I’m a huge sushi fan, like I will eat sushi four meals a day, and snacks too, if you let me. I always order pretty much the same things, have my favorite restaurants and am very disappointed if I get sub-par sushi. My friend in all this adventure is my best friend, assistant, proof reader, and sometimes life counsellor, Spencer. He’s almost as addicted to sushi as I am and definitely knows Vancouver better than me.
Yesterday we had a long day helping some friends move, so at the end of it there was no question we wanted sushi. Our usual places were either too far away or too busy, so we busted out the amazing Urban Spoon app and found ourselves a random sushi restaurant near where we were. It suggested Sushi Hiyori on Hornby. It had a 92% positive rating and some good reviews, so we decided to head there. It was fairly easy to find, and when we walked in the decor was actually pretty nice. Not the usual Vancouver sushi decor, but not kitschy like alot of places either.
Spencer seemed pretty pleased so far! We had some water and ice tea (in a can, but again, not a deal breaker for me). There’s actually no alcohol on the menu, which we didn’t actually even notice until it was pointed out as neither of us are big drinkers, but that might be the only thing that really turns people off. We started to look at the menu, and it was awesome! As a graphic designer and a print nerd, I’m always criticizing places menus, especially if it’s a nice restaurant that has a cheap looking menu. These were very nice. Good photos too, which is always a bonus for those of us who don’t know exactly what everything is with sushi.
I always start off with sunomono salad, one of my addictions. I actually didn’t get a photo of it, but it was pretty good. A touch sweet, but not as bad as many I’ve had. They were a little stingy on the toppings too (I got Ebi and Spencer got a spicy Ebi, which was nice as well). Here’s what was left!
Next up was a Seared Salmon Steak (Sealed according to the menu, but we figure that’s a typo). Not something we usually order, but with a fantastic menu like this we felt the need to branch out. It was seared perfectly, just the right balance of cooked and raw. Served on a bed of lettuce and a lemon dressing, it was almost a salad, which was a nice start. The lemon wedges were cut paper thin, we actually ate them right on top of the fish for a perfect garnish. Delicious! We were getting excited!
Next up was the Boston Roll. Both Spencer and I are very fond of Hachi Hana in North Van for their Dragon Roll, and that’s usually what we go for, but so far nothing has compared to that. The Boston Roll didn’t just compare, it blew it out of the water. If I remember correctly, the Boston Roll is a tempura prawn with crab roll, topped with spicy tuna sashimi, topped with a deep fried crispy tuna. All this is drizzled in a variety of sauces that, surprisingly, didn’t overwhelm any of the flavors of either the roll, fish or each other. They just complimented everything nicely. The textures (AKA the reason I love sushi) were perfect too, the crunchy fish and the roll, it was all just perfect.
Because we started the meal so hungry, we were no where near ready to be finished yet, so we debated for a long time what to order next. I could have eaten another three special rolls, but Spencer was the voice of reason and suggested we just order something simpler (though he was tempted too). We ended up with the sushi and sashimi combo. I’m a huge fan of nigiri sushi, and usually order at least a couple pieces of tuna and salmon, tuna being my absolute favorite. It’s something that should be the staple of every sushi chef’s repertoire, but many screw this up. Spencer prefers the thicker cuts of sashimi, again something that must be more difficult than it seems to get right. There were no disappointments here, everything was perfect, I even enjoyed the sashimi. One of my biggest pet peeves with a lot of sushi is when the fish is too cold. I have very sensitive teeth and some places serve their fish nearly frozen, which causes me great pain. No problem here!
We also had some gyoza with that course, which was hand made and served with a different, but very nice, sauce than they usually are. I love gyoza, and don’t even mind the frozen kind most restaurants serve, but it’s very nice to get a place that makes their own, and does it well. I didn’t get a photo of them because we were just too excited!
We also had a long chat with our waitress, Michelle, who was genuinely nice and excited about the food. I love seeing people excited about what they’re offering. She pointed out that they didn’t have a liquor license, which we really didn’t care about. I got a picture of me and her infront of the restaurant before we left, that’s how much we liked her!
Sushi Hiyori was one of the best restaurant experiences of my life so far, and definitely the best sushi I’ve ever had. If you can get past the fact that you won’t be having a drink with dinner, and you’re a fan of good sushi, definitely give it a try next time you’re in the area (or make a trip just for it!).
I forgot to mention yesterday that we also ordered an “Energy Roll” to go for a friend. Luckily our friend wasn’t that hungry, so we got to try some too. I can’t remember exactly what was in it, but there was Unagi (eel) involved. Delicious!
I went back for lunch alone today, and it was still not nearly as busy as it should have been. I ordered a sunomono salad again, and got photos this time!
I also got a Volcano Roll, a fabulous combination of tempura fish (tuna and salmon), dynamite roll (this version includes tempura yam and crab meat) and sauces. The spicy sauce certainly gives this roll it’s name, and while I’m not usually a huge fan of too much spice, it was very good.
Another day I came back and had the crunchy beef roll, which was amazing! I actually couldn’t finish it all so I kept a couple pieces and ate them later. They were still delicious cold!