Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Review: Unkai Sushi

There are a number of very small sushi restaurants on West Boulevard, south of 41st. The competition ought to be fierce.

Unkai (at 5351 West Boulevard) has a lunch special: 2 items $6.95 or 3 items $9.95 - an item being something like "small chicken udon" or a dynamite roll - or three pieces of the same nigiri. I must admit to be a bit of an enthusiast for nigiri. Last weekend we went to Shota (5688 Yew) - who claim  "the best sushi in Kerrisdale" - because of a coupon we got. When I checked, of course, it was not valid that day. I ended up paying closer to $20 for something not too different, and waited a lot longer. Note that the salmon pictured above is almost certainly farmed Atlantic (places that sell wild Pacific Sockeye charge a premium) but the tuna (maguro) was on this occasion the usually premium priced toro - fatty or belly tuna.

The tiny Unkai was empty at midday, so I got served quickly. Unfortunately the complimentary miso soup was cold - but it came at the same time as the sushi. I also asked for green tea as it was not all clear if that was included (it was) which was also lukewarm. Even so, 9 pieces of nigiri for $10 is a bargain, and this was of high quality. It is also apparent from the picture that it was not a skimpy piece of fish on each piece. The furnishings are basic and the room spartan. At Shota you are in a different class of establishment. We had comfy padded chairs and could admire the calligraphy on display.

For a quick lunch you could go further and fare worse than Unkai. And since the soup is "free" it won't hurt to ignore it.  

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