Restaurant: Mega Sushi
Last visited: June 29, 2012
Location: Richmond, BC (Steveston)
Address: 100-3131 Chatham Street
Transit: EB Chatham St FS 7 Av
Price Range: $10-20 (average bill closer to $20+)
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- Original location in Coquitlam
- Korean owned/operated
- Traditional/creative menu
- Variety of fusion rolls
- Not authentic, but still good
- Quality ingredients
- Fresh sashimi
- Modern atmosphere
- Hidden gem
- Moderately priced
- Accepts credit card
- Dine in/Take out
- Tues-Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
- Closed Monday
**Recommendations: Monkey Brain, Big Boss Roll
The name isn’t going to do it justice. “Mega Sushi” makes it sounds like any other cheap sushi joint specializing in jumbo sized sushi, and it’s not the case at all. It recently opened in a very hidden part in Steveston Village away from the main area where all the restaurants and small shops are located. Unless you live in the neighbourhood or are introduced to it, it is very unlikely you will drive by it. The original location is still in Coquitlam and I haven’t tried that one yet, but its new location was solid and I would go again.
My favourite Japanese restaurant in Steveston is Ichiro located just a few blocks away. It’s actually one of my favourites for Japanese food in Metro Vancouver, so I was sceptical of Mega Sushi being able to keep up with Ichiro’s high standard. I was pleasantly surprised with my dining experience at Mega Sushi and it delivered in a “Mega” way that didn’t involve big portions of bastardized Japanese food.
Judging from the name and even the outside, I wouldn’t have guessed it would be so nice. The modern decor and ambiance was impressive. It was clean and comfortable and it attracted quite the lunch crowd (photo taken after lunch rush) which were likely neighbourhood locals. They also have a nice patio area in the front and the food presented well and matched the overall theme of the restaurant.
Mega Sushi doesn’t really provide an authentic Japanese sushi experience though. The menu has all the standard Japanese items, but the owners and chefs are Korean so there’s a non-traditional style to the dishes. To the majority it could probably pass off as traditional Japanese food, but if you’re familiar with authentic Japanese food then you’ll be able to tell the difference (the rice and tamago were the give away for me). For this reason I still prefer Ichiro, but I wouldn’t hesitate to come back to Mega Sushi because the food was good regardless of it being “authentic”. In the context of Richmond, Charcoal Sushi & BBQ Restaurant offers something similar, but I was more satisfied here overall.
They have a nice selection of very creative fusion rolls, which I can appreciate, and although I value authentic nigri and Japanese traditions, each can be enjoyed in their own respective categories. The food was fresh, the sauces made in house and the service was inviting. Even if it wasn’t “authentic”, I give them credit for presentation, effort and creativity. Mega Sushi had modern flavour and “fusion” flare and I would recommend it if you’re looking for something non-traditional, funky and still sophisticated.
On the table:
- About $3
- They charge for the green tea, but at least it was good quality loose leaf green tea.
- It was presented elegantly in a delicate double walled glass teacup and cast iron teapot.
- Spinach with peanut and sesame sauce $3.95
- I love gomae so I order it all the time.
- The one here isn’t traditional Japanese, but it was still very good for being a modern gomae.
- There was a lot of sauce, but it was a creamy smooth sauce rather than a fresh sesame sauce made from toasted ground sesame seeds.
- It was nutty, nicely sweetened, and not too heavy with the peanut butter, but the peanutty flavour was still detectable with sesame sauce at the forefront.
- It tasted like there could be Hoisin sauce in it too and neither peanut butter or Hoisin are authentic to gomae, but again it tasted great.
- The spinach still had a good crunch and the sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top was a nice finish.
- Deep fried avocado with juicy crab meat and cooked tuna replacing the seed $8.95
- I’m not sure if “Monkey Brain” is the best name for it, especially being in Richmond (predominantly Asian) where people may take it too literally.
- This was creative and nicely presented, but it is a substantial appetizer that’s best shared.
- It was basically a deep fried avocado stuffed with a mixture of artificial crab meat and cooked flaked tuna, but the tuna tasted canned even if it wasn’t.
- It was much better as a unit because the stuffing didn’t taste that great alone.
- It had a nice crunchy and thin coating of panko bread crumbs and it was fried in clean oil until golden brown.
- They’re very generous with the avocado and that was the predominant flavour and it was very creamy, ripe and rich.
- It needed more teriyaki (?) and spicy mayo sauce (?) that was drizzled on top, and extra on the side for dipping would be ideal. The sauce was good!
- It was almost like a crab cake, but artificial crab and flaked tuna don’t make the best flavour combination so I wish it was higher quality stuffing or something else.
- I’ve had amazing deep fried avocados stuffed with chicken in Texas before, so perhaps chicken would work or even shrimp at the same price – if not real crab meat.
- Deep fried tuna/salmon with homemade sauce $8.95
- This was the only thing that wasn’t that great.
- I didn’t realize there was an option for tuna or salmon, but I was never asked. I thought it was a mixture of the two.
- It ended up being all tuna, but if I didn’t know I might have thought it was cubes of chicken breast because it was overcooked and on the dry side.
- I wasn’t keen on the batter which was almost like an agedashi tofu batter and I would have preferred a crispy light fish and chip batter or a panko batter.
- I think they were deep fried it and then sautéed it with sauce so they weren’t crispy and again quite dry.
- The sauce was a bit corn starch heavy and gluey, but the flavour was good although basic.
