Tomoya Japanese

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining Ben from Chowtimes for lunch at Kura in Burnaby. It was a unique experience in that I’m still somewhat unfamiliar with uncommon Japanese cuisine. A simple suggestion to deviate from the mundane, everyday fare was all it took. A light kick in the pants is all I need when it comes to discovering great food.

As a follow-up to Kura, Ben suggested Tomoya Japanese on Nelson. Another foodie friend told me Tomoya was a top pick in Burnaby. This place is starting to look better and better.

The complimentary Miso Soup…a great way to get the gustatory juices flowing.

As per Ben’s suggestion of trying out unfamiliar items, I chose the Takoyaki. They are basically doughy balls of seafood, fried and smothered in, what seems like, Italian dressing. Somewhat tasty but not a big hit. On the other hand, this next dish is phenomenal.


Black Sun. More often than not, a dish this visually stunning is followed by some form of letdown. Not this time.

This is one seriously delicious plate. Chopped scallop, tuna and salmon bathed in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, topped with black tobiko and a quail’s egg. For the record, Ben quoted me verbatim in his post…”Wow…mmm…wow”. Next time around, no sharing!

Next up, we ordered two items from the “Tomoya Special Rolls” menu. First off, the Admiral Roll. A spicy tuna tempura roll topped with a lightly deep-fried soft-shell crab. The crab was the best part here…tender, light and crunchy. The tuna tempura was a touch dry, a bit overdone. Plus, being super-sized, it was difficult to get all the elements in one, neat bite.

The final item was an easy pick…go with the restaurant’s namesake!

The Tomoya Roll was superb. Chopped scallop, crab, tamago and avocado topped with ebi and mango. A fantastic roll worthy of the Tomoya label. All the ingredients very fresh with an excellent balance of flavour and texture.

For quite a while I had perceived Tomoya as just another run-of-the-mill pseudo-Japanese sushi joint. Luckily, for me, I’ve been pushed in the direction of the good stuff.

On a side note, in my post of Kura I questioned whether or not it mattered if the restaurant was “authentic”. After a meal this good, I’ve decided it hardly matters.


Tomoya Japanese on Urbanspoon

3 responses

  1. Ben

    Hi Karl: I thought you took the Tomoya roll picture real nice and captured the insides well. Anyway, this place is really good, isn’t it? Gonna be hard to top this. You decide the next place.

    March 10, 2010 at 5:53 am

  2. Karl

    Thanks, Ben. It’s gonna be difficult to top Tomoya, but I’m sure I can find us some decent grub!

    March 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm

  3. Years ago, before I started food blogging, I went to Tomoya a couple of times and… Let’s just say there were reasons I stop going. One of them was timing: I ordered appetizers along with some sushi but the appetizers did not arrive until *after* I was 2/3 done with the sushi. Likewise, I felt rushed during my dinner. I guess they have fixed all those issues…

    I understand your thoughts about authenticity, that is something I myself have started to detach myself as well. Hey, after all, if it tastes good! However, one of the reasons I might not like places like Tomoya is their over-emphasis on rolls. I myself prefer nigiri sushi…

    March 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm

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