Friday, October 8, 2010

cheap sushi tour: Sushi Garden, Banzai and Samurai Sushi

Sometimes when I crave sushi, it's all about instant gratification.  While I value quality and taste in food, there are times when you just need to satisfy the craving without hurting the wallet.

Sushi Garden 
Mentai Yaki Udon
Still, I haven't found a replacement for Zakkushi's mentai kimchi yaki udon.  Everywhere else just seems so bland and mediocre compared to now extinct tasty dish.

Salmon sashimi $7.95, Toro $1.30
Salmon sashimi in fair sizes and thickness.  I was happy they were fresh and not frozen or slimy (like at Banzai or Suishaya).  The toro (tuna belly) sushi was also delicious.
Spider roll $6.50
You will begin to notice that I often order spider rolls.  What can I say? I have a thing for soft shell crab.

B.C. Combo
The B.C. Combo for $7.95 comes with 1 tuna sashimi, 1 salmon sashimi, 1 BC Roll (BBQ salmon skin) 1 Alaska roll (salmon, avocado and roe).  

Sushi Garden is always busy and, although I hear that the wait time can be long, I would definitely go back there again.  In terms of quality and price it is my favourite out of the 3 places listed here.

4269 Lougheed Hwy
BurnabyBC V5C3Y6


When I think of Banzai and Samurai, I don't really associate the restaurants with authenticity, or (sometimes) freshness.  Nonetheless, value wise, I still choose either place over McDonald's for sure.  I'm from Edmonton where a typical Japanese meal usually costs at least $30 per person.  Therefore, to say I went buck wild on ordering during the first visit Banzai in Richmond would be an understatement. No one had warned me about the sheer ginormous size of the sushi, sashimi and rolls.  So, I opted to ordering a party tray which came with 44 pieces of sushi and maki rolls for $32 between 2 people to share.  A mistake I shall never repeat and, needless to say, I ended up with more than I can chew.   

Monstrous size assorted sashimi 
After my first experience, I wouldn't probably order the sashimi again except if I plan on making Tuna Tataki later at home.  The portion is huge as you can see, however, I prefer the sashimi to be cut thinner so I wouldn't feel like I'm chomping down on the flesh of a dead fish.  The texture didn't do anything for me. It was mushy, and a lot of the pieces are frozen.  I wouldn't recommend ordering the sashimi unless you want to take them home and make something else out of it.

Party Tray B - Futo maki roll, BC roll, California roll, tuna, cucumber rolls, 

Party tray C - Tuna, Tai, Salmon, Ebi, surf clam sushi

Party tray C - tobiko and masago sushi
Surprisingly, their mackarel sushi is actually really good.  Of course, it comes in a large piece.  I usually don't eat mackarel sushi or sashimi because I find the fishy taste is too strong for me.  At Banzai, there is hardly any fishy taste, it has a smoky and creamy taste that makes it quite delicious and satisfying.
Prawn tempura

The prawn tempura are made fresh so they are always hot and crispy.  They don't coat them with too much batter and the prawn are not overcooked.  For

My favourite rolls, spider roll and spicy chop chop roll!
As mentioned, the spider roll is my favourite and I  was lucky enough to always get the freshly fried softshell crab each time at Banzai.  When I'm running to the airport or on the go, I often get this combination.  Their party trays are also good deals if you are having a function or throwing a party.

#40-8251 Westminster Hwy
Richmond, BC

Visit their website here.
Samurai Sushi

The restaurant has an extensive menu that is divided into categories and most at reasonable price.  
Even bigger sashimi cuts - Tuna/salmon $11

Giant dynamite, spicy tuna and alaska rolls.  Can't forget the spider roll!
Fraser location
6428 Fraser Street Vancouver

Downtown location
1108 Davie Street Vancouver

Visit their website here.