Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Restaurants: Kamiya Sushi

Sushi is the staple of the downtown worker's lunch. A big reason for that is the abundance of sushi joints in the downtown area. According to Urbanspoon there are 60 sushi restaurants within walking distance of my work. That does not include the west end/Robson street where there are another 20 or so.

Which one do you start with? The one where the rest of your co-workers go! For us, that is Kamiya Sushi in the Vancouver Public Library.

I love the location, especially now that the Library and I have made up and become friends again. (It was a big payoff on my part for that friendship). Grab a book, grab some sushi and sit on the steps of the library with the rest of the downtown office workers trying to get some sunshine in their day.

Kamiya has 2 types of service for the lunch worker. Near the entrance they offer a selection of premade sushi for takeout and then some group tables and bar service for eat in. If you eat at the bar, they have a selection of trashy entertainment magazines to read, which I like. There is always a line for the takeout sushi but they restock quickly and the line moves fast.

I am not an expert sushi eater because I have a fear of seaweed. Ever since I was child I have hated seaweed. It is slimy and gross and moves to attack you when you are swimming and contains ocean bugs and yuck. Don't get me started on kelp. Thank goodness no one is trying to get me to eat that too.

My forages into Japanese eating has mainly been of the teriyaki, donburi and gyoza type foods. I can eat rolls as long as the seaweed is on the inside of the roll and the pieces are small. I am trying to be more adventurous and try more sashimi since it doesn't involve seaweed.

For this meal I started with miso soup. I love miso soup. I have created an interpretive dance about the awesomeness of miso. Ask me next time you see me.


I ordered a combo off the menu, California roll with 3 pieces of tuna sashimi and 3 of salmon sashimi.


It is hard to tell from the photo but the sashimi was huge. The tuna pieces were were about half and inch thick each. At first I was surprised and happy by the generous portions but in the end it was really hard for me to eat. I eat the whole piece of sashimi at once, I am not sure if that is the "official" way to eat it. With the pieces being so large, it got chewy and took a long time to eat. Then I started thinking about it being raw flesh and kind of freaked myself out. The sashimi was super fresh and really tasty, but too big of a portion for me. I like a thinner slice that melts when you eat it.

I like that they do not use an excessive amount of mayo in the California roll and leave the creaminess to the avocado slices.

UPDATE! Sept 1
Went back to Kamiya today with Adele and Cristina today. I thought about ordering the same combo to see if the sashimi would be the same today. Luckily for me, a guy at the counter ordered the combo and it was the same. The restaurant is really generous with their portions!
As I had determined that I don't appreciate the larger pieces, I went with the California roll and nigiri sushi combo.

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Perfect! The fish pieces were the perfect size for me to eat in one bite and thin enough to melt in my mouth. I think I might just eat the meat and not the rice the next time as I am really full of rice at the moment.

The roll in the corner was a piece of Cristina's spicy scallop roll. I had never had one before and didn't want to order a whole roll in case I didn't like it. It was great! The spicyness hits you after you have eaten the roll and the scallop was chopped which made it easy to eat.

Gyoza. Hooray for Gyoza!

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They were perfect. What really impressed me was when Adele told the waitress we were sharing the gyoza, they brought the order of six gyoza out in 2 plates with 2 dishes of sauce. They also put $2.00 on my bill and $2.00 on hers. Very nice touch.

There is nothing on the menu that is out of the ordinary for a sushi restaurant but the location is great, the service is always very friendly, the food is fresh and fast. My number one sushi joint downtown.

Kamiya Sushi on Urbanspoon

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