It wasn’t too busy when we came early on a Sunday evening just before 6. Either way, we had made reservations for a birthday dinner.
Complimentary bread was warm but the outside was quite hard/tough on my mouth. It came with chickpea and red bell pepper puree, so basically hummus. There was also herb butter (seaweed and lemon) which was quite interesting but it was served cold making it very difficult to spread. The waitstaff brought bread refills two more times afterward which was nice.
It was our first time here so we decided to try a variety of different things from their sushi menu, seafood on ice, and hot dishes.
Each piece was bite-sized which was good but they were a bit fragile. I think this was partially because they weren’t made firm but there was also a lot of sauce. The sauce made it well seasoned throughout but in addition to making it a bit fragile it also compromised the texture of the rice.
I’m also not convinced sablefish was a better choice than any other cheaper fatty fish; I feel like using sablefish here was a waste given how expensive it is, similar to using wagyu in meatballs. The seared flavour of the battera was quite strong, but perhaps overdone. Overall though, it was not a bad start.
Fish was beautifully soft and buttery. My partner noted the sauce was quite acidic and the contrast between the sauce and fish was perhaps too stark, but I thought it was okay. I don’t know what part of the dish was torched but it didn’t seem torched. The jalapenos gave a nice kick but they were very thinly sliced with the seeds removed so it wasn’t overly spicy either. I’d definitely order this again.
We decided to get two seafood places for the six of us so that we could each try everything. For $28 per plate, it was pretty small and only seemed big because it was served on a large platter of ice.
The ceviche was easily our least favourite. It was quite sour and the raw onions were also gave a strong flavour. Both of these basically masked the scallop and it was a waste. The scallops were soft and you could tell they were fresh based on the texture, but again you couldn’t really taste much of it.
The oysters and prawns were very fresh. The prawns were plump and crunchy. The clams and mussels were nothing special and didn’t taste like much. The jellyfish dish was basically like the cold jellyfish appetizer served in Chinese restaurants marinated in a sweet sauce containing sesame oil.
I probably wouldn’t get this again, but maybe order the oysters and prawns separately.
Of course, I wanted to try some sashimi so I got a sashimi platter. It came with hamachi, sockeye salmon, scallop, shrimp, albacore tuna, red tuna, and seabream snapper. All of the fish tasted really fresh.
However, the texture of the salmon was quite firm and I didn’t like it too much. My favourite was definitely the hamachi which was quite fatty and flavourful as well. The red tuna was very fresh but didn’t have much flavour at all.
I’ve heard sushi chefs say that sometimes fish that is too fresh has no flavour at all. In any case, I enjoyed the sashimi platter and relatively speaking it wasn’t too expensive.
I decided to get this as my main because I wasn’t really in the mood for cooked fish as my main. Also, I was going to try everyone’s main dishes anyway 🙂 The nigiri were quite disappointing and I can’t believe they’d charge $43 for just eight pieces of mostly regular fish when their sashimi platter comes with twice as many pieces but is even cheaper.
The salmon again was disappointing in texture. The rice for the nigiri was cold and there was too little rice and I felt the flavour wasn’t balanced because of that.
The toro was fairly fatty and that was probably among my favourite pieces. The prawn was also fresh. Everything else was mediocre.
The chopped scallop was not seasoned other than with the tobiko, which were crunchy and basically ruining the texture of the scallop. I didn’t see the point of having the scallop chopped if no mayonnaise or other seasoning was going to be added. The seaweed was also soft as you can tell from the picture.
The unagi was big and was seasoned well but it was cold and soggy.
I definitely would NOT recommend the nigiri platter and I partially blame myself for ordering it.
Now for everyone else’s mains…
Another special, served with some vegetables including heirloom carrot, white beans, and in a saffron basil sauce. My partner noted that the basil could not be tasted at all.
All of the fish were cooked beautifully in my opinion and were still soft on the inside. The halibut was probably my favourite and it came apart with a fork very easily.
The yellowfin tuna was my least favourite — it was done tataki style, just seared on the outside; however the fish was warm which in my opinion was unappetizing.
The sauces the fishes were served in were excessively buttery. It was to the point where in a dish with subtle flavours like the saffron basil of the halibut, you could only taste the butter and it even slightly tasted like caramel.
Overall, the fish were cooked well but what they were served with did not seem to go in harmony with the fish and seemed out of place.
On the bright side, at least the sides weren’t all bok choy and white rice like they did at Joe Fortes…
Overall, I thought the meal was decent. The quality of the seafood is definitely their strong point and in terms of the seafood on ice this is as fresh as it gets and I would definitely come back for the fresh seafood. The nigiri was definitely a miss and for the hot plates, the fish were definitely treated well. We ended up paying $475 after tips and tax for the six of us which is about $80 a person.
As for the service, our waitress was friendly and attentive. For whatever reason, the hostesses at the front seemed very jaded and had their RBFs on all the time.
Would return: possibly