Yoko SushiPosted: 09/22/2012
Having moved to Coquitlam around a year ago, my family has been on an informal quest to find a great sushi place in our neighbourhood. The best luck we’ve had so far is at Matoi Sushi. The prices at Matoi are a little on the high side (although this is reflected in the quality of their ingredients). I’d also heard great things about Fuji Sushi, but sadly they recently relocated to Port Moody. One summer day, when we weren’t exactly in the mood to drive all the way out to Coquitlam Centre to visit Matoi, we decided to try one of the sushi places we always drive by on our way home: Yoko Sushi.
Actually, our first choice was Sushi Karis (review upcoming), but they were closed–I believe it was a Sunday or a statutory holiday. So we just drove a couple more blocks and ended up at Yoko. From the beginning it was clear this place is Korean-owned and -operated–the one waitress and the burly sushi chefs were all communicating in rapid-fire Korean. I’ve had some good and not-so-good experiences at Korean-owned sushi places, but I wanted to keep my mind open, so we began ordering.
After ordering, we all received some complimentary Miso Soup. I was actually a little excited for this, considering how infrequently we receive miso soup free-of-cost in Vancouver. Usually I love free things…but not today. This was the most unbearably salty miso soup I’d ever had. It contained the requisite pieces of green onion and little pieces of tofu, but other than that it tasted like a bowl of salt water, with a little bit of miso flavouring. Not a great start to our meal, although I appreciate the gesture.
I was excited to see that they had an Oyako Don on the menu, and ordered it. I shouldn’t have. What I love best about an oyako don is the mild flavours from the daishi broth and the steamed egg. I’m pretty sure this didn’t have any daishi broth–it tasted a little like plain old soy sauce and a little like teriyaki sauce, which I hate. The chicken was woefully overcooked (as you can see), resulting in a bitter, tough product. The egg itself was also overcooked, being mostly in one huge chunk, rather than mixing naturally with the rice. I was disappointed with this, which was as far from an authentic oyako don as you can get. As with the miso soup, I wasn’t sure why they bothered putting this on the menu, since it only disappointed me.
Meanwhile, my mother ordered the Vegetable Yakisoba. She was hoping for a mild version so she could share with my dad, who can’t consume too much sugar or sodium due to dietary restrictions. If the previous items were any indication, you’ll know that this yakisoba was far from mild. Although it came in a heaping mound of noodles and veggies, there was too much sauce, which was both too salty and too sweet. The sauce simply drenched the noodles and veggies, leaving them soggy and unappetizing. were incredibly mushy and not at all chewy.
My dad had the Assorted Sashimi, as he usually does at most sushi restaurants. Included here was the requisite salmon and tuna, as well as some wild salmon, tako, and accompanying vegetables. My dad wasn’t sold on the presentation–he felt that everything was randomly thrown together, which he didn’t appreciate. He and I both prefer sashimi to be presented on a bamboo plate (plate? tray? not sure what the right word would be). He said that the fish was adequate, but nothing special, and that both the veggies and fish were not especially fresh.
Lastly, my brother went for one of their bento boxes, which came with three pieces of nigiri, tempura, agedashi tofu, gyoza, chicken teriyaki and green salad. As a whole, he found much of the food very salty–the gyoza, the salad dressing, even the tuna for the nigiri. The tempura was limp and not freshly fried, and the food in general was mediocre. Although the amount of food was adequate for the price we paid (something between ten and fifteen dollars), it was really no use because it was much too salty for anyone to eat very much of it.
So the verdict on Yoko Sushi: nope. As you see above, most of the food was too salty for our liking, and the presentation so-so. Also the restaurant itself was badly in need of an upgrade, as I was under the impression that it was quite old and not very clean. The service was sparse but friendly, but I definitely will not be coming back, as the food is subpar, and sushi places in Vancouver are a dime a dozen.
1001 Austin Avenue