Friday, June 1, 2012

Haru Sushi & Grill Restaurant Review

Grilled Squid
Haru is nestled in the strip mall on the McKenzie Towne side of 52 Ave. The decor is very modern & upscale, in comparison to the more traditional, homey look of nearby Ichizen. 

Their menu has most of the traditional sashimi and nigiri sushi staples like salmon & california rolls but I did notice some items that were not so typical. 

For an appie, I decided on the grilled squid, against Jesse's slight discomfort. I've never actually had grilled squid from a Jap resto before but I love the Flip (filipino) version which we dip in fish saucy mixed with lime or lemon. 

Haru's grilled squid came served on a hotplate with brown, teriyaki-like sauce at the bottom and a tangy mayo-like sauce on top. 

When cooking squid, the most important part is to avoid overcooking as it gets very chewy. This squid was perfectly cooked. The sweet & savoury brown sauce complimented the tangy sauce very well and made for a great appie. Even Jess, who's not really big on squid really liked it.

For the main course, we both went with a lunch combination. Haru's combos are HUGE!!! I was shocked to see how much food came out and how large the portions were especially the nigiri and sashimi.

Nigiri Sushi, Sashimi, & California Rolls
Now, I'm very particular about California rolls. If I am served "imitation" crab Cali rolls in a resto, that's pretty much the last time I will eat there. If I wanted fake crab, I would buy grocery sushi and pay grocery sushi prices.

I was very happy to find Haru's were made with fresh crab meat. It was delicious! Their nigiri sushi also comes with thick, oversized slices of raw fish that was very fresh and clean tasting. 

Aside from the Cali rolls, a sushi resto's pickled ginger is a also a good gauge of the quality of sushi you will get. For cheaper, more affordable places, you will find that their ginger is light pink, which means it is typically from a pre-made bottle. These usually have a more tangy, less ginger taste.

The higher end places should have natural looking pickled ginger to match their price tag. These places usually make their own from scratch and have a distinct, prominent ginger flavour.

Our Lunch Combos
My lunch combo came with sushi, sashimi, california rolls, udon noodles, chicken teriyaki & assorted tempura. Yeah, I know...HUGE!!! Everything tasted delicious and flavourful.

Assorted Tempura & Chicken Teriyaki
Jess' combination came with sushi, california rolls, chicken teriyaki, assorted tempura, & rice. 

Chicken Teriyaki
Because we clearly over ordered, a common occurance when we try a new place, I had tonnes of left overs which we took home and ate for dinner. 

I am still very loyal to Ichizen, because I've been going there for over 5 years and their prices are a more affordable than Haru to satisfy my regular sushi cravings. 

However, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to Haru for a more special occasion like a date night. The ambience and decor suits a date night very well and the food is fabulous.

Try the grilled squid, if that's your thing or if you're feeling adventurous. You won't be disappointed!

HARU Sushi & Grill - Southeast on Urbanspoon

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