Sherman's Food Adventures: Green Leaf Cafe (Burnaby)

Green Leaf Cafe (Burnaby)

Essentially started by Miku, the aburi sushi craze has not stopped.  In fact, we have many places offering the infamous aburi salmon oshi to varying degrees of success.  For me, Miku/Minami is still the gold standard while a few produce very good replications such as Yui Bistro, Kishimoto, Victoria Sushi and Green Leaf.  The latter has now opened up a bigger location at the old Paros spot adjacent to Lougheed Mall.  We decided to check it out with some relatives who were visiting for the weekend.

Since we have been eating non-stop since they arrived, we needed some greens, so we ordered the Green Leaf Salad with a light ginger vinaigrette.  Yah, this wasn't anything sexy, but it was a nicely constructed and fresh salad.  Loved the bits of corn as it provided texture and pops of sweetness.  Okay, as much as the salad was a nice departure from the heavy foods we've been having lately, this was not the reason we were here.  So we made sure there was balance with the Crispy Chicken (15 piece) seasoned with garlic soy and served with garlic mayo.  This was on point with a thin layer of uniformly crispy batter.  The chicken remained moist and juicy while being lightly flavourful.  I would've liked to see more garlic soy for impact.  Even without the mayo, I thought the chicken stood on its own.

Okay, we were really here for the aburi, so we got the Green Leaf Signature Aburi Platter consisting of mackerel oshi, tuna yuuke oshi, tobiko roll, salmon oshi, basil prawn oshi and scallop oshi.  Compared to the first time I had these at their Kits location, I thought everything was more carefully made and less greasy.  My favourite was the tuna as it was buttery soft with aromatic hits of sesame oil.  The salmon was not far off with a creamy oshi sauce accented by a thin slice of jalapeno.  With the brightness of basil and the saltiness of parmesan, the ebi was possibly the most impactful of the bunch.  My son loved the scallop as it was buttery soft with equal parts of creaminess atop chewy sushi rice.  The only thing that could've been better would be the doneness of the fish as it was fully cooked.

One of the most interesting dishes we had was the Tornado Omelette Rice with sweet & savoury demi glace, garlic flakes, tomato and chili.  Yes, this is a mashup of a Korean tornado (or volcano egg) with a Japanese omerice.  The result was a silky and fluffy egg exterior encasing fried rice that was sweet, savoury and slightly spice.  The onion really came through while the sauce was a good compliment to the mildly-flavoured egg.  Neatly plated, the Mentaiko Creamy Linguine was surprisingly spicy.  So much so, it lingered even after several bites.  We found the pasta to be somewhere a bit past al dente, but not overly so.  Thick and creamy, the sauce didn't eat as heavy as it appeared.  The ample amount of cod roe added pops of brininess.  On top, the butterflied prawns were prepared perfectly being sweet with a snap. 

Rounding out our dishes, we had one each of the Sockeye Salmon and Hamachi Sashimi. Without even needing to say a word, it is pretty obvious from the pictures that the both were fresh and vibrant.  The sheen and colour were dead giveaways to what we were about to be treated to.  Although the salmon had a firm butteriness while being naturally sweet, the beautiful hamachi stole the show.  It was delicate and tender with the slightest bite.  There was a definite taste of the sea to go with the usual sweetness.  It goes without saying that our experience at the Lougheed Mall Geen Leaf was better than our visit at their Kits location.  Everything was carefully prepared and the food was generally quite good.  We thought the pricing was reasonable as well.

The Good:
- More spacious than their other location
- Reasonably-priced
- Food was above-average

The Bad:
- The cook on the aburi could be less aggressive


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