Alpha Global Sushi Bar

January 22, 2015

April 26th, 2013. Alpha Global Sushi Bar

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

In Vancouver you definitely have to have sushi!  It’s a must. Like, really. I mean it!

To kick off our spring break I took us to Alpha Global Sushi Bar. Yelp and other food reviews have almost always steered me in the right direction and I’d been hearing about this place for a while. While it’s at a higher price point than many the promise of unique twists and good quality just outside the Yaletown neighborhood had me anticipating a good meal 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 


The space is small, with very limited seating, typical of your more traditional Japanese style joints. It’s cozy.  The interesting thing about Alpha is that you also get a hefty book on Japanese history along with your table and menu. Intellectual!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojitos are a must on sunny days and when reuniting with a friend! Refreshing, minty, subtly sweet and crisp!  My favorite cocktail 🙂

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ebi Fry seemed to be a fan favorite, so we ordered it. Light, crispy, and super hot on the inside! The cool tartar sauce helped cool down our tongues and added a tangy punch!

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

 

We ordered the Spicy Tuna Sashimi with sliced onion, seaweed, green onion with a spicy ginger sauce.  Fresh tuna has a clean, sweet flavor and your teeth sink in the surface and then you get a slightly bouncy give towards the middle.  The spicy ginger sauce was refreshing and paired in a lovely way with the tuna!

 

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar


The famous and namesake Alpha Roll has mango, tobiko, mayo crab, wrapped in albacore tuna, and avocado with a plum wine mustard mayo sauce.  You know me, I love sauce!  This roll was again, quite clean tasting and the sweet and rich sauces just added a decadence to it.  I am usually not a fan of mango, but this roll was nice 🙂

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

For our second roll I went with the Philly Roll.  Sure, it’s one of those “been there, done that” items, but I can’t help my love for cream cheese and smoked salmon 😉  While not being exactly exciting I was happy that they didn’t skimp on the smoked salmon as many places do.

alpha global sushi bar

alpha global sushi bar

 

 

Mind blowing moment: The Mentaiko Udon. Like, MIND. BLOWN. It was essentially udon noodles in a spicy cod roe sauce…..but what made it so amazing was that it was tossed in BUTTER! Like, WHAT???!!! How could something so simple, make something SO AMAZING!! Oh, right, IT’S BUTTER!  Okay, maybe I’m just a little crazy, but this was so so so so awesome. I loved it!!

Despite the fact that it seemed like a solid meal I couldn’t help feeling at the end that I wasn’t quite satisfied. Like, even though we were both full it still left me feeling like I was wanting something more. Hmmmmmm………

Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

December 24, 2013

March 8th, 2013. Kishimoto on Commercial Drive

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

So, my lunch date suggested that we meet up at Kishimoto on Commercial Drive for lunch.  He claimed that it’s the most solid sushi joint he’s discovered since moving to Vancouver and that he’s becoming a regular there.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

He also warned me that it’s small and is always extremely full, so it was a good thing I arrived a little early to get us a table!  True to prediction it was packed when I got there and I was actually feeling lucky when I got sat about 15 minutes in!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw Chawan Mushi on the menu I got super excited!!  There is nothing more exceptional than a perfect chawan mushi!!  Super silky, soft egg custard steamed so that there’s almost this umami-like broth or consomme, this one had bits of chicken, prawn, mushroom, gingko nuts, and fish cake.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing mouth feel as you take a spoonful, it was as delicate as a cloud and mind-blowingly simple in taste but complex in the intricacy.  Every singly component was perfectly cooked and was singing in harmony.  LOVE!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Give it up for presentation!  When the rolls came out the plate was decked out with a coconut bowl of dry ice, crispy edible adornments and and edamame and daikon decorations!  Hahaha, whimsical and delightful!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the plate: A simple Spicy Salmon Maki.  Fresh, uncomplicated and straight forward.

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Spicy Cactus Roll. To the naked eye it may just look like a California Roll rolled around in sesame seeds, but it’s actually spicy crab, tempura bits and avocado THEN rolled around in sesame seeds and topped with tobiko 😉  Yum!!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

Mmmmm~ I love a good Tuna Tataki!  Perfectly seared tuna just melting in your mouth with the freshness and kick of the green onions, rustic flavor of garlic chips and the sweet and salty of the ponzu sauce.  So delicious!

