Sherman's Food Adventures: Shin Ka Gyuu 辛火牛

Shin Ka Gyuu 辛火牛

There once was a time where AYCE (all-you-can-eat) anything was super popular in the Lower Mainland.  Yes, there are still some kicking around, but with the ever-increasing amount of foodies, those places are not seen as "The" places to go especially for posting on IG.  Hey, I agree since the food quality at AYCE joints tend to be lower and the execution can be hit and miss.  If we look at AYCE hot pot, it can get even dicier as the prices aren't exactly cheap.  Add in the surcharge for broth(s) and sauce(s), it can quickly add up to North of $50.00 easy (depending on the class of restaurant).  So when Shin Ka Gyuu opened up in the old Joey location on Broadway, I was pretty skeptical as it was charging even more than that for their AYCE sukiyaki menu.  Mijune and I were invited to try it out recently, so it was a good chance to see what it was all about.

They have 2 dinner menus at $58.00 and $78.00 each with the pricier one featuring more variety of meats including Wagyu.  There is a special going on where you can get the $78.00 menu for $58.00 during the day before 4:00pm.  Although the menu is AYCE, there is a limit on the Sashimi where we got 4 pieces of Atlantic salmon, 2 spot prawns, 4 pieces of hamachi and 4 pieces of hokkigai. Too bad there was a limit because the quality of the sashimi was quite good.

Moving onto the Sushi, we were served Ebi Aburi and Salmon Aburi Oshi as well as SKG Dragon Roll and Ka Gyuu Roll.  The sushi rice itself was a little on the wetter side, but it wasn't bad at all.  The rolls and oshi were constructed well.  Although the aburi was torched enough for effect, there was a bit too much mayo/sauce on top.  The salmon and ebi underneath were nicely textured and fresh.  I would say these were more than acceptable given they were unlimited.

There was also a bunch of Appetizers available including Tako Wasabi, Seaweed Salad, Cucumber Salad, Jellyfish Salad, Tuna Avocado Salad and Tofu Salad.  I thought they were all pretty solid and in fact, appetizing.  In particular, the tuna salad was full of tuna and salmon.  We asked for more of that without the mayo and voila, more sashimi (see below)!  Even though the soft imitation crab on the softer tofu was all the same texture, I got another.  I liked it for some reason.  Jellyfish salad and seaweed salad were typical, but appealing.  Tako Wasabi was a bit sweet, but also a nice appie.

We got a few more things before the sukiyaki.  They included Onsen Tamago, Chicken Karaage and Kimchi.  Somehow, we didn't get the takoyaki and gyoza, but we had more than enough food already.  Egg was perfectly silky in the centre and the seasoning was just enough.  Chicken karaage was a bit small, so it was more crunch than chicken.  Kimchi was tangy and slightly spicy.  Wish there was some fermented shrimp in there.

Now the main event with the Sukiyaki with the original broth as well as Karai.  We preferred the sukiyaki broth as it was flavourful with depth.  Even though the karai was spicy, it needed more salt.  We had all the meats including Pork Belly, Beef Short Plate, Wagyu Beef Short Plate, Prime Boneless Chuck Flap, Beef Chuck Eye Roll and Chef's Choice (we didn't know what that was...  LOL).  All of them were tender and moist, even after cooking all the way through.  The quality of the meats was high and that alone justifies the price.

We sampled all of the desserts (of course we did, Mijune wouldn't want it any other way) and it was hit and miss.  The highlights included the Green Tea and Black Sesame Ice Cream as well as the Matcha Tofu. That tofu was so silky and just sweet enough.  I could have many of those.  So in the end, much like any other AYCE, we could pick at some of the faults.  However, given the modern dining space (which had great Covid protocol), high quality of the meats and some appealing appies, it was really worth the price.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good: 

- Excellent meat quality

- Nice dining space

- Decent variety

The Bad:

- Dessert can be hit and miss


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