we tried, Sushi Loku came through with aesthetically-pleasing food at reasonable prices. A place to consider if you were in the neighbourhood.
- Aesthetically-pleasing food
- Good ingredients for the price
- Food came out a bit slow
- Food was good, but they looked better than they ate