Hi Genki Japanese Restaurant

Restaurant: Hi Genki Japanese Restaurant
Cuisine: Japanese
Last visited: March 19, 2010
Location: Burnaby, BC (Burnaby South)
Address: 6680 Southoaks Cresent
Price Range:$10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Located inside Nikkei Home (Senior’s home)
  • Located on corner of Kingsway and Sperling
  • Japanese operated
  • Specializes in authentic home made Japanese comfort food
  • Made fresh upon order
  • Quick and very casual
  • Most meals under $10
  • Menu changes; weekly specials
  • Part of Fujiya Restaurant family
  • Provide meals for senior home and public
  • Busy/line-ups at peak hours
  • Casual service
  • Frequented by Japanese and Chinese
  • Bit of a local “gem”
  • Free Green Tea (not powder)
  • Open for lunch and dinner
  • Lunch daily 11:30am-3pm
  • Dinner daily 6pm-8:30pm
  • Free underground parking

**Recommendations:

Hi Genki is part of the Fujiya Japanese Restaurant chains located in the Nikkei Home beside the National Nikkei Heritage Centre. It serves home made traditional Japanese comfort food. Everything is fresh and made upon order and it reminds me of a cafeteria except it’s not self serve or pay at cashier.

Hi Genki is perhaps one of the most word-of-mouth places I’ve ever been to. I would have never discovered it on my own. Kim (I’m Only Here for the Food) introduced me to the restaurant and it’s secret location.

To my surprise it was packed and there was a 15min wait before we were seated. There are a lot of seats too because they use the whole dining room area. I thought I’d be dining with seniors but the people were actually ordinary diners. It’s very casual and it’s obvious that it’s frequented by predominantly Japanese and Chinese regulars.

Hi Genki serves food to a couple senior homes – but don’t judge a book by it’s cover! The food is authentic, good, not bland, quite tasty and I enjoyed the selection. The portions were pretty big and meals were pretty cheap ($10 or less) with a nice selection of appetizers for around $3-$4. They even had some display dishes so I knew what to expect. I enjoyed my experience and although it’s not out of this world it’s a place I would return to and bring other people to. Worth the experience and good value! It kind of reminds me of the Japanese version of Cafe Gloucester.

On the table:

Spinach Gomae – 1/6

  • $2.95
  • This is super hard for me to rate. It actually tasted good, but it wasn’t gomae. There was no sesame sauce at all. Just seeds.
  • The sauce was a sweet Tamari soy sauce.

Korokke – 4.5/6

  • 2 peices of potato croquette $2.95
  • I thought these were great and they’re totally worth it because they’re pretty big. It’s about the size of a hockey puck.
  • It had very crispy Panko crust andthey were fried golden brown – fresh and hot!
  • The inside was creamy fluffy whipped potatoes mixed with carrots, peas and corn (frozen veggies).
  • They served it with a bottle of yoshoku sauce which you put on yourself. It tastes like a bold BBQ sauce.

Agedashi Mushroom/Eggplant 1.5/6

  • It’s actually agedashi mushroom OR eggplant -$2.95
  • I wish they offered a mix, but I was lucky because one piece of eggplant accidentally slipped in!
  • This could have been really good… if they had only served the sauce in a separate bowl.
  • The mushrooms were coated in a simple tempura batter and deep fried. They were great on their own except they were served drowning in sauce and the batter got completely soggy.
  • The sauce is tempura dipping sauce. They serve it the traditional way with grated radish on top too.
  • It was a huge portion with about 5 huge white mushrooms cut in half. The mushrooms were tender and so juicy – but the execution was awful. It had so much potential – I’d make the request next time to have them served separate.
  • The eggplant was tender and juicy as well – but same problem.

Sake Curry – 3/6

  • Flaked salmon with curry on rice $7.95
  • The curry was good, but the fish was mediocre. I mean I don’t expect a fresh salmon but it was 2 filets of boneless and skinless grilled salmon about the size of chicken strips.
  • The salmon was dry, but luckily there was tons of curry sauce to mask it a bit.

  • Japanese curry is much sweeter,and milder than Indian curries.
  • This curry was thick and creamy but it wasn’t thickened with cream. It was thickened from the starches of the potato. It was almost like a curry gravy or stew with chunks of carrots, onions, and potatoes.
  • It was a very homemade version and it wasn’t the best curry ever, but it was good and did it’s job.
  • There a lot of rice, and it’s Japanese rice, but I found it a bit mushy.
  • It was served with a nice portion of salad and half a boiled egg with tangy garlic sesame dressing.

**Hire Katsu Don – 4.5/6

  • Breaded fried pork filet & egg on rice $7.95
  • This is traditional home cooked comfort food.
  • It was a huge portion with 3 rather large breaded pork cutlets. They were crispy if you had them hot, but got soggy quickly if you let them sit. They were fresh, boneless, skinless and very tender. The meat wasn’t chewy at all – it has to be for the seniors anyways =p (I kid, I kid)

  • Underneath the pork cutlets was this amazing egg and caramelized onion scramble. It was sweet savoury and the egg was almost spongy in texture. It was delicious!
  • The onions are not only caramelized but they’re simmered in a Japanese soup stock with added mirin, soy sauce and sugar.
  • The egg is also cooked in this broth so that’s how it gets it’s spongey texture and sweetness. Sometime they serve this with a fried egg and I like that version too.
  • Before putting rice in the bowl they pour a spoon of that sweet savoury broth the onions are cooked in – it almost tastes like Teriyaki sauce. They put the rice on top and it soaks up the soup, but it’s not soggy either. Delish!

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5 Comments

  • KimHo says:

    I am not sure if I would call it a “gem”; it is one of those places people in the area know it exists and accept it for what it is. That’s why I was hesitant on showing it to you! πŸ˜‰

  • Ed Lau says:

    I don’t know…I think you just ordered the wrong things. Katsu Don yes…salmon curry…no.

    The unagi don is highly recommended and a steal at $5. I also recommend the nabeyaki udon and there’s a deep fried ice cream I’m dying to try but they ran out last time I went.

    Either way, this is home-style food…like if you have a Japanese grandmother or something that cooks for you.

  • Mijune says:

    Kim – no I guess it’s not a “gem” in a tradtional sense…but I still think it’s kind of deserving of the name because it’s special in it’s own way

    Ed Lau – Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked the food a lot! πŸ™‚ Keep in mind 3/6 means good – so I actually enjoyed everything pretty much. Except for the gommae which was not gommae….and the agedashi tofu which could have been easily made better.

    Definitely agree that it’s homestyle Japanese grandma food.

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