Originally, Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I wanted Sushi Town, but upon arrival we learnt that there was a 45 minute wait. Being tight on time, Baby Paca suggested that we try that sushi place that we always passed by on Hastings, so we headed over to Sushi Giwa instead for our quick sushi fix. Sushi Giwa is Korean run, but unlike other Korean run Japanese restaurants, they offer a small selection of Korean foodstuff as well. The restaurant was relatively quiet despite it being peak hours for dinner. The waitress greeted us and brought us to our table promptly.
Smoked salmon cream cheese roll: The smoked salmon was tasty and combined well with the imitation crab meat, cream cheese and julienned cucumber. However, being accustomed to the smoked salmon cream cheese roll at Sushi Town, I felt like it was missing that hint of sweetness from the red bell pepper. The rice was relatively sticky and a bit on the soft side. The roll came with a drizzle of mayo sauce which I felt was unnecessary as the roll was creamy and flavourful enough on its own.
Negihama roll: The hamachi was not the freshest and I could taste the fishiness despite the generous amount of green onion in the roll (even after dousing it in wasabi and soy sauce).
Prawn and yam tempura: The basket came with only 3 pieces of prawn tempura, which I felt was a bit on the skimpy side. Both the prawns and yam were covered in a thin layer of batter, lightly fried, golden and crispy. Unfortunately, the prawns themselves were mushy and had that previously frozen seafood taste. The yam on the other hand was decent, sweet and savory with the dipping sauce.
Korean seafood pancake: The batter was tasty albeit a little dense and doughy. Only the edges of the pancake were crispy, which was kind of a shame because it would’ve made the dish a lot better if it had that textural contrast throughout. The pancake was sprinkled with slices of green onions, red bell peppers, shrimp, squid and baby mussels. Again, the seafood had that frozen fishy taste so I picked them out and traded Mamallama for her green onions as she didn’t seem to mind the fishiness (she doesn’t eat green onions).
Service was swift and friendly. The waitress came by to ask us how the food was and refilled our tea in a timely manner.
Overall, I don’t think I will be returning to Sushi Giwa considering the vast array of reasonably priced sushi restaurants that offer better quality in North Burnaby.