Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Isami Sushi (Burnaby)

I always pass by Isami Sushi on the way home from school but I've never tried them until recently. I've eaten at many Japanese restaurants in the Lower Mainland, and this is one of the better tasting Japanese restaurants around. Usually Japanese restaurants in the Lower Mainland aren't Japanese owned and their sushi are made by chefs who aren't probably never even been to Japan!

Isami Sushi is located across the street from Staples Metrotown on Mckay street. You can find their address on their website: It is only a few minutes away by feet from the Metrotown Skytrain station and they do have parking. I prefer to walk there because is isn't far.

What to eat
I've eaten here a few times now and I found some of their things pretty good. Their Yakisoba is cooked on a teriyaki plate, is pretty good. Unlike other Yakisoba, their yakisoba isn't greasy and is matched with some seaweed flavour. The noodles with the juices coming from the pork of the yakisoba makes it mouth watering to just look at, let alone its smell. Priced at around 6 bucks, for the quality, I say it is pretty decent. The downside of it is it is a bit salty, so if you prefer a lighter flavour, remember to ask the waiter for less salt when you order. 
Another thing I would order is their tempura. The way they make their tempura is really good because it doesn't taste like it's been drenched in oil. Often other Japanese restaurants will drench their tempura in oil, which gives them a sick taste. However, the only down side to their tempura is that it is quite expensive. For the tempura order shown in the picture, I remember it was $5 and it didn't include much. 

My favourite things to order at Isami is their sushi. There are so many kinds that are good. First, I would recommend the chicken teriyaki, the teriyaki is fresh and everytime I've been there, it's been cooked nicely so that it isn't overcooked or undercooked. Other things I would recommend is their California rolls. Even though it seems like everyone uses imitation crab meat to make Cali Rolls, Isami is no exception. It is the way they make it that makes it taste better. Their imitation crab seems to be darker in colour (so I think that they get the crab meat somewhere that most people don't get it from). Another thing I like is their sashimi and nigiri sushi (rice ball with raw fish on top of it). They put a tiny jab of wasabi in their nigiri, that many Japanese Restaurants fail to do in their sushi, to give it abit of taste. The sashimi is always fresh so it makes the raw fish go down well. I love the taste of their salmon nigiri because it has a fresh taste, yet it doesn't have that old sea-food feel to it. Other rolls I would recommend is their dynamite roll and their rolls with sashimi in it (such as the Salmon roll, tuna roll and etc..., not to be mixed or confused with nigiri sushi)
Even though the sushi tastes really good, they can be pricey at Isami. The portions aren't really big and it often takes many plates of sushi for it to be considered filling. The quality is good, and it really depends on the value everyone puts in food. If you are looking for bigger portions, I would recommend the donburi (rice with toppings) because they are more filling. 

What's different about Isami Sushi is their chefs are legit Japanese. Something that they do differently is they use quality ginger, the ones that have their natural colour than the red things that normal Japanese restaurants use. In addition, the way they wrap their sushi is similar to those in Japan where it is the right size, rather than some which are either too big, too small, too thick or thin. In addition, their sashimi is fresh and in general the eating environment is spacious. 
The downside to eating here is that there the menu is plain and all written without any pictures. Alot of the things on there are written in Englished Japanese (Romaji). For example, they would write things like Nigiri Sushi and Yakisoba without defining clearly what they are. I remember the first time I went I ordered a Nama-chirashi thinking that it was a plate of sashimi when really it is a donburi (ricebowl) with a bunch of sashimi on top of it. The funny part is that it is hard to identify what the sashimi is because there are so many kinds! 

In general, here is their rank:

Isami Sushi on Urbanspoon

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