With my recent pharmacist position transferred to a St. Albert location, I’ve expanded a lot of my eats to the area. As it’s only a 15 minute drive from my house, there really is no excuse to not try restaurants there. Lately, I’ve had serious cravings for sushi and ever since my trip to LA, I haven’t been able to get the same fix. Sushi will never be the same! Good, yes, but not the best I’ve ever had. There are two sushi restaurants I wanted to try in St. Albert though: Yuzen and Ohana-Ya, both a stones throw away from where I work. First up, Yuzen! (I’ll get around to posting Ohana-Ya soon!)
When we came at 6:30pm on a Saturday night, the place was packed! Make sure to reserve a table if you’re going during peak hours. The menu has a pretty good selection of appetizers and sushi, less for rolls than most would expect. Priced fairly reasonably as well!
First order was the tuna tataki, seared and in a garlic soy sauce. The sear was a bit much for me, cooking more of the tuna that I would have liked, but if it weren’t so, it would just be straight up sashimi in a sauce. I’d almost prefer it as such, but that would make me a fool for ordering tataki and expecting something else. The garlic soy sauce was nice and light, making the dish easy to eat. Most importantly, the tuna tasted super fresh!
To compare my favorite type of roll, I ordered the spicy tuna. I ordered it with tobiko (flying fish roe) but it can be ordered with plain sesame at a cheaper price. The tuna was spicy, but my favorite is still Kyoto and Ichiban’s spicy tuna maki. Something about the smaller maki makes the proportions of rice to fish ratio that much more appealing. This was still good though!
Joe ordered the assorted sushi combo, coming with 7 pieces of nigiri (including a tamago sushi), and one salmon hosomaki (the equivalent of the smaller maki rolls at Kyoto or Ichiban). This was probably the best deal yet, at $18 for the combo, fairly large portions of nigiri, and fresh sashimi to boot. To date, this is as close as I have gotten in Edmonton and area to my sushi experience in LA. Very nicely done! Watch out though, done to true fashion, there is a bit of a wasabi rub in between the sashimi and the rice.
Not quite so full yet, we also ordered the mozuku, a string seaweed, marinated in a vinaigrette dressing. I was expecting a seaweed salad, something with crunchier texture that was marinated differently, but instead I got a very stringy, soup-like bowl of seaweed. The agar of the seaweed seemed to be extracted out by the vinaigrette, making the soup fairly slippery and slimy! The taste was good, but the texture wasn’t a hit for me.
For dessert, three matcha ice cream mochi balls for us. Although not handmade (anybody know of a place in Edmonton that does?), and imported through a supplier, it was still a great dessert. The outer rice cake layer was done thinly (my preference), and the ice cream rich in flavor. Yum!
Since opening a little over a year ago, Yuzen hasn’t reached to my ears by many sources. Hopefully you guys check it out next time you’re craving for a sushi place! When I posted a photo on Instagram (follow me for sneak peaks at my upcoming posts), there was a comment that I should try Ohana-Ya. Mind reader! That post is to come so check out which one I thought was better! There was also a couple of comments that the service was slow. I thought our server did a great job getting our orders and our dishes and with one sushi chef plain in sight for you to see, I don’t blame the ever so slightly slower prep. He’s cutting fish, I’d rather he do it right!Yuzen Japanese Restaurant
127 – 1 Hebert Road (St. Albert)