Big M and will be be leaving the suburbs of NoBu soon to return to my people on the Drive. In the time that we have left we are trying to make it to all the restaurants in our area that we said we would go to but haven't yet. The top of that list, Sushi Garden.
Sushi Garden opened up beside the Staples down the street from us about a year ago and it has had a line up since then. Always. It has been a running joke with Big M and me to check out the line every time we go to the store. There is always a line. Is that because it is the most awesome sushi ever, or because it is the cheapest sushi ever? There is another sushi joint half a block away so it is not like this is the only place for the tower people to go.
It was about 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon when we decided to hit Sushi Garden after running some errands. Couldn't be that busy, right? I did have a good feeling about parking which seems to be the main issue with the restaurant. The Staples and Church's Chicken have obviously complained as the parking lot now has painted the business names on the parking lot to stop the sushi parking. I was right! Rockstar parking right in front. Good start.
The decor is very modern, decorated in wood and rock panelling. It was busy, of course. The confusing part of getting seated is that you need to go to the cashier desk at the back of the restaurant to put your name on the list even though there are seats to wait at the front. We only waited about 5 minutes for a seat. We even changed tables as they sat us in front of the door on a cold day. Let the sushi fest begin.
I was surprised at some of the more creative rolls they have. The BLT roll, the Filet-O-fish roll, the Chi-chee (chicken and mozza) roll. My guess is they are designed for the hesitant western sushi eater as they are more recognizable. I appreciate that so I ordered 2. The Hawaiian Beef roll (beef and Pineapple)-$3.95 and the Chicken Katsu roll (chicken cutlet)- $3.95
I liked them okay... I find really large rolls hard to eat. I ended up just eating the middle parts out. I didn't really enjoy the sauce they were covered in. It was really sweet.
I also got an order of Tuna and Salmon Sashimi- $7.95.
The pieces were a bit on the large side, but tasted great. Very fresh and a nice temperature. My favorite part of the meal.
I rounded out my part of the order with some gyoza, of course.
I love food wrapped in dough more than almost everything so I was a bit disappointed with these. Fairly standard gyoza but they were hardly browned at all and almost cold. Messing up my dumplings makes me very sad.
Big M decided he wanted to give Roe a try. I am personally not a fan. I don't appreciate the texture but he went with a piece of Tobiko (Flying Fish Roe) $1.30 and a Tobiko w/Quail Egg $1.50
I did not expect the egg to be raw and sitting on top! Bold choices, in my opinion. He said they were okay, crunchier than he had expected. He said the egg added a creamy quality to it.
For his rolls he chose a Yam Tempura roll (Tobico, sweet potato)$3.75 and a spicy scallop roll- $3.75.
We were confused by the Yam Tempura roll because it was sweet potato. I know it says that in the description but we just ordered it from knowing we like yam tempura rolls. Only now that I am going to an online version of the menu do I see that it says sweet potato. Why call it a yam roll? Why not call it a sweet potato roll? They are very different vegetables. We didn't like this roll much in the end as it had very little flavour no matter what you call it. Big M liked the scallop roll.
He also ordered a miso. We liked that it had some deep fried tofu in it.
Well, we did it. Finally ate at the Sushi Garden. The portions were large, the food okay and the service efficient, if not friendly. I don't know if it is worth lining up for like they do. Maybe they have the same urban buzz as Stepho's- I don't get it there either.