While I have previously complained about the lack of poutine on campus, I am happy about the existence of this Japanese/sushi place just 10 minutes walk from my office in the Cornerstone building.
The lineups can get crazy (literally lined up out the door!) but it moves fast. The front of house is poorly set up with counters around the sides and a round table up front, but very little room to move your chair if you’re staying to eat. Their new TV also makes the place feel noisier and more crowded. But honestly, most of the eateries on campus are pretty crowded, catering to cheap food in large portions rather than ambiance (though that does seem to be changing).
On to the food! I slept through supper the night before, so I ordered both a Beef Teriyaki Bento and a side order of 6 gyoza.
The beef was not too lean, which was good, but there were glass noodles mixed in that thinned this dish out. Going clockwise from there, the green salad was so-so with a typical fruit/veggie puree salad dressing. The iceberg lettuce with a few carrot sticks could greatly benefit from a slice of tomato or cuke. The Spinach Gomae is actually very flavourful – always happy with this item! The rice is not overcooked, but it is a little sticky – the sesame seeds sprinkled on top are very fresh, so they add a nice crunchy texture and good nutty edge – they aren’t just decoration! Then there are the noodles. I don’t like these at all. I’ve tried to jazz them up with soy or black vinegar, but nothing seems to make them good. I usually end up putting them in the leftover teriyaki sauce to at least make them taste better. I think the noodles are overcooked because they have no “chew” and break easily. They could definitely improve on this item.
Gyoza on their own are a little expensive (for $2.50 more I could have turned this into a second bento – but I’m not crazy!) – the flavour is good with pork and cabbage filling. I like the way they grill them too – to a darker brown level, which is perfect in my books. The wrappers are often blown out though, but I don’t blame them. This is an item that, obviously, would be best eaten immediately. This day I brought everything back to my office and the dumpling skins got a bit tough, but that was my fault entirely.
So yeah – $12.08 (including tax) for a super filling meal – I’m satisfied. Their sushi is pretty decent too, way better than the rolls you can get at Koya. It also gets me out of the office and takes both credit cards & debit – which is handy. Get there at 11:30 if you don’t want to line up!