Hukuya SushiPosted: 06/24/2013
Each of my childhood summers has a defining trait to remember it by. There’s the summer I moved to Canada, the summer my family took a road trip, and several summers spent visiting relatives back in Seoul. Summer reminds me of family vacations and structureless days of splashing around in a pool and consuming shaved ice by the bowlful. Each year, summer is a special time, magically separate from the rest of the year.
And, of course, this summer is going to be extra special, since I’m going to be spending the last two months of it in Europe! I’ve never been to Europe before, and I’ve always romanticized the notion of a trip to Europe during college, so I’m quite excited to go, to put it mildly. In any case, having catch-up lunches with friends prior to a big trip is always nice, so Cindy and I planned to meet up near North Road for a quick meal.
Despite the high density of Korean restaurants on North Road, I’ve never been partial to eating at Korean restaurants. I can get it so easily at home, plus my mom’s cooking is free of MSG and the huge amounts of sugar that is often hidden in Korean restaurant fare. Once you eliminate all the Korean restaurants in this area, you’re left with not so many choices, especially considering that it was raining and we weren’t eager to walk far.
So, we headed to Hukuya Sushi, which is hidden beside the Red Robin in a small complex behind Lougheed Mall. Somewhat ironically, Hukuya is Korean-run, but so are many of the popular sushi places in the area, so we gave it a try. We were greeted by the somewhat unpleasant smell of old cooking oil, but seated promptly by the server/owner. They had quite an extensive menu with both lunch and dinner specials, so it took us a while to decide what to order.
First, we shared a Spicy Chopped Scallop Roll ($5.25). They also had a lot of larger specialty rolls on the menu, but none of them really appealed to me (plus they were actually quite pricey!) This was a decent attempt, but I thought it was expensive considering that the roll was not especially large. It wasn’t much bigger than your regular maki. The presentation was also a bit sloppy, as you can see, with some of the rice falling apart in places. I personally prefer the scallops to be directly massaged with spicy sauce rather than the sauce being distributed on top, but this tasted alright. The rice itself was a bit too vinegary, but not unpleasantly so, while the scallops themselves were nice and juicy, and in large chunks. The sauce was both sweet and spicy. I think I would rather try one of their special rolls on another visit, considering this simple roll cost me more than five bucks…
I then had a Tuna Don ($10.95), which I again thought was a bit pricey considering the prices at other, similar Korean-run sushi restaurants, but oh well. The tuna was of a decent quality, being neither too mushy nor too firm. I found the rice a bit too sweet and vinegary, but I tend to prefer milder flavours, so that’s just personal preference. The portion size was quite large, and I ended up having a lot of rice left afterwards. It was a simple but filling meal and I would definitely consider ordering it again if I were to return.
Cindy decided on the Lunch Box A ($8.95), which included miso soup, assorted tempura, chicken teriyaki with rice, green salad, and a California roll. To break down the lunch box one by one…the miso soup was the usual slightly salty fare with tiny cubes of tofu. The tempura was crispy and hot, while the teriyaki was lightly touched with mildly sweet sauce. The salad, meanwhile, was fresh, which is all we’re really asking for in a salad, with apple puree dressing served on top. Cindy was most pleased with the California roll, which she declared above average, and quite filling, despite it being four pieces instead of the usual six. I personally thought it was a great value for $8.95, especially, considering that the chopped scallop roll alone set us back $5.25. I generally don’t opt for lunch boxes since they usually contain teriyaki and tempura, which aren’t my go-to items at a Japanese restaurant, but I would consider ordering one here, since it seemed to be the best value out of the items that we sampled.
Overall, our meal at Hukuya was what we expected: a quick lunch at your average, run-of-the-mill sushi joint. As the only servers were the two owners, the service was a bit slow, but I thought that the service was subpar even considering that fact. The restaurant wasn’t terribly busy during our stay, and it took a long time for us to receive our cups of water and our cheque, even after we specifically requested them. To summarize, I wasn’t incredibly impressed by Hukuya, but then again, I wouldn’t actively dissuade someone from eating there.
9626 Cameron Street