I still remember my very first sushi experience. About fifteen years ago some friends invited me out to Yakko Sushi in Station Square. We had some, as we know it now, basic fare…miso, tempura, California rolls. It was a wonderful, eye-opening foray into Asian food…something besides Combo B at the Dragon Fort.
Here is a fascinating insight into Vancouver Japanese restaurants circa 1998.
Nowadays, we’ve got a great selection of sushi joints all over town. One of the better ones, it turns out, is Gohan West Coast Japanese Restaurant.
I’m lucky to have an in-house Japanese food advisor. When it comes to seeking out the best of the best, The Gut, aka, Louie Louie, knows his Japanese fare. He’d mentioned Gohan a couple of months ago and this past Friday I gathered the troops.
Seeing an “older” hand at the reins is a promising sign…this man knows his stuff.
To start, we ordered from the “Original Seafood” section of the menu.
The Garlic Tuna Tataki was a perfect starter. Tender cubes, firm and fatty…soaked in soy/mirin mix, these were lightly seared and beautifully presented. The downside was having only one.
Another great choice from the “Original Seafood” menu is the Pork Gyoza. Always a seafood-lover’s favorite.
Funnily, these weren’t fishy at all. They were, however, loaded with pork goodness. This was about as much filling as you can stuff in a wrap. At a lunch-special fours bucks, these were a steal.
Spicy Agedashi Tofu. Extra-large cubes of tofu dusted with cornstarch, fried to a perfect golden brown. The sauce, a touch too tomatoey and very under-chilified. An order of the plain version with a side of Sriracha would make these near perfect.
A unique twist to the Garlic Chicken Karaage is the addition of a honey-cream sauce. Not exactly what these crunchy bites need…they’re so good on their own. Really exceptional chunks of sake/garlic-marinated thigh meat, deep-fried to perfection. A very solid choice.
The Assorted Tempura is equally as good.
Good variety and plentiful…half a dozen Ebi Furai crowning eggplant, carrot, zucchini and sweet potato. For $9, there’s nothing but value here. And delicious crispiness.
The rolls here are of a very good quality…solid amounts of high-quality ingredient. The Spicy Scallop Roll is a prime example. No skimping on the tender and juicy scallops…the sushi rice, well above average.
Gohan offers a nice selection of “Original Rolls”. The Black Dragon Roll consists of unagi (BBQ eel), imitation crab, masago, cucumber and a load of avocado atop sweet soy.
Considering the amount of ingredient, this held up very well. Nicely executed.
Another exceptional selection is the Rainbow Roll. Essentially a California Roll covered with very fresh avocado and five kinds of fish.
Can’t say enough about the quality here. Prime ingredients all around.
Probably the best example of quality and freshness at Gohan is the Deluxe Assorted Sashimi. No mushy, second-rate seafood here. Top-notch, across the board.
As far as Burnaby’s selection of Japanese restaurants go, Gohan is in the upper echelon…definitely in the top three. Kura was good, Tomoya was better, Gohan was exceptional. Well worth many return visits.