- The sauce tasted like a combination of sweet Thai chili sauce and teriyaki sauce so it was sweet and spicy with a nice heat that lingered, but wasn’t hot.
- If in Richmond for a similar dish, I highly recommend the Salmon Nanban from Nan Chuu Japanese.
- Prawn tempura, cucumber, crab meat, avocado in a roll with torched tuna, yam flakes, four sauces on top $13.95
- Okay so I slightly take back part of my introduction. This roll was pretty massive and it could fill an average appetite up for lunch.
- The four sauces were teriyaki sauce, wasabi mayo, chili mayo and a house special hot sauce, however if I didn’t know I would have thought it was just teriyaki sauce, spicy chili mayo and Korean gochujang (chili bean paste) sauce.
- This is the perfect example of less is more. There was a lot going on.
- The roll was very good, but there were just so many sauces and toppings that even the sauces got overpowered.
- I couldn’t taste the torched tuna on top or even the ingredients inside the roll.
- I loved the texture and crunch of deep fried yam flakes on top, but they got soggy from all the sauces.
- By the time I got to the third piece it could have been shredded sautéed carrots.
- They used artificial crab meat, but for the price I think they could have used real crab, however there was so much going on I couldn’t really taste it anyway.
- The prawn tempura also had no crunch and that might have helped give the roll more texture.
- It was a very saucy roll that obviously required no soy sauce, but I did like the flavour of the sauces.
- It had different levels of sweetness and spiciness from the variety of sauces, but the wasabi mayo was undetectable.
- The sushi rice was also a bit disappointing because it was a bit too wet and mushy like sticky rice, the sauce didn’t help.
- However under all the sauces and ingredients you couldn’t really tell the sushi rice was mushy unless you paid attention to it.
- Sushi chefs train for their whole lives perfecting sushi rice, but this wasn’t that kind of traditional Japanese place. The roll was good enough overall to kind of overlook it.
- Avocado, cucumber, crab meat in a roll with salmon, avocado, apple sauce, caper on top $12.95
- They meant “caviar” instead of “caper on top”, but I ordered it thinking it was going to be capers. I thought it was different.
- The apple sauce was already different enough and it came recommended. If I’m here, I want to try something funky and creative.
- It was a fair sized roll, but I wouldn’t want the whole thing.
- It tasted like a fruit salad meets a crab salad and it was a very light and somewhat refreshing roll.
- The apple sauce was made from fresh Granny Smith apples and perhaps some yogurt or mayo and it was almost like a fragrant apple foam.
- It was a sweet roll, but they used artificial crab meat which was quite dominant in flavour. For the price I think it should have been real crab meat.
- It was basically a California roll with apple sauce and the salmon on top was a bit undetectable in the bite.
- It didn’t require soy sauce or wasabi, but I wasn’t too keen on the flavour combinations.
- It needed to be a bit more savoury and/or tangy because the apple sauce wasn’t that acidic.
- Since the sushi was presented more naked (with less sauce than the Big Boss roll), the sushi rice was more detectable.
- It wasn’t exactly great because it really exposed the non-traditional sushi rice which again was a bit wet and mushy and slightly under seasoned.
- This was just a daily chef’s special and it was presented beautifully in a martini glass.
- It was just cubes of fresh ahi tuna marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce with sliced cucumbers, sprouts and tobiko.
- It was colourful presentation and heavy with the garnishes, but it was fresh and fun.
- 15 pieces $23.95
- The selection was fair and the sashimi was fresh.
- The sashimi was pretty good quality and properly cut, but they could have added a toro (tuna belly) or scallop for the price.
- The sashimi platter included: wild sockeye salmon, tuna, hamachi (Yellowtail), Saba (Mackerel), Tako (octopus) and BC Spot Prawns.
- The sashimi was all quite standard with no exotic fish, so it wasn’t exactly “deluxe” but it was well presented and I still enjoyed it.
- The salmon quality looked very good and fresh, but it had a fishy after taste although it didn’t smell fishy. This one was likely frozen and I prefer the one at Ichiro.
- The tuna was fresh and also better quality than most sushi places. Tuna is more valued in Japan than salmon, but we don’t get great tuna here.
- The hamachi (Yellowtail) was slightly discoloured, but it was still fresh, cut well and had good oil content.
- The flavour and quality does get better and for a deluxe platter it could have been a higher grade hamachi.
- The tako (octopus) was frozen (typically is) and a bit chewy although it naturally tends to be.
- The Saba (mackerel)was sandwiched between lime slices so it had marinated in the acidity and “cooked”, so it was more like ceviche.
- Saba is naturally aggressively fishy as to why it was likely placed between limes.
- I don’t mind its fishiness though and I prefer to squeeze the lime on it myself just before I eat it.
- The BC Spot Prawns were sweet and very good, but since it’s out of season it is likely tanked Spot Prawns.
- Just for reference, Sushi Hachi offers a Chef’s Selection Sashimi with higher quality sashimi and more exotic fish. That version is more authentic to Japanese standards for “deluxe sashimi”.
- Around $2
- It’s my standard order and “test” for a Japanese restaurant.
- Tamago (Japanese omelet) is traditionally how you can tell if a Japanese restaurant is good. I prefer the one at Ichiro.
- In this case I think they out sourced it because I doubt it was home made and it just had that store bought quality.
- There were no layers and it was moist and lightly sweetened, but I couldn’t taste the dashi and it was a bit brown on the exterior.
- It was served chilled as it should be, and it still tasted fine, but it just wasn’t an authentic tamago from a traditional Japanese restaurant.