Sherman's Food Adventures: Waraku Sushi

Waraku Sushi

As we played the last few games of the Spring season, the start times generally got earlier and earlier.  This was directly related to the end of youth leagues that usually get the best times.  With a 6:30pm game, it opened up a wealth of opportunities when it came to food afterwards.  Since we've been ending around midnight for the past few months, I just didn't even bother checking out new places for late night (hence my weekly visits to Myst).  However, we got to check out a small little Japanese joint out on Lonsdale this time around in the form of Waraku Sushi.

Unassuming from the outside, and modestly decorated on the inside, Waraku is the prototypical neighbourhood sushi restaurant.  So much so, the staff even asked how we knew about the place because everyone else were regulars!  We started off with the small Assorted Sashimi sporting salmon, tuna, tai, amaebi and hokkagai.  This was pretty good where the fish exhibited a nice sheen and fresh smell.  Texturally, both the tuna and salmon were on point.  Next up we had the Assorted Tempura with ebi, zucchini, carrot, sweet potato and yellow pepper.  This featured a fairly thin layer of batter that was crispy and light. The veggies were cooked just enough where they still retained a bite.  This was especially so with the zucchini as it can often be too soft.  I found the ebi to be meaty with a light snap.

Onto some rolls, we had the House Roll consisting of salmon, tuna, imitation crab and avocado.  Unlike some other spots, this was just the right size where we could pick it up without everything falling out.  Once again, the ingredients were fresh while the roll itself was constructed carefully.  Although a touch soft, the sushi rice was still chewy and lightly seasoned.  Normally, I don't order deep fried sushi rolls since they can be oily and not actually crispy.  However, the Volcano Roll here was actually good.  It sported a thin crispy exterior that gave way to warm sushi rice that was still chewy (a bit soft though).

The large order of Chicken Karaage was probably my favourite cooked item as it featured large nuggets of boneless leg meat.  It was super juicy and well-seasoned where each piece was tender.  The oil must've been at the optimum temperature as the outside was crispy while not greasy.  On the side, there was a mayo dip that was lightly sweet and creamy.  Sporting 6 pieces, the pork Gyoza were a little different in that the dumpling skin was super thin.  So much so, one of them had a tear even before we picked it up.  Not only was it thin, the skin was super delicate and a bit wet.  We would've liked to see some more elasticity and robust texture.  Inside, the pork filling was succulent and juicy while mildly seasoned.

We ended up adding 2 items after the fact with the Dream Roll and Chicken Yakiudon.  Constructed carefully much like the other 2 rolls, the dream roll was essentially a California roll with unagi on top.  Once again, the sushi rice was on the softer side (and warm too), but it was still chewy and there was just enough of it.  The roll ate well with buttery soft unagi that was lightly sauced.  As for the yakiudon, it arrived on a sizzling cast iron plate.  We found the udon to be a bit too soft, but it wasn't mushy.  The dish was a touch wet where caramelization was lacking even with the hot plate.  It did taste good with balanced flavours while the amount of cabbage and chicken was plentiful.  Overall, the food at Waraku was more than acceptable.  Add in reasonable prices and friendly people, it is a great choice if you are in the neighbourhood.

The Good:
- Above average eats
- Reasonable prices
- Nice people

The Bad:
- Sushi rice could be a bit chewier

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