The latest addition to New Westminster’s growing Asian restaurant scene is Okonomi Sushi on Sixth St. They recently took over the spot that The Orange Room previously occupied. Okonomi has another location in New West down on Fourth St. I was a bit surprised to see a second one open so close. Then again, this stretch of Sixth St. is in definite need of quality Japanese.
Sherman and I arrived on a Monday at noon to a warm and inviting yet deserted room. Knowing we’d be eating large, we grabbed a four-top for extra room. Our very friendly server presented us with one of the heftiest menus I’ve come across.
Weighing in at around two pounds (at least it felt like that!) this menu is absolutely loaded with options, 199 to be exact. To get a good sense of the fare, we opted for the Okonamiyaki & Tempura combo as well as the Special Assorted Combo A.
As the main parts of our meals were being prepared, we were peppered with an assortment of appies and sides.
A decent salad…fresh, cool and crisp.
Same goes for the Ebi Sunonomo. A nice little snack to get the appetite revved up.
A very decent Miso soup…not too heavy on the sodium, good ‘n satisfying.
Crunchy, meaty and simply prepared Chicken Karaage. Although the menu says two, they gave us one more. Great. What’re we supposed to do? Pass the third one around like a doobie?!!
This is the first time I’d come across Chawanmushi. Literally put Chawanmushi means “tea cup steam”. It’s egg custard prepared with mirin, soy and dashi and in this case, prawn. Wiki has a good little write-up.
When the Sashimi and Nigiri plate hit the table we were slightly stunned. I don’t know about Sherman but I can’t remember getting such a large cut of salmon and tuna. You can literally wrap the fish all the way around the rice and then some. The tuna was a bit spotty but the salmon was pretty near perfect. Great value going on here.
Next time I hit up Okonomi, the salmon sashimi is first on the list.
An interesting aspect here is the purple shari…steamed rice with red cabbage juice. It doesn’t add much flavor just a cool aesthetic.
The Okonomiyaki, AKA Japanese pizza. When it hit the table (with a thud) the bonito flakes were waving about, somewhat creepily, like butterfly wings. This is due to the heat given off, so I’m told.
As the menu states, you have three options…meat, seafood or vegetable. It also says you can include all three. Of course, we had to go for the full meal deal! This is one large pile of food. Tasty, yes, but the excess of batter in the mix tipped the scales. Sherman managed to choke back a quarter of it…I struggled to get half-way through one piece. Seriously heavy stuff.
The highlight of the day was the Okonomi Special House Roll.
As I mentioned, the scope of Okonomi’s menu is huge. With an offering of a whopping 27 specialty rolls, there’s something for every taste. With the Special Assorted Combo A, you’re given a choice of five. As is usually a good move, we opted for the restaurant’s namesake.
I’ve often wondered how far you could jack up your basic California Roll. These folk have taken it north several degrees. Lightly tempurafried with spicy tuna, a smoky & creamy bacon-avocado mix, drizzled with mild chile and their ”Special Sauce”, this out-sized roll is something to behold.
If there’s one thing to be noticed here, it’s that the portions are freakin’ huge! Granted, the Okonomiyaki had it’s shortcomings but the Special Combo was well worth it’s $17 tag. A huuuge roll, karaage, 8 massive pieces of sushi, salad, sunomono, miso, chawanmushi and edamame. A steal.