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I also just really enjoy the fatty richness of Salmon Kama.  Simply a baked salmon cheek with garlic chips and ponzu sauce, it can be very tender, succulent and has loads of flavor!  One of my personal favorites wherever I go 🙂

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

 

To round off the lunch I couldn’t resist this gorgeous Yuzu Sorbet.  The perfect palate cleanser, it was refreshing, light, and a great way to end the meal on a pleasing note 🙂

kishimoto japanese kitchen

kishimoto japanese kitchen

 

 

 

I feel like the constant thread throughout the lunch was simplicity done at such a level of excellence that it transcended into intricacy.  I loved it and would come back again and recommend it to everyone!!

Genji Sushi – North York

February 27, 2013

May 17th, 2012. Last Day in Toronto

genji sushi - north york (toronto)

genji sushi – north york (toronto)

 

 

Final day in Toronto…the meetings don’t stop, but with the support of our head office colleagues we power through the last of the meetings.  After a very amiable meeting with some potetial sponsors we were invited to have lunch with them at Genji Sushi nearby.  Eating?  Sure, why not!

genji sushi - north york (toronto)

genji sushi – north york (toronto)

 

 

 

 

 

We ordered our own meals but also added on some sharing items.  I was really pleased with portion size, cleanliness of presentation and freshness.

genji sushi - north york (toronto)

genji sushi – north york (toronto)

 

 

 

 

The Kani Salad turned outt o be a very generous portion of sweet crab and refreshing cucumber dressed in a mayo and tobiko dressing with crushed sesame seeds and topped with some black sesame seeds as well.  Simple yet delicious 🙂

genji sushi - north york (toronto)

genji sushi – north york (toronto)

 

 

 

 

 

The Tempura was evenly battered, excellently crispy nice and hot 😉  Had nothing bad to say about it as tempura goes.

genji sushi - north york (toronto)

genji sushi – north york (toronto)

 

 

 

 

 

I opted for this Assorted Sashimi Lunch Special.  WoW.  Salmon, tuna, kani, tamago, ika and more!  All served with a nice portion of rice.  I have to say…everything tasted fresh
which made it delicious, this was a superb deal for lunch and I was very impressed!

Shibuya MGM Grand (Las Vegas)

February 11, 2013

April 15th, 2012. Vegas Business Trip Day 2

 

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

 

I was super stoked that we had dinner booked at Shibuya at the MGM Grand!  After walking by it several times already I could see that it would be right up my alley 😉

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing as it’s Vegas it’s no surprise that they have an open seafood bar where you can watch you sushi being assembled right before your very eyes!

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

 

 

The decor was modern, the tableware clean, and the almost-rustic wooden table was a nice touch.  It was both great and a little bit of pressure that I got appointed to work out the menu and do the ordering…but I was determined to put my skills to use and order us some great food!  The waiter suggested we do a set menu type deal where they charge each customer a set rate and then give us a number of food choices according to our price point.  I believe we ended up going for $65 a head and then ordered a few more dishes on top of that to beef up the meal.

 

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

Tuna Sashimi with Sweet Soy Reduction Sauce with Greens, Parmesan Shavings and Crispy Rice Balls.  Thin sheets of raw tuna supported by the sweet reduction, pungent cheese and how can you not love the crispy crunch of little rice balls?  Loved this dish!

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

Next we were brought a plate of Uni and Yellowfin Nigiri and the Dragon Roll, which consisted of rock shrimp with spicy aioli.  The uni was fresh with that slight seafood sweetness, the tuna had good elasticity while still being tender and the rolls were flavorful!

 

 

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

We definitely needed some meat, so we also got an order of the Angus Beef with Mushrooms and Truffle Ponzu for dipping.  Super tender beef, earthy yet light mushrooms, and that ponzu sauce…..ahhhh~(the lighting was dark and I didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures of the food…hence the shakiness of some of the pics)

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

This delicious dish?  The Seared Albacore Tuna with Crispy Red Onions topped with a little Red Jalapeno and Edible Flowers and a Kimchi Ponzu Sauce.  I loved the slightly spicy kick from the pepper and sauce and the crispy onions were a nice texture contrast.

 

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

The Sashimi Salad had beautiful salmon on organic greens topped with pickled shoestring radish and nori and again the crispy rice balls dressed in a Sesame Miso Vinaigrette.  Nice and light with a plethora of flavors.  The vibrantly colored baby tomatos lent brightness and pop to the dish as well.

shibuya - mgm grand

shibuya – mgm grand

 

 

 

 

The Assorted Tempura consisted of a variety of organic vegetables and rock shrimp served with that deliciously sweet and subtle tempura sauce!  Deliciously crispy and perfectly yum!

 

 

 

The men in our group were perplexed that this high end sushi place served dainty-looking small plates of food one plate at a time…..they are more used to generous portions and a heavy table.  But Ms. Vivian and I were perfectly happy cats at all the delicate flavors, foods and presentation.  All the pretty food made us feel special!

Nagano Sushi (Coquitlam)

January 26, 2013

April 9th, 2012.  Nagano Sushi

 

nagano sushi

nagano sushi

 

 

 

 

Another meal at Nagano Sushi?  Sure, why not   Decent quality, interesting rolls, almost always delicious.

nagano sushi

nagano sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon seeing the sushi on the bar I thought today I’d order some nigiri.

 

nagano sushi

nagano sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2 Tuna, 1 Amaebi, 1 Ebi and 1 Tamago.  Nothing crazy, mostly safe stuff.  Mmmm…Amaebi…so good!

nagano sushi

nagano sushi

 

 

 

I got the Moody Fever Roll which is a prawn tempura roll with smoked seared tuna on top of smoked salmon.  Some of my favorite stuff!!  It’s a substantial roll, I tell ya.  Anyways, a pretty awesome roll.  The prawn tempura had good crunch, they were not stingy with the smoked salmon and the seared tuna and the sauce gave a great flavor profile to the whole thing.  Yum!!

nagano sushi

nagano sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more maki?  Alien Maki!  Chicken, crab and smelt roe roll inside another roll.  It’s quite a mouthful!  Thoughts?  It’s not the best, but it’s alright.  It kinda feels like a dynamite roll.  Again…it’s a mouthful!

 

 

 

 

One thing I will mention is that I remember it being better…and the prices are definitely climbing…..not sure if the price change is being refelcted in quality, service and inventiveness of the menu/restaurant, though.

Matoi Sushi

November 6, 2012

February 22nd, 2012. Matoi Sushi

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

Nab and I wanted to try a different sushi place since we always seem to just go to Nagano.  Today I suggested we try Matoi Sushi on the Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam border.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

My sister had mentioned that she’d been there before and it was quite good and I read a few reviews online.  Seemed like it was worth a visit 🙂

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

Nab started off with a Sake Sampler, which I think came with cold sake, hot sake and soe plum wine.  Nab LOVED the plum wine.  So much that he ordered more later 😉  I personally like plum wine, too.  Nice and sweet and it goes down light 🙂

 

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

Along the lines of trying different stuff was the Kani Sunomono.  Wow….lots of crab   The sunomono
was refreshing, tasted fresh and we loved that the shrimp and crab were good chunks as well as the seaweed being plentiful and good.  the sprinkling of sesame seeds was also a nice touch.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

Nab thought he might as well splurge and try the day’s Fresh Oysters. They looked awesome! Super fresh, very clean and nice a juicy.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried one as well.  The soy sauce that came with it was a nice and light accompainment to the delicate oysters.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

They had Asari Miso Soup on the menu, so I figured I’d give it a try.  Asari Miso is basically mio soup made with clams.  Sure, I’m not a big fan of clams, but treated well it can make the miso quite delicious.  This one was a bit too clammy/fishy for my liking…but if you like clams, this is just the ticket!

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

One thing I really love is Tuna Gomae.  This one was no exception.  Fresh tuna pieces tossed and covered in delicious peanuty sauce!  So so good~!!

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

For rolls we went simple with a Spicy Tuna Roll and the Unaten Roll (prawn tempura & bbq eel).  Both rolls were nice.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spiciness didn’t overpower the tuna and the prawn tempura still had a nice crispiness which indicated that it hadn’t just been lying around.

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

Of course a Japanese restaurant’s real test is how well they treat their raw seafood components.  I ordered a couple Sake Nigiri, Toro Nigiri and Amaebi Nigiri.  Glad to say that everything tasted fresh with a nice sweetness that only well handled sushi can have.  It was clean on the palate and had good flavor.  The amaebi was quite good as well!

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

I asked for them to deep fry the Amaebi head.  Crispy, flavorful
deliciousness!!

matoi sushi

matoi sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How awesome is it that they give you a baggie of Pocky with the bill!  A nice change from from the usual half orange.  Excitement!

So, yeah, I really like Matoi.  It really is a neighborhood gem.  Who knew you could find such a great little sushi place in this part of town?  It’s slightly pricier, but totally worth it, so I would come back to treat myself 🙂

Nagano Sushi – Coquitlam

October 9, 2012

NJanuary 8th, 2012.  Nagano Sushi

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

Nab and I grabbed a bite at his go-to place, Nagano by Coquitlam Centre.

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your standard Ebi Sunomono.

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered a Spicy Ohitashi Salad, which is described as a spinach salad with a spicy dressing.  It also came topped with a huge mound of “crab” and crispy yam bits!  It’s actually a pretty substantial plate…score!

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmm~~ some delicious looking Chirashi Don!  Nab definitelty made a good choice with this one!

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

 
And he can’t get enough of the Motoyaki.  Oyster smothered and baked in a mayo based creamy saue on a half shell.

Everything about it, Nab loves 😉

nagano sushi coquitlam

nagano sushi coquitlam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
For dessert we got the usual half oranges.  He ALWAYS asks, “how do they make this???”  hahaha!

California (Galleria Jinju)

August 25, 2012

November 25th, 2011. Hello, Jinju

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

  After a nice tour around a bit of downtown Jinju we headed back to Galleria for some lunch. Korean sushi seemed like a good idea, so we headed in to California.

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

  The owner must have had exposure to North American style sushi, because looking at the menu I could have thought I was back in Vancouver!

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta love the chopstick drawers attached to the tables!

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A simple cabbage salad with a refreshing creamy dressing.

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MmmmmMm~~ cheezy Donkatsu goodness!  Super crispy exterior and juicy pork inside with gooey cheese.  Love it!

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted some soup, so Mom and I shared an Udon.

California (Jinju)

California (Jinju)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And even though it was really going a bit far…we shared a roll as well.  Can’t remember what kind..only that we were extremely full!

Fuji Sushi

February 6, 2012

September 15th, 2011. Fuji Sushi 

fuji sushi

fuji sushi

 

 

 

  Work dinner!!  To kick off the evening we started off at Fuji Sushi in Coquitlam just a little ways up from our office.  It’s an authentic Japanese restaurant and Bar…I can’t believe I never knew about this place! 

fuji sushi

fuji sushi

 

 

 

 

 

  Presentation, selection, etc….everything just oozes authenticity and you do see a difference from your usual run-of-the-mill “other asian operated” sushi joints. 

 

 

 

  I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures, but I definitely want to come back to explore the goods!

Kami Sushi – White Rock

February 1, 2012

August 25th, 2011.  Work Lunch in White Rock

kami sushi

kami sushi

 

 

 

  So another day of driving around visiting clients and meeting people with Boss.  Today it’s White Rock!  We needed to stop for some lunch, so we went to Kami Sushi at Morgan Crossing.

kami sushi

kami sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

  It’s a pretty large space for a sushi place and clean.  It’s run by Koreans, so the menu is pretty standard for your typical Korean sushi place. 

kami sushi

kami sushi

  

 

 

 

  I went for Lunch Combo A, which was 3 pieces of Tempura, 5 pieces of Nigiri, 3 pieces of the Reno Roll and 4 pieces of the Caterpillar Roll.  The sushi was good, the tempura was acceptably crunchy and the rolls were actually quite good. 

kami sushi

kami sushi

 

 

 

 

 

  It’s not extraordinary….but I appreciate that they try to make the combos interesting and with a good mix of variety; the food is clean and it’s a nice environment.