1113 Blanshard St.
E: I’ve been to Shiki Sushi more times than James has with his attempts to get out to Sidney. But in a miracle of miracles, to convince him to head here when dinner options were minimal within a certain square block was not too hard. I didn’t realize there were a few new menu items, and for once, I didn’t do all you can eat.
J: I really wanted to visit the Noodle Cart after we failed to dine at Pinoy. Ed said Shiki was “pricey.”
I was trying to find excuses not to go in and Ed was offering to pay for 1/4 of the bill. That’s a Scotsman for you. My first impression was its dimly lit interior. Perhaps it was because of the daylight or maybe I still needed time for my eyes to adjust.
E:As with most Japanese restaurants, the trend these days in its layout is more modernist than period. It suited me just fine, but for a guy who claims to be a Japanophile, I was mildly taken aback. In looking at the menu, to have two maki dishes named Firecracker and Sexy Man caught my attention. I will have to declare that I am a heterosexual, and after trying these two rolls, I felt even more macho than ever.
J: But that doesn’t mean I have to like the interior of something just because it’s Japanese. The place was too open for my liking. It took me some time to get comfortable.
Maybe on our next trip I’ll seat myself at the bar and just devour whatever sushi the chefs can make. My miso based ramen was adequate but it lacked any real flavour. Perhaps if they used some more green onion I would think of it better. But I will agree the sushi was delicious and was the highlight of the visit. Even my dessert couldn’t match the taste.
E: And to sit at the sushi bar is a bit of a tradition but I don’t think James knows all the etiquette involved, like never whittle the chopsticks. In this day and age where they are disposable, and splinters might occur at one end, I’ve learned that it should be done under the table than above (where anyone can observe).
Also, If you buy the chef a drink, sometimes he may make up a special roll for you. But this piece of knowledge does not always happen. Depending on the restaurant, the chef is not allowed to drink. To complement my meal, I had the Beef Udon bowl, and it was enjoyable. While I’m used to white udon noodle, I was intrigued at the changing of the guard–the type of noodles used were green in colour!
I’m glad the recipes get changed up quite a bit at Shiki Sushi, so coming here irregularly is always an adventure.
J: My chocolate monton came to my table in a sweat. It had a rich flavour but underneath the chocolate layer was what I could describe as a moist brownie interior. It wasn’t something I could thoroughly enjoy.
E: At least the choices of ice cream were better. I saw black sesame offered before in Japanese restaurants and my big question is if this was Island Farms, Shirakiku or made in-house. I actually like the flavour hot, and in my household, we have a small supply of the instant powder stuff at home to make for desserts. To try this cold was different.
J: If it’s Island Farms ice cream then I am once again impressed. I’m not too fond of their regular flavours but the exotics of coconut, mango and now black sesame really stands out. I may have to reconsider my stance on Island Farms. Chapman’s is number one to me now but maybe I should be returning to the days of my youth and perhaps returning to Shiki Sushi.
3½ Blokes out of 5