Mamallama, Baby-Paca and I have frequent spontaneous lunch outings with my neighbour Totoro whenever she has days off work. Being foodies, where to eat is always in question. After much deliberation, we decided on Hi Genki.
Hi Genki is situated in the lobby of a senior building. I know it’s a very unorthodox location, but the story behind it is that the owner’s mother was a resident in the senior home, he opened this restaurant so that his mom could eat good food. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever?
Hi Genki serves up authentic homestyle Japanese cooking. They’re generally pretty busy so if you don’t want to wait, I suggest that you don’t visit during peak hours. Their menu includes curry, croquettes, breaded cutlets, donburi bowls, udon, bento boxes and fish, etc, served with miso soup. Their prices are relatively inexpensive and portions are generous. After eating at Hi Genki, you can also check out the Japanese garden adjoining the Nikkei Centre or visit the little Japanese store to get snacks and treats to take home.
We ordered the yam tempura to share. They were your standard yam tempura, the batter was thin and crispy and the yams were sweet.
Mamallama and I both got the spicy chicken karaage donburi, one of the house favourites. The bowl came with large boneless pieces of fried chicken on a bed of mixed greens blanketed over Japanese rice. The chicken karaage was plump, juicy, flavourful and not even a tad oily. They were covered in a (barely) spicy teriyaki sauce that was predominently sweet and savoury. The skin remained crispy throughout our meal. I just wish that the rice had a little bit of their delicious sauce.
Totoro ordered the salmon kama. The salmon collars were fresh and just lightly seasoned with shio. The salmon had just the right amount of fattiness so the fish wasn’t flakey or dry at all. The mixed greens on the side were lightly tossed with a refreshing citrus vinaigrette.
Baby-Paca got the yakitori donburi, which was basically a teriyaki chicken rice bowl. The chicken was tender and had a nice char on the skin. There were also a few slices of deliciously caramelized onions in the mix, but not nearly enough. While the yakitori was pleasant, it wasn’t as flavourful as the chicken karaage, but if you don’t feel like fried food, this is a good option.
We’ve heard that Hi Genki serves up a tasty tempura ice cream, but we were too full on this visit to try it out. We couldn’t even finish our donburi. Baby-Paca and I packed up the leftovers and ended up just having that for dinner, which was more than enough for the both of us. All in all, Hi Genki is a gem, I recommend them to anyone who likes homely Japanese food.
+1 604 777 0533
6680 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby