Saturday, June 9, 2012

Izumi Sushi Yokozuna Restaurant Review

Assorted Sashimi
Izumi Sushi was formerly Tokyo Gardens, my beloved lunch sushi spot that closed down after being sold. The new owners renamed it Izumi Sushi Yokozuna and made some changes to the interior decor as well as the menu.

Tokyo Gardens definitely had that old school sushi place feel. It was dark and had traditional decor. Izumi has a lighter ambience and more contemporary decor. 

The menu went through a major overhaul. Many standard offerings like tempura & cali rolls had a different recipe. Their beef sukiyaki & chicken teriyaki are also quite different tasting which is usually what I order for lunch. I'll have to blog about their lunch combos on another post one day.

Besides the typical sushi rolls, Izumi has a number of fusion type rolls that are quite adventurous & intriguing. Their menu is bigger and more diverse than the standard sushi menu of their predecessor.

Jess & I went here for dinner on a Friday right after work. The restaurant was not that busy and since I'm a regular, we got really good service. 

We started our meal with a tempura appetizer. When it came, I was seriously disappointed. I could tell that the way this tempura was cooked, was not as good as before. It had a thick almost fish & chips type batter that heavier and denser than the light tempura batter that I'm used to. 

It also appeared to have been rolled in panko bread crumbs. This looked like an attempt to crisp it up but it was a fail on the texture. They should definitely re-visit their tempura recipe.

I had a craving for sashimi. Anytime I try a new sushi resto, I always order sashimi. This is usually a good indicator of the quality of fish you will get. Izumi's has very good sashimi. 

The pieces of raw fish was beautifully sliced and was quite fresh and clean tasting. Their plating is very beautiful and although their tempura was sub par, I found their sashimi quite excellent.

Spicy Tuna Roll
Jesse being a not so big sashimi fan opted for a variety of rolls & nigiri sushi from the a la carte menu to try out. Now here's where we ended up with all this food. We were used to 6 pcs for an average roll and 4 pcs of the larger rolls.

Well, this was what we were expecting when he ordered and when the rolls came, we were quite surprised and very overwhelmed by their size. The price point was actually very good considering the sizes of the rolls. 

Unagi Roll
Their unagi roll which is one of my favourites was presented beautifully and tasted just as good.

Chopped Scallop Roll
The chopped scallop roll is quite different from what I'm used to. It came drizzled in this tangy mayo like sauce that had a hint of sweetness which complimented the sweet taste of the scallop. Again, just like their other rolls, it was beautifully presented and larger that what we thought.

Nigiri Sushi (Unagi, Smoked Salmon, Red Tuna, Tuna)
The nigiri sushi was very well made. Their sushi chef clearly has very good knife skills as well as a good eye for rice to fish ratio. All the nigiri sushi we ordered were delicious!

Crazy Buster Roll
Both Jess & I were very intrigued about the Crazy Buster Roll. It came with tuna, a lightly spicy sauce as well as fried garlic chips on top. I've never had sushi with fried garlic before but I must say, it worked so well with raw tuna I was quite impressed. 

Dynamite Roll
The last thing we got was the Dynamite Roll, which again was HUGE! I'm usually used to 4 pcs but this came with like 10 pcs! It was topped with fresh avocado slices and fat pieces of unagi which I love. It also came drizzled with a teriyaki & tangy mayo like sauce which tasted great. 

All in all I was quite impressed with the quality of sushi and the variety of choices, some of which were very intriguing flavour pairings. We over ordered since we were not aware of how large their rolls are and ended up taking half of our food home with us. 

I will definitely be back at Izumi for dinner but we will make sure we bring some friends with us to help us eat their gigantic rolls!

Izumi Sushi Yokozuna on Urbanspoon

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