Sherman's Food Adventures: Sushi U

Sushi U

If you do not live in the Burnaby North area, specifically around Broadway near Holdom, you would hardly know the restaurants that reside in the small strip mall featuring Buy-Low Foods.  There is a good small Vietnamese spot called White Lotus as well as a Chinese restaurant in Garlic & Chili.  We cannot forget Parkcrest Diner with its ol' skool eats.  There is also a newish Japanese restaurant there named Sushi U in the location formerly occupied by Bentei Sushi.  I've been to Bentei in the past and it was a run-down spot with very average eats.  However, we wanted to give Sushi U a try because they have completely remodeled the place and reviews have been good.

The first thing we noticed, other than the modern decor, was the fairly premium pricing of the menu.  We do understand that food costs are high and it will reflect in restaurant menus.  Our first item was the Assorted Tempura consisting of ebi, yam, kobacha, green bean and broccoli.  This was quite good where everything was lightly-battered and crispy.  Grease was kept to a minimum and the ingredients were cooked just right.  Beans and broccoli still had crunch while the yam and squash were soft with a bite.

Next we had the Chicken Katsu served with rice and salad.  This was a fairly large portion with a flattened chicken cutlet that was breaded with panko.  It was deep fried until golden brown where it was crunchy and nutty.  However, the breading didn't adhere well to the chicken and most parts slid off as we picked it up with our chopsticks.  Despite that, we still enjoyed it as the chicken was moist and as mentioned, the panko was crunchy.

Interestingly, we added the Chicken Yakisoba after our original order, but it arrived lightning quick.  I surmised there must've been a backlog of sushi/sashimi orders for takeout.  Anyways, this was also good with a proper ratio of noodles to veggies and meat.  It wasn't too saucy, which I prefer, yet at the same time, it wasn't dry either.  There was enough seasoning that was balanced between sweet, tangy and savoury.  Cabbage was still crunchy while the chicken was tender.

Finally, we made it to the sushi with the Aburi Sampler featuring ebi, tai, salmon, hotate, saba and tuna.  We thought these were decent where the ingredients were fresh and properly portioned in relation to the rice.  These were lightly torched and personally, I would've like to see even more charring.  It might've possibly be due to the conservative amount of sauce on top.  However, I can see how this would be appealing as well, since the whole thing wasn't drenched in mayo either.

For our choice of specialty roll, we selected the classic Rainbow Roll with layers of salmon, tuna, avocado, ebi and hokkigai on top.  As usual, the base was a California Roll and the whole thing was topped with 2 sauces (on being a mayo based and the other being unagi sauce).  This was also quite solid with chewy seasoned rice with plenty of imitation crab meat in the middle.  Ingredients on top were good and evenly portioned.

As per usual, we got some Nigiri for the kids including chopped scallop, unagi, tamago and toro.  Similar to the aburi sampler, the nigiri featured a good ratio of topping to rice.  Hence, it ate well with enough impact from the ingredients.  Chopped scallop was sweet and delicate while the unagi was buttery and soft.  Tamago was rather generic, but the toro was super soft and buttery.  Again, the rice was prepared properly being chewy but not dry.

Lastly, we were served the Assorted Sashimi sporting tuna, Atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, tai, saba and hokkigai.  As you can see in the picture, the fish looked good, with a nice sheen and colour.  Textures were good, especially the sockeye salmon with a firm sweetness.  So in the end, we were actually pretty surprised at the quality and execution of the food at Sushi U.  Way better than the previous place and this could even be in the convo for a hidden gem.

The Good:
- Above average eats
- Simple modern decor
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Prices are just a bit higher than some of the value sushi spots, but I guess they aren't competing against them?
- Due to them being busy with takeout (good for them!), the things that should've came first didn't


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