Restaurant: Sushi Garden – Japanese Restaurant
Last visited: January 25, 2010
Area: Burnaby, BC
Address: 4635 Kingsway
Price range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Cheap sushi, that’s good!
- Bang for you buck
- Pretty generous portions and big pieces
- Extensive menu
- Some creative/fusion rolls
- Lots of seating and still very busy!
- Very casual
- Very busy at lunch and dinner
- Set menus
- Same owners as California Sushi in Coquitlam
- Line-ups/wait list right at 6pm
- Dine in/Take out
- Serves alcohol
- Mon-Sat 11am-10pm
- Sunday 11:30-9:30pm
- Free parking at rear
Recommendation: Alaska roll, Tuna Gomae, (Also popular for Dynamite roll, chopped scallop roll, sashimi)
I’ve been to Sushi Garden on several occasions, but every time I go I always have to wait 20min before I get seated. It’s busy in there all the time! Even when I get there at 6pm there’s already a waitlist. The main reason: the price! Yes it is a cheap sushi joint, but is it good? I think it is! The pieces are pretty big (not like Samurai Sushi big, but still big) and you can eat like a king for $12-15 including tax and tip! It’s nothing fancy and they have a huge menu so it’s a great go-to place. The value is definitely there and when I’m up for quick, satisfying and something affordable – then this is a great choice.
So apparently the owners are Korean although some of their recipes seem to have some Chinese influence. (You’ll see what I mean). There are some fusion/creative dishes which, as you know, I always like! It’s a pleasant surprise and unexpected for a sushi joint of this style.
I was with my friend who was visiting from Austria and we were shopping for hours at Metrotown across the street. Originally I wanted to go to a nicer sushi place, but we were too hungry and wanted something close by. He had only tried sushi once at a Chinese restaurant in Austria so I had to bring him for sushi! I know?! What an alien right?! He ended up trying Shanghai River, Sushi Garden, Japadog, La Belle Patate, Benkei Ramen, Blenz Coffee, East is East, smoked salmon, candied salmon, and maple syrup with French toast! I think that’s a pretty damn good introduction/summary of Vancouver/Canada!
On the table
Tuna Gomae – 4.5/6
- Tuna sashimi marinated in gomae sauce and spinach $4.95
- It’s tangy, nutty and citrusy because they mix the gomae (sesame) sauce with ponzu vinaigrette. It’s a pretty big bowl with 8 big cubes of tuna.
- The tuna isn’t the best quality and it’s not really cut in a way that would enhance the most flavour. But there’s still so much sauce and it’s so flavourful that it’s strong enough to absorb into the tuna.
- I really like how they give you some spinach gomae on top too.
- This photo is from last summer so I can’t comment on it too much because it was a while ago. The sauce was more like a vinaigrette than it is a sesame sauce though…however I remember it being good.
- I would have ordered it again, but I didn’t know if it was “too exotic” for the Austrian.
Haru Maki – 3.5/6
- Vege, tobiko, crab meat $3.50 (Their definition sucks! Of course people wouldn’t order it if they don’t know what it is!…but I guess I would lol)
- My definition: Crabmeat, cucumber, red pepper, avocado, pea shoots and tobiko wrapped in a rice paper roll $3.50
- Ok, for what it is and the price you pay…totally worth it! It’s not the best, but it’s still good. The best ones I’ve had thus far are the ones at Ki-Isu Sushi.
- It reminds me of a Vietnamese salad roll, but instead of vermicelli it’s crab! A lot too! It’s creamy from the avocado and crunchy from all the fresh vegetables. It was a great appetizer. I could have used more tobiko, but for $3.50 I’m not complaining. It was still good!
- They served it with a Teriyaki Hoisin sauce which was great…but along side was a Japanese salad dressing that tastes like Thousand Island dressing. The Hoisin was great but the Japanese salad dressing did not match. I mean does mixing Teriyaki, Hoisin sauce and Thousand Island salad dressing sound good to you? I was good with just the Teriyaki Hoisin sauce. I actually asked for more sauce because they didn’t drizzle enough.
Tako Yaki – 2/6
- If you’ve never tried tako yaki than these are good! But if you have then this is a 2/6 because they’re a pretty cheap version of the real deal.
- Tako Yaki is simply baked or fried octopus balls. It’s a popular street food usually made of batter, dice octopus, pickled ginger, green onions and topped with fish/squid shavings, Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (thicker sweet sauce).
- These ones we re a bit mushy and mostly consisted of batter. I had a very small small piece of octopus in mine, but just one and it was a bit tough from being overcooked.
- I wanted more filling, because they were a bit too airy although the main ingredients were there. I could taste the pickled ginger and onion although it was very little.
- It was creamy, gummy and almost like a glutinous dumpling. It’s like eating a very soft mochi.
- I like the texture and flavour of these; they’re soft, chewy, salty, sweet and a little bit juicy oddly enough. They’re not amazing here, but they’re not bad either.
Alaska Roll – 6/6
- Avocado, tobiko, salmon $3.95
- This is THE roll to order here. It’s delicious and what I’m guaranteed to order it every time I come.
- The avocado is almost like guacamole. It almost seems like they mash it a bit so it’s really creamy and actually quite rich. You need to really like avocado to like this roll.
- The sauce is what makes it different and so good! You don’t need any soy sauce or wasabi with it. You can if you want, but it’s not necessary.
- The sauce they drizzle on top is their own unique sauce. It tastes like a Miso Ponzu type sauce. It’s very tangy like citrus vinaigrette and savoury and sweet to because of the Miso paste…I’m certain it’s in there!
- It’s a perfect one-bite piece of sushi and they don’t use the rice to make it look big. The rice is flavourful too.
- It could use more salmon, but for $3.95 it’s fine. I would have liked some cucumber in there though. Give it a nice crunch because everything was really creamy, however the sauce breaks it up and is the perfect touch.
- I actually asked them for an extra side of sauce…I really like it. They didn’t charge me either which is nice.
Dynamite Roll – 3/6
- Prawn tempura, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, tobiko $3.95
- This is another one of their most popular rolls. I’m not sure why though. I think it’s quite normal and there’s no special sauce that comes with it.
- It’s a pretty big roll though. There was a lot of cucumber and I think too much because it was the dominant flavour. Not really much else to say here.
- Again, I do like how they don’t use the rice to make the sushi look big.
Island Roll – 2/6
- Cooked tuna, tamago, fish flake, with fresh kiwi sauce $4.95
- This is one of their creative fusion rolls. I need to try at least something “different” and not just the popular items right?!
- This one was a bit dry because the tuna was jut a canned cooked tuna and I think it needed to be marinated more. They just marinated it in mayo and not enough of it either.
- The kiwi sauce was literally fresh kiwi mashed up. It was sweet and citrusy.
- Overall the roll was salty and sweet, but more on the sweet side. The kiwi actually didn’t work as well as I would have liked. It was a bit overpowering and the roll needed to be saltier.
- There’s also tamago in it although it doesn’t say on the menu. It doesn’t matter though because you can’t taste it at all. Besides the kiwi sauce the tuna was the only ingredient I tasted.
- This roll is actually better if you dip it in soy sauce and wasabi…yes even with the kiwi sauce. It works!