Sherman's Food Adventures: Jiro Sushi & Ramen

Jiro Sushi & Ramen

Well, what do we have here?  Another Japanese restaurant!  Yes, not super-exciting as we have these dime-a-dozen type of joints everywhere in the city.  But with a name like Jiro Sushi & Ramen, one could be very well putting themselves out there.  Jiro Ono, to many, happens to be the greatest sushi chef in the world.  Well, we knew going in that we weren't going to be dining on Michelin 3-star sushi, but we did go in with some form of expectations (as in edible).  But after looking over the menu, the super-reasonable prices allowed us to temper those expectations.

We started with the Prawn Tempura that were large and seemed to sport a fairly aggressive batter.  It was on the thicker side, but ultimately, it was still crispy and decent.  The greasiness was kept to a minimum while the whole dish was served piping hot.  I thought the prawn itself was more meaty than having a snap, but it was fine nonetheless.  Next up was the 13-piece Assorted Sashimi for $13.95!  No that is not a typo, it really was that low in price.  In terms of overall quality and preparation, it was fine.  The tuna was soft and buttery, but a little bland.  Shockingly, there was sockeye salmon and it was actually texturally on point while somewhat sweet.  We weren't fans of the tai (snapper) though as it was spongy.

For our maki sushi, we chose the Spicy Dragon Roll consisting of a shrimp, imitation crab and avocado topped with unagi and spicy tuna.  It was further finished off with crunchy panko.  The thing that ruined everything was the sushi rice.  It was warm and far too soft and crumbly.  It was lacking the classic chewiness where each grain of rice would be discernible.  Other than that, the tuna was spicy enough to impact the overall flavours.  The same warm and almost mushy rice was the downfall of the Nigiri as well.  We got one each of the Toro, Unagi and Hotate (even though we ordered Hamachi).  Although the unagi and hotate were fine, the toro was not particularly buttery nor flavourful.  There was also too much rice for the amount of fish.

Since the place has "ramen" in its name, we took the risk and got the Tonkotsu with firm noodles, chashu, ajitsuki tomago, green onion, bean sprouts, snow peas and corn.  Surprisingly, the pork broth was actually decent with a certain milkiness and porkiness.  It wasn't outstanding, but fine for a non-ramen shop restaurant.  Noodles were al dente, but could've been chewier while the chashu varied between tender and chewy.  Lastly, we had the Soft Shell Crab (not sure why it showed up last) and it was pretty good.  The soft and creamy crab was coated in just enough batter to make it crispy without being heavy.  It was salted enough to completely season the dish.  We didn't need the dip as a result.  Overall, Jiro offered up inexpensive Japanese food that was okay in terms of the cooked items, but the sushi needs some work.

The Good:
- Cheap
- Cooked items were not bad
- Friendly people

The Bad:
- Sushi needs work
- Sushi rice needs even more work

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