Sunday, October 18, 2009

Akari Japanese Restaurant

Location: Coquitlam


We started off with a Spinach Gomae. It held its own, however, it did not have the same great peanut-y texture as many other Japanese restaurants such as Kiku (Burnaby). Next came the Spicy Tuna Sashimi. This was great – although not “to die for” (as I’ve read from other reviews.) However it was easily the best dish of the night - loaded with a tasty dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds – this was definitely a knight in shining armour since it saved this restaurant’s review (you will see why as you continue reading). It is also important to note that most sashimi dishes from other restaurants do not include a salad, whereas this restaurant did. In fact, it came atop a nice spinach salad. (You can’t go wrong with extra greens!)
Next in line was the Marinated Beef Salad. Now let me tell you, there was definitely no hurry for this dish to budge the line. The beef was the best part of this dish as it was nicely marinated and tender. The salad was mediocre. What kind of restaurant uses iceberg lettuce for a salad? There is absolutely no elegance in using iceberg lettuce. The dressing for this salad had a slight zing to it and almost tantalized my taste buds… almost! The Salmon Sashimi was fresh, which is always a plus!
Then came the rolls. These rolls were the biggest rolls I’ve ever seen in my life. They were HUGE! I guess this Korean-run, Japanese restaurant had watched too many Godzilla movies and decided to make their rolls specific for Godzilla himself. (Please see J’s p.o.v below for our thoughts on Godzilla type-sized rolls!) If you like gigantic rolls, then this is your place. If you are like me and prefer bite-size rolls then this is not a place for you. The first roll we had was the Green Field Roll. This was basically a California roll with cream cheese, topped with kiwi and showered with yogurt sauce. Sounds appealing but there was so much cream cheese that I had to remove some. The Pizza Roll was the best since it was bite-sized, very tasty, and baked like a pizza! It came dressed in mozzarella cheese with little cubelets of red pepper. This was the best roll and along with the spicy tuna sashimi, it may have saved this restaurant from a verbal massacre. The Butterfly Roll we had was just too big. Overall, the flavours were there , but they were just too big for my liking. Had the rolls been smaller, I’m sure the rolls would’ve been dynamite!

Nice and efficient!

$10 - $20 price range. The rolls are relatively cheap considering their ginormous size (but that’s only if you prefer huge rolls.)

Awesome! Authentic-like even though it is Korean-run. I love the Japanese atmosphere. From the private rooms to the fountain with the bridge (see picture), it was a nice ambience indeed. Plus, it was clean!

Overall: 7.5/10
All in all, this is a very solid Japanese restaurant. Due to my low tolerance level for gigantic sushi rolls, 7.5/10 would’ve been way too high of a rating if it weren’t for my 2 knights in shining armour ie., the Spicy Tuna Sashimi & Pizza Roll. Thank you to my knights :)

Posted by: Scoe

*J's perspective: I agree with the 7.5 rating Scoe gave to Akari. Akari was pretty much overall, a solid restaurant taking all things into consideration - food, service, ambience, etc...EXCEPT for certain rolls that were just too darn big (and unappetizing!) We are avid "special rolls" (atypical sushi rolls) hunters and have tried lots of different special rolls at various Jap. restaurants. We love the fusion between ingredients-that-you-would-never-think-of inserted into a maki roll (e.g cream cheese, kiwi, mango, papaya) or even different types of sauces drizzled on (black sesame sauce, chili mayo), but there are certain ones that just go overboard with the size and amount of ingredients they put in! (e.g the Butterfly Roll here at Akari.)

1 comment:

naomi said...

Bigger pictures please!! I'm hungry now D