Great sushi at moderate prices

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Sushiyama has expanded next door and the extra space is being gobbled up by customers

Mia Stainsby

Sushi bar at Sushiyama on East Broadway on a busy Friday night. Photograph by : Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun


371 East Broadway, 604-872-0053. Open for lunch and dinner; closed on Sunday.

Restaurant visits are conducted anonymously and interviews are done by phone. Restaurants are rated out of five stars.

I’ve meant to write about Sushiyama for the longest time but it looks like they’re doing just fine without me.

Since I visited last in early summer, they’ve doubled their space, taking over a store next door, and still, the place is full. Now, at least, people don’t have to cool their heels wishing diners would hurry up and leave.

It’s a husband and wife operation (Francesca and Alex Shin) and they offer reasonably priced but fresh and tasty fare; the sushi is the mainstay.

They have about a half dozen specials made with fish from Japan — usually in the form of sashimi (blue fin tuna, red tuna, mackerel, baby yellow tail when I visited last) as well as a cooked appetizer. A sashimi plate with four pieces of fish is a modest $4.25.

There’s a long list of maki sushi but nothing gets out of hand when the chefs try something different — none of those overloaded rolls, which are so messy and unappetizing. One I liked was Sakura Roll, which had “soy paper” instead of the usual nori envelope; inside I found cucumber, shrimp, carrots flavoured in ponzu. Very nice.

A couple of others I wolfed down were the Super Calamari (squid, crab, avocado) and Mango Mango (mango, of course, tuna, lettuce and cucumber). The sashimi special that day was dazzlingly fresh — no complaints.

I like to try tempura at a new Japanese restaurant because good tempura batter is the mark of a good chef. Here it was light and crispy, as it should be.

The restaurant attracts a varied customer base. Near my table were three generations (including an infant) of a Japanese family; a young punk couple; two young women; and a corporate couple.

“When expanded, customer happy,” says Francesca, “because waiting, 20, 30 minutes.” Such patience says there’s food worth waiting for inside.

© The Vancouver Sun 2007


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