It’s the key ingredient at Otaru Japanese Kitchen in Blundell Centre, which for the past three years has been offering a “paradise” for sushi lovers.
“We are known for having the best and freshest sushi around,” says manager Aaron Lee.
“Our menu for sushi and rolls is updated frequently because of our high turnover. Plus, we feature seasonal dishes, such as uni (sea urchin) for the winter time, and