Ever since craving spicy sashimi and fancy rolls, I have been wanting to go try out several of the Japanese restaurants around Richmond. After all, almost everyone in Richmond lists sushi as their favourite food. I figured that I am not a huge fan because I have always been getting the bad or boring stuff, hardly anything upscale and creative. After checking out the menu, a longtime friend and I decided on Ebisu in Richmond to satisfy my desire for Japanese cuisine – and we were not disappointed.
We started with the Spicy Salmon Sashimi. It was so delicious we asked for a second order! Thankfully, like me, Jess is a salmon lover and not a tuna lover. The salmon was fresh, tender, and chewy. The chunks were quite decent and consistent in size. You can eat one piece in one bite but they were not too small. Only one piece on the two plates still had a little skin on it. There was plenty of spicy sauce coated nicely on each piece, making it an even brighter red. The spicy sauce is the kind that I love, both sweet and spicy at the same time. There was extra sauce to coat the shredded radish, carrots, cucumber, and romaine lettuce leaf, making the vegetables delicious as well. It was just so delicious I would eat it every night and be happy.
The Beef Yakisoba was very nicely flavoured. The sweet soy sauce flavour was delicious and made even better by the sweetness of the onions. I love cooked onions, they bring out the flavour in so many dishes. It was served on a stone plate and was still burning hot when we got it. The flavour was sweet and coated everything. The beef were thinly sliced but overcooked, which was the only downside to the dish. The soba noodles were slightly charred but still tender and chewy, something I really appreciated. The cabbage and carrots were also very tasty and added a nice crunch to the dish. I just love the blend of vegetables – especially the cabbage and onions – with vegetables and meat in sweet soy sauce. Asian stir fried noodles are usually pretty darn good!
Next, we ordered the EBISU Roll, which was their special roll of mango, avocado, cucumber, and salmon. It was topped with BBQ eel and cream cheese, and torched tableside. The torching gave the cream cheese on the top a slight char and crunch. This is now my favourite roll… EVER! The ingredients in the middle was nothing too special, although they were all great ingredients and still great when combined together. The mango at first seemed out of place, but I came to appreciate the tartness of it after a while. The best part was the unagi and cream cheese on top. It was the most delicious blend of BBQ and creamy, tart cream cheese that was gooey and sticky. The texture of the tender, somewhat fatty eel went really well with the mouth-covering stickiness of the cheese. I just love it so much!
Finally, we tried the Ninja Kicker, another special roll filled with prawn tempura, cucumber, and avocado. The menu had said it was topped with spicy tuna and salmon, but we just got thinly sliced regular tuna and salmon. On top was red and black tobiko – and I still have not tasted much distinction between the two. There was also green onions and finally, the special ‘kicker’ spicy sauce, the delicious one in the spicy sashimi. It gave me a chance to try tuna sashimi. I did not like it much because the texture was not chewy but rather mushy. It could pretty much be eaten without chewing. I prefer salmon a lot more. The prawn tempura added a nice crunch when eaten right away. The prawn inside was tender. The sauce tied the dish together. I did like the dish, but it was not as special as the EBISU Roll.
They gave us complimentary Grapes in the end that came with the check. I popped one into my mouth without thinking, and boy was I in for a little surprise! They were frozen and had not thawed out yet, much like what we usually do with fresh blueberries at the end of August. They were like balls of sweet ice. I loved the hard texture and they were sweet. They added a little refreshing ending to the meal for sure.
This is by far my favourite Japanese meal I have ever had. Long gone are kappa and avocado rolls. Even California rolls are boring, unless they are topped with something special. Stir fried noodles and sashimi are some of my favourite foods. Combine them with special rolls unique to the specific restaurant and I have got myself a delicious meal. Unfortunately, we did not have enough room for dessert so I shall try perhaps another Ebisu in the near future. There are still quite a few special rolls I would love to try. Clearly, the sashimi was incredible enough for us to stuff ourselves full of raw salmon! A note for next time, cream cheese in sushi may seem odd but is absolutely delicious!