Sherman's Food Adventures: Yui Japanese Bistro

Yui Japanese Bistro

When it first arrived on the scene in Vancouver, Miku's Aburi Salmon Oshi was a revelation.  Seared sushi with tasty sauces suddenly became a thing and soon after, many different establishments tried to copy the success.  There have been some pretty awful renditions, yet some have quenched the aburi thirst such as Kishimoto, Green Leaf and Victoria Sushi.  However, nothing seemed to completely match the complete formula produced by Miku and its sister restaurant Minami...  until now.  Take 2 former chefs from Miku and one small hidden restaurant in a Downtown high rise and you get Yui Japanese Bistro.

Grace and I decided to check out what all the fuss and hype was about regarding their version of aburi sushi.  But before we got to that, we ordered some other items including the Hawaiian Poke Bowl with sake, maguro, bincho, onion, akanori, ogonori, cherry tomato, sweet corn, aonori mayo and chef's special sauce (tasted like ponzu).  This was a modestly-size bowl that could've used a bit more rice as there was more than enough ingredients.  The rice itself was nicely chewy where the rest of the toppings and sauce didn't make it too soft.  I thought the flavours were pretty good with a balance of sweetness and saltiness.  Next, we tried the Traditional selection of nigiri that included chopped scallop, tamago, hokkigai, tako, ebi, tai and sockeye salmon.  Nothing particularly amiss with the fish as they tasted and ate like they were supposed too.  The rice was chewy and well-portioned for the amount of fish on top.

Onto the main event, we got all 3 types of aburi sushi including Salmon, Ebi and Saba Oshi.  Each was a half order and the total for the plate was $16.00 (much more reasonably-priced than Miku).  We ended up trying the saba first where it was buttery and tart.  I'm not usually a fan of saba, but this one was done beautifully with a salty and briny-tasting sauce.  The ebi was meaty and sweet with equal parts tanginess, creaminess and smokiness atop the same chewy sushi rice.  For me, the original salmon oshi was my favourite where the fish was buttery and sweet.  The signature buttery and caramelized sauce was rich and effectively spiced by the thin slice of jalapeno.  Our last items consisted one each of Chopped Scallop and California Roll.  These were pretty much standard where the amount of scallop was too meager while the Cali roll was there to satisfy the less adventurous.  But really, it is all about the aburi sushi here and you won't be disappointed with any of them.

The Good:
- On point aburi oshi
- Reasonably-priced
- Limited menu

The Bad:
- The place is super small, expect a wait or to be crammed in
- Other items are only average compared to the aburi oshi
- Smallish portions

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