Sherman's Food Adventures: Hello Nori (The Amazing Brentwood)

Hello Nori (The Amazing Brentwood)

I've been waiting a very long time for this.  It seemed like Hello Nori was never going to open their Brentwood location...  At first, we saw the signage go up and then it disappeared.  This was like 2 years ago.  My assumption was that they no longer were going to have a location in Burnaby.  As much as I love Hello Nori, I wasn't super enthused about driving into Downtown for my hand roll fix.  Lo and behold, the spot opened up all of a sudden!  I was both shocked and pleasantly-surprised.  Jackie and I went for a tasting a few days after their official opening.

In addition to their a la carte items, Hello Nori features 4, 5 and 6 roll set menus.  For those who haven't been, the hand rolls are constructed as you finish the last one, so it ensures the integrity of the crispy roasted seaweed as well as the warm rice and cold ingredients.  This combination results in a textural and temperature delight.  One must eat them immediately to experience optimal deliciousness.  But they aren't only hand rolls available.  They also have Sashimi that consists of Hamachi, Bluefin Tuna, King Salmon, Hokkaido Scallops, Tamago and diced sashimi.  It goes without saying that this looked beautiful with a nice sheen and vibrant colours.  It was also on point in terms of sweetness (quite impactful) and buttery texture.

Most people will go for the 6-hand roll set and it starts with the Toro (which is actually a Negitoro) with tuna belly and green onions.  I've always felt that their ingredient-to-rice ratio has been on point.  There is enough warm, seasoned chewy sushi rice to keep everything together while the amount of filling is substantial.  Hence, the hand rolls eat really well with this one sporting buttery soft tuna belly with fresh green onions.  Seasoning is spot on too with just enough to keep it from being plain.

Next hand roll is the Yellowtail (or Hamachi) that unsurprisingly is buttery and soft.  The natural sweetness of the fish comes through clearly.  The quality of the yellowtail is obvious with sweet hits of the sea accented by just a minimal amount of seasoning to enhance the natural flavours.  You can eat this without the aid of the soy on the side as well as the freshly-grated wasabi.  Yes, it is that naturally sweet that only a smattering of soy is necessary.

So one of the best hand rolls in the set is the Ora King Salmon.  I swear the salmon they use here is some of the sweetest natural-tasting fish around.  Not bad considering the price point.  If you've never had this type of fish before, you are truly missing out.  Beyond the taste, the fish itself is buttery soft and has a freshness about it (well as fresh as flash-frozen can get).  Once again, it is mildly-seasoned and does not need anything else really.

If having Ora King Salmon isn't a big enough treat, the hand roll with Hokkaido Scallop and tobiko is equally yummy.  The sweetness quotient of the scallops rivals that of the salmon where the conservative amount of mayo only helps accentuate the natural sweetness that already exists.  Already experiencing the sashimi itself, we know that this hand roll would be delicious.  Combine the buttery scallops with the mayo and crispy nori, this is even tastier.

Moving onto the last two hand rolls in the 6-roll set, we find the only two that feature cooked ingredients.  The first of which is the Snow Crab with delicate and fluffy crab that is mixed with just enough sweet mayo.  The contrast between the chewy and warm sushi rice with the soft snow crab creates a deluxe version of a California roll without the avocado.  Unlike the imitation crab in a Cali roll, this one here is so pure in sweetness and slight brininess.  Delicious.

Save the best for last right?  The 6th roll in the set is the Truffle Lobster.  They are not playing around here as the chunks of lobster are large and not the scraps.  It has the usual bouncy texture while being sweet and slightly briny.  With a bit of truffle mayo, this is so luxurious and expensive-tasting.  The truffle isn't overwhelming as it only compliments the natural flavours of the lobster.  Again, the warm rice and crisp nori makes this a textural delight.

There are a la carte items on the menu too including the Blue Fin Tuna hand roll.  Knowing that the slices of blue fin in the sashimi plate are already buttery and super sweet, it is only an expectation that it will be the same in the hand roll.  That it is and it is also the beneficiary of being marinated offering up the slightest in complimentary flavours.  To literally top it off, they freshly grind roasted sesame seeds to offer up some nuttiness.

Oh let's get even more bougie with the featured hand roll of the day with the A5 Wagyu and Hokkaido Uni!  Before they roll this up, the Wagyu is torched along with petrified Japanese oak to give it a unique smokiness.  Tack on a good amount of Hokkaido uni and you get the creaminess to go with the fatty meatiness.  Slight smoky notes come through too.  Since the Wagyu is so buttery soft, the roll can be eaten without fear of it sliding out.

Other than the handrolls and sashimi, there is also an option to add some Aburi Oshi in the form of salmon and ebi.  They are very much like the ones you will find at Miku/Minami and they eat as such.  The sushi rice is chewy and lightly seasoned with just enough mayo on top for moisture and flavour.  They do not feel greasy and are a nice addition to any hand-roll set.  All-in-all, Hello Nori is one of my go to spots in the city since they offer up fresh ingredients, on point execution and in my mind, reasonable pricing.  I'm so glad they opened up in my hood!

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Fresh quality ingredients
- On point execution
- Their cocktails are pretty yummy too

The Bad:
- As with the other location, not a place where you sit for long (food comes out fast and it is bar seating)


Search this Site