For all of the higher end Japanese restaurants in town, there are a few smaller joints that do a pretty good job for a lot less money. For example, we have Kishimoto, Victoria Sushi and Green Leaf Sushi that serve up above-average eats and in some ways can be just as good as the big boys. So when I read online that Naruto Sushi on Commercial Drive fit that criteria, I had to give it a try. Grace tagged along for this food adventure and of course we ordered too much food for 2 people...
We began with an order each of the Tako and Real Crab Sunomono Salad. These were fairly large in size and a little overfilled with liquid. I was expecting something quite flavourful due to this, but ultimately, it was too mild for my tastes. It was mostly sweet with very little tartness and the noodles were pretty soft. On the other hand, I did like the fluffy crab meat as well as the crunch of the cucumber and interestingly, broccoli. We moved onto the Ebi Tempura next and it sported a thick batter that was firmly crunchy. We weren't huge fans of the ebi itself because it was dense and chewy. Furthermore, they weren't de-veined and that was a bit unappetizing.
For our one specialty sushi roll, we chose the I Love Vancouver featuring spicy tuna and cucumber in the middle and topped with tempura tuna, lettuce and dressing. As much as the spicy tuna was flavourful and texturally on point, the tempura tuna was dry and unappealing. Moreover, the "green salad" topping made things overly wet. It is very possible we picked the wrong roll because we didn't enjoy this one. We also got 2 pieces each of the Ikura and Ungai Nigiri. These were okay where the rice underneath was a touch wet, but still chewy and well-seasoned. To ensure we would be full, I added the Tonkatsu Don as well. The one positive of this dish was the chewy rice underneath. Otherwise, it was a fail as the pork chop was dry and chewy with a coating that slid off (which was mushy).
We ended things off with the Assorted Sashimi which was reasonably priced at $16.95. The slices were a bit thick, but then again, a good value in theory (I would've liked them thinner for a less cumbersome texture). I particularly liked the sockeye salmon as it was firmly buttery while naturally sweet. The tako was a bit spongy and wet though. When it was all said and done, Grace and I agreed that Naruto Sushi serves the neighbourhood well with inexpensive Japanese fare. However, it is hardly a destination restaurant as it rates average in our books.
- Friendly people
- Best word to describe the food would be average
- Not a very big place, do take out