There are so many Vancouver food bloggers these days that I could not even catch up reading all of them, let alone aware of all the new ones. However, there was one that caught my attention because he blogs about restaurants in Burnaby and a number of them along Kingsway. So, I had been following Karl of The Friday Lunch for sometime.
I like his easy to follow style with short to the point sentences. Not to mention too his selection of restaurants are exactly the type I normally go to. Since both of us work around the vicinity, we arranged to meet up for lunch and say hi.
I suggest that we meet at Kura Sushi on Kingway. Kura Sushi had been a place that I wanted to visit for a long time because LotusRapper had recommended that place a few times. I had been trying to save this place up to go with Suanne but we never got round to that — and I think we will never get round to it given all the “To Try” places we have on the list.
I had walked past Kura Sushi many time before and had seen their menu. It does give me the impression that this is a very authentic Japanese restaurant (with higher than normal prices). This is reinforced by the heavy wooden door outside. This was a real thick heavy door, not a fake. Frankly I don’t know if this door works in their favour because it sort of felt less welcoming to the customer. That is just my opinion.
The hand-written sign outside the restaurant sounded very convincing that they are the only branch of a some big time sushi restaurant in Tokyo. I was curious right? So, I tried googling various combination of Kura-Tokyo-Sushi but came up with some Kura Sushi which is a Kaiten Sushi joint.
Anyone able to tell me if there is actually a well known Kura Sushi in Tokyo?
He he he … at a glance, the picture above looked like it’s some call center operation, right? It’s just that they have partitions between the smaller tables just to save space and provide some privacy. From the looks of it, there are a lot of office workers when we were there.
I like that tall ceiling and dark walls … and yet it was very well lighted where it matters.
They have a large menu with pictures — making choosing difficult. I wish I could take pictures of their entire menu because I am sure many of you will like to see it. Given the number of pages, I thought I better not or else Karl and I freak them out. So, I just took pictures of their Lunch Special above.
What do you think? It’s a buck or two above the normal lunch special price range in many places but they all look a bit more better too.
Hmmm … LUNCH SPECIAL. Not sure about you but my benchmark price for lunch specials is $7-$8. Anything above this is expensive and anything below that is real cheap. What about you?
The Miso Soup. We did not order that. I guess it is complimentary for all customers. As far as I know, not many Japanese restaurants serves complimentary miso soup.
You know, I can’t get over the idea after all these while that they don’t give a soup spoon with the miso soup. Yeah, I know … the Japanese drinks, no slurp, the soup direct from the bowl. I am saying this because in my research on Chinese cuisine, Chinese do not customary drink direct from the bowl in a formal setting.
We decided to get a couple of rolls and two other “fancy” items instead of getting the lunch special. That is just me … I just don’t want to blog about lunch specials because they do not often represent the best the restaurant has to offer. Oh … did I say that just a few days ago?
Anyway … we got Beef Sashimi … a small order ($6). I would have preferred a bigger order ($10) but I guess it’s too much to order.
Isn’t the beef sashimi beautiful? It is simply one of the best looking sashimi I had ever see … and it tasted great and flavourful. When I was eating this, I was thinking if this is safe eating raw beef. LOL! If Suanne is here, she would comment that it is not safe because bacteria will multiply quickly on the surface. So I am curious how they are able to keep this safe. I am sure it is safe … but just wanted to know.
Then we got the Geoduck. In Japanese they call this Muragai.
Anyone of you know how Geoduck ended up being pronounced as Guu-ey-duck and not G-O-duck? Don’t roll your eyes when I say this OK? Not everyone knows what Geoduck is. For one it is not a duck and does not resemble a duck. This is how Geoduck looks like. A little trivia here … did you know that the Geoduck has the longest lifespan. It is known to easily live up to 150 years!
When it came we were kind of delighted, or at least I was. I was thinking … oh wow, all this for just $8?!?
Sigh … my balloon was deflated when …
… it was just a few tiny pieces of geoduck awashed with lots of sauces … served on a very tall but shallow thingy. The butter garlic sauce was nice and garlicky but it was virtually 80% of the taste. The geoduck was a tad tough.
Kura Sushi has a lot of specialty rolls. I think it was like two pages long with pictures. Because of all the choices, our criteria for selecting one is that it has to be colourful and look good in pictures. So we got the Rainbow Roll which is $9.
It turned out just so-so. It was not particularly “rainbow” as we thought it would be. The diff is that they had wasabi mayo on this … and I don’t like wasabi!! I ate it nevertheless but thought it was … well, like I said … just so-so.
The more expensive Kyoto Roll ($10) was more of my kind of roll. It has tempura prawn in it and I like sweet soy sauce. I always like tobiko on rolls. It kind of add that extra twist to the rolls.
Frankly, I was not particularly impressed with the presentation. Looked like of messy and does not look good photographed.
I won’t say it is expensive for the quality but it is certainly not cheap. Perhaps I came here with too high expectations but I find that it is just a little better than nearby sushi places like Sushi Garden … just a little, not a lot.
The bad thing here is the service. They are polite, demure and sweet … but they are forgetful. I had to ask for the receipt a few time before it came. Each time the waitress said “hai” … and then the bill never came. Karl had to head back to work because he could not wait for them. Let me tell you, Karl … I was there for the next 10 minutes waiting for the bill.
Alright … go now and read Karl’s take on Kura Sushi here.