Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sushi Town

During summer vacation, my family will go out to eat more often than usual. The weather is on another hot streak and reaching the thirty degree mark this week. My mom suggested we eat sushi since it's not pipping hot like a bowl of noodles or something. Hearing that Sushi Town recently underwent major renovations and seeing many friends make visits, I suggested we try it out too.

A bit of history may help with understanding where my review is coming from. When Sushi Town first opened around 6 years ago, there were long line ups for enormous portions for cheap prices. Specifically their salmon nigiri, which the thick-cut salmon was twice as long as the ball of rice underneath. Then quality started going downhill; student servers who were not interested in being helpful and poorly made food. It is unacceptable to serve burnt fried chicken wings or nearly spoiled sashimi. That is when I stopped going to Sushi Town and went to Sushi California instead for cheap sushi. Since Sushi Town's Grand Opening, I assume there have been quite a few changes in owner. Presently, the owner has invested what seems like a good amount of money on changing the interior of the restaurant to amp up the atmosphere.

Sushi Town Interior Design

Being used to brightly lit Chinese restaurants, my family usually doesn't enjoy dark restaurants (like The Keg). However, the lighting at Sushi Town is dark but you can still see very clearly at the table due to the great little lamp hanging from the ceiling. The darker lighting adds a bit of 'Downtown feel' to make it more 'high class'. Chairs (more like sofas) are very comfy, especially since they're still spanking new. There are a variety of tables for different numbers of people; smaller ones for two, plenty of tables that seat four, and some semi-circles to fit slightly larger groups. There are also little 'branches' stuck next to tables to hang coats, which will be much appreciated when the colder weather arrives again. Nicely done! Now let's see if the food matches up to the ambiance...

Awesome Roll ($6.95)

The "Clumsy One" always raves about the awesome roll. She was one of the few people I knew that still went to Sushi Town during their not-so-great era. It is one of Sushi Town's specialty rolls. It is a very reasonable price for a fancy roll as I've seen some sold for $12! It's still the same ingredients... The Awesome roll is a California roll (fake crab meat + avocado centre) topped with a chunk of salmon sashimi, masago (fish roe), bonitio flakes (dried fish), green onion bits, Japanese mayonnaise, and a sweet brown sauce (teriyaki?). We all really enjoyed this roll. No need for extra soy sauce since there is already tons of flavours going on. The only downside is the salmon sashimi is mushy and probably not the freshest. 

Mangodise Roll ($4.95)
The other specialty roll my family ordered was the Mangodise Roll. A centre stuffed with fake crab meat and mango, then topped with ebi (shrimp) and a drizzle of Japanese mayonnaise. It's also very inexpensive for a fancy roll, but once it was served I could see why. There was barely any mango at all in this roll, and it's mango season! The most miniscule piece of mango sitting above a plentiful stuffing of fake crab meat. When eaten, the mango could not be tasted at all. The ebi was fairly adequate, just not evenly distributed on all eight pieces. The only good aspect of this roll is the amount of fake crab meat. Sounds strange but there really is a lot of filling in the rolls! All the other rolls we ordered with fake crab meat were just as roundly stuffed so there is no reason to specifically order this one for that. Will not be ordering this again.

Dragon Roll ($5.50)
Let me begin with, LOOK AT THAT AVOCADO! It's literally bursting from the rice! Although it may not be obvious from the photo, most of the avocado is actually large chunks and not completely mashed up. (See the Alaska Roll photo below for a better view) I suggested we order the Dragon Roll instead of the Unagi Roll as it is only a $1.50 difference here. Usually it's a lot more expensive. The Dragon roll is not a specialty roll, it is listed with the under maki sushi. The amount of avocado in this roll may not make it look the most professional, but at least I don't feel like my extra $1.50 went to waste. The eel was also very delicious. I know they probably purchase it from suppliers but it tasted better than usual. Definitely recommend this roll! Just be warned that the avocado portion may be temporarily larger since it is currently in season, meaning cheap to purchase. I think Peanut Crumpet will really enjoy their avocado roll ;)

Alaska Roll ($3.95) & California Roll ($2.95)
Just to ensure our stomachs are filled, we ordered two of our 'usual' rolls. The Alaska roll was just as packed with avocado as the Dragon Roll, love it! But again, the salmon sashimi on top was the downside, not flavourful at all. The Alaska Roll could use more of that 'special sauce' too... If you want tons of avocado, order the Dragon Roll instead, or even the plain Avocado Roll since the Alaska Roll here isn't that great. And of course, my brother has to have his California Roll. I didn't try any but I can see the good amount of fake crab meat there. They also put a few sticks of cucumber beside the avocado, making it slightly different than most restaurants. 

Tempura Udon ($5.95)

Finally, my brother's other 'usual' is tempura udon. Again I didn't try any of this but my mom commented that the tempura batter was too thick for her liking. But the pieces were large, especially the shrimp, which was really long.
Another important aspect that has improved this visit is the service. The waiters and waitresses still look young but they are much more professional and efficient. Tea was periodically served without us asking for it and someone would come right away if we waved our hand. Dishes and tea were brought to the table with the menus right as we were seated. And once the waiter took our order, he brought over extra bowls, spoons, seasoning, and tempura soy sauce, knowing it is what we need for what we ordered. Service has gone from poor to very good! 

In conclusion, food is standard but acceptable while ambiance and service is very good. I mean, sushi isn't that hard to do well. When avocado is in season (summer time), rolls will be stuffed until almost exploding! Avoid the salmon sashimi as it is no good here. Prices are decent and affordable, making it student-budget-friendly~ Hopefully the word will spread and Sushi Town will slowly get more customers again. Sushi Town hasn't instantly become my favourite sushi restaurant but I have put Sushi Town on my 'okay to visit' list. My family will potentially make another visit in the future when we're craving sushi that isn't too far away.  

Sushi Town on Urbanspoon

Love from Coconut Crumpet's Corner ♡

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