Sushi KarisPosted: 10/04/2012
Back to our regularly scheduled programming of: In Hye attempts to find a decent sushi place near her house. So far we’ve tried three places (Yoko Sushi, Mega Sushi, and Matoi Sushi). The first two left us dissatisfied and the last one is great but a bit too far. Today we try Sushi Karis, located on Austin Avenue, which is Korean-owned and operated. It’s a small place, with less than ten (maybe five?) tables, although I saw quite a few people getting takeout. There’s a lone sushi chef, and the waiter looked awfully like he might be his son. Cute, a family business.
Let’s start off with the usual, my dad’s Assorted Sashimi, consisting of salmon, tuna, tako, and sockeye salmon. And as usual, my dad didn’t have much to say about it. I think he’s getting sick of sashimi…it’s too bad because that’s pretty much the only thing he’s allowed to eat, health-wise. I tried a piece of salmon and it was definitely fresh, cut in nice sizeable chunks, and not overly fishy. My dad ate all of it without any particular comment so it was acceptable–he’s definitely the kind of person who will complain if there’s anything at all wrong.
My mom ordered their Beef Teriyaki Bento, which included assorted tempura, the teriyaki over rice, a California roll, and green salad. A word of caution about our family: we like our food mild. Anything slightly salty or sweet really sets us off. My mom liked how the beef was sweet, in a natural way, not overly sweet like a lot of teriyaki is. She also found it a little salty, but not overly so.
My brother ordered the same bento box, but with Chicken Teriyaki. He commented that the chicken was not overcooked, but the teriyaki sauce was unevenly distributed. Both bento boxes had freshly fried tempura, with the California roll being quite standard. Both my mom and brother thought that a serving of miso soup would have been a nice addition to the lunch boxes, but overall, they were both satisfied with their meals.
I went with my usual in the Negitoro Roll. Like the California roll included with the two bento boxes, this was acceptable but nothing special. The fish was a little too cold, though, like it had just come out of the freezer. The coldness of the fish took away from its enjoyable texture, so there wasn’t the desired contrast between the toro and the green onions. Still, it was not bad. I’ve definitely had worse, but I’ve also had better negitoro rolls.
Despite having an infamously small appetite, one negitoro roll wasn’t enough to get me full, so I also ordered a Red and White Roll, which is one of their specialty rolls. This was a simple spicy tuna roll, topped with chopped scallop with some kind of spicy mayo sauce and masago on top. I tend to choose specialty rolls carefully (weighing whether or not I like all of the ingredients), and I enjoyed this–all the ingredients complemented each other well. I was surprised at how spicy the sauce was, it was the type of spiciness that keeps you wanting more. The one thing I would have fixed was that the roll fell apart as I ate it. Still, props to the sushi chef–all of my family members noted that he was trying his best.
I always feel sympathy for family businesses and this was definitely one of those occasions. Although this is a typical neighbourhood sushi joint (neither exceptional nor terrible) that is dependent on nearby residents’ takeout orders, I enjoyed my dinner here, and felt like I should support this small family business. The food itself is acceptable, and one of the better places for sushi in the immediate area.
504 Nelson Street
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