When it comes to Japanese restaurants – they are a dime a dozen in Vancouver. Luckily, I would say most of my experiences at Japanese restaurants have been pretty solid compared to other cities (looking at you, Toronto!).
While Ebisu is no Tojos or Kimura, if you’re looking for a great place with good variety that’ll please the picky california roll eater to the more ‘adventurous’ sashimi consumer – look no further. I would definitely recommend Ebisu as a good place for groups and for family eats. Groups especially at the Robson location – since they have cheap shots (last time I went it was 4-5 shots for $20?) and the crowd is younger there.
Okay, snapping back to the review at hand. We came here for my birthday. My dad doesn’t like Japanese food unless it’s cooked, my mom loves sashimi, my sister likes healthier Japanese choices but Brian and I are a little more liberal. Our bill came to about $130 – $21/person.
We started off with a seaweed salad and the spinach gomaae. The seaweed salad was okay, the portion is small (which is the same anywhere you go). My mom was saying somewhere in Las Vegas you can order this in a huge bowl. My next question was – WHERE?! The spinach gomaae was okay, it was a block of spinach doused in sesame sauce.
Up next was our Sashimi and Sushi boat. It had 2 pieces of salmon, tuna, hokkigai, tai (? i think) and tako sashimi, two oysters, and 2 pieces of salmon, tuna, ebi nigiri, 1 tobiko sushi, 1 scallop sushi and 3 pieces of california roll and dynamite roll (holy!). The sushi was good, decently portioned. The rice was just enough and not too much. There was a lot of sushi on this boat – if it were real, I’m sure it would’ve sunk my battleship.
Our next plate was Black Widow – which gives me the creeps just typing. My dad ordered this roll because he likes soft shell crab. So the crab is sitting atop of a bed of more seaweed salad and the sushi. The sushi has red pepper, avocado, cream cheese and daikon. While I passed on the soft shell crab part, I had the sushi and I liked the texture of it. The pepper was crunchy and the cream cheese made the sushi roll more heavier.
My mom loves grilled squid – so when I showed her the Ika Meshi – it was a given we were ordering it. It’s basically a sushi roll in a grilled squid. Inside the sushi roll was shiitake mushroom, unagi (eel), ginger, salmon skin and sushi rice. I didn’t get to try it because someone inhaled it (:P) but I’m assuming it was pretty good.
The Beef Yakisoba came, it was alright. There was cabbage, carrots, onions in it. It was fairly small for what it was.
We then ordered the Deluxe Assorted Tempura – it was a great assortment of peppers, prawn, eggplant, carrots, zucchini and the normal suspects. I liked how it wasn’t too overly breaded.
Oh right, on the other side of the table, we had these Golden Scallops in a huge shell cooking before us. The scallops were delicious – buttery and tender. The broth had onions, shiitake, enoki and parmesan cheese on the top.
I am allergic to shellfish – and as much as I’d love to try out all these wonderful oyster places that are popping up around Vancouver – I could probably only have one piece. That being said, I do enjoy oysters, clams and scallops! My parents ordered the Royal Miyagi – a dozen raw oysters. I had one and it was pretty good.
Finally, the Double Dragon Roll – this fantastic roll with jumbo tiger tempura prawns wrapped in mayo, tobiko and avocado. I love creative rolls like these ones. Would I pay $12 regularly for sushi? I can’t say I will but since it was my birthday – why not? The texture of the sushi is a great crunch from the prawn and creamy from the avocado on top.
My sister also got me a birthday cake from T&T! It was made of taro, the inside was interesting. I find Chinese cakes not as sweet as other ones, but this one actually had balls of taro on the bottom. As much as I like taro, it was kind of strange and I felt like I was eating a sweet bread more than a cake with the taro on the bottom.
Thanks to my family for celebrating my birthday with me quietly this year!!
You can check out their menu here.