Sherman's Food Adventures: Sushi Tree

Sushi Tree

For those who love sushi, I'm sure that the basic Inari Nigiri is something that you see on the menu and rarely order.  Hey, I actually like Inari, but even with that, I bypass it and go with the seafood more often than not.  However, the Inari that we see here is not the only way it can be presented.  We finally see a place in the Lower Mainland that is offering different variations of Inari sushi ready-to-go and reasonably-priced considering its size and plethora of toppings.  I was actually tipped off by several IGers who had posted the photogenic Inari sushi from Sushi Tree in Coquitlam.  So I made my way out there to grab some for the fam on hot day in Vancouver.

Sushi Tree is a small store and it is strictly takeout, so do not go during peak hours or you will be waiting outside.  Currently, they only have small boxes, so no platters for a get-togethers or parties at this time.  Only 5 fit to a box and really, this is plenty for one person.  Underneath all of them is a mix of sushi rice and a touch of quinoa.  I decided to grab the Chopped Salmon and Spicy Salmon as a starting point.  I kid you not, these were an even 50-50 ratio of rice-to-toppings.  Now some of them weren't exactly that proportion, but most were.  The salmon was fresh and buttery.  I found the spicy to live up to its namesake.

They also offer an array of cooked items as well including Prawn Tempura, Unagi and Beef Teriyaki.  Since the tempura was not made-to-order, it was not exactly crunchy anymore.  Furthermore, the unagi and beef were only lukewarm.  Therefore, I recommend that you bring a cooler with you to grab these (if you are traveling some distance) and then reheat when it comes time to serve them.  I found that that these were pretty predictable and good for what they were.  Plenty of flavours from the truffle mayo, unagi sauce and teriyaki in the beef.

Continuing on with cooked items, I also got the Chicken Teriyaki, Spicy Pork and Corn.  The one in the middle was the sole raw one being Masago with pickles.  Similar to the beef teriyaki, the chicken was typical.  The chicken was tender and cooked right while the sauce was gingery.  The spicy pork was a bit greasy and only mildly spicy.  The meat was juicy though.  I found the corn to be quite good with bursts of sweetness.  Although I didn't think I would enjoy the masago as much as I did, the addition of pickles really brought the thing alive.  Nice tang and crunch.

One Inari that I thought should have not been cooked was the Scallop.  Not that they were overdone or anything, but the sweetness and buttery softness of scallops was missing.  The cooked Shrimp featured the classic plump bounce texture.  It had natural shrimp flavour as well.  Despite it being a defaultish item, I really liked the Imitation Crab as there was lots of it and they kept them in strands rather than chopping it up.  I enjoyed the texture of it.

Back to raw, I also got the Spicy Tuna.  It was more of a negitoro-style mix with spice.  Like the spicy salmon, this was noticeably spicy.  Could be due to the Korean influences here.  There was so much tuna on top, it looked to be more ingredients than rice.  Something that seemed rather basic was also quite tasty in the Wakame.  It was nicely seasoned with sesame oil and acidity.  Addition of red pepper not only provided colour, it gave some different sweetness.

When you have something like this, it is only natural that it would be paired up with Egg and Spam.  Well, if they were together, it would be like a musubi.  I guess you could take alternating bites between the two (and have some nori snacks ready?).  Anyways, the eggs were fluffy with a touch of truffle oil.  As for the Spam, there was a good amount on top and was dressed in sweet teriyaki sauce (much like a musubi.

Originally, I wasn't going to order the Cooked Tuna nor the Avocado.  However, the nice people there threw these into my order for no extra charge.  Turns out that the tuna was tasty.  Think tuna fish sandwich meets sushi.  Went well with the chewy and properly-seasoned sushi rice.  As for the avocado, it was creamy and ripe which also went well with the rice.  Now at first I was concerned with the sweetness of the Inari, but I found that the individual ingredients stood up well and the Inari (wasn't too sweet itself) only became a vessel for the contents.  Overall, we enjoyed these and I found them unique and a good value.  They have other options too that rotate in and out including Aburi Salmon and Smoked Salmon.  I've tried these as well and I would say pass on the aburi as it is a bit too cooked for my tastes.  I'm sure they will have more coming out and I will gladly go back to try (I've been there 3 times already!).

The Good:
- Unique
- They are large with plenty of topping, good value
- Lots of options

The Bad:
- Maybe the scallop should be raw
- They need larger trays for party orders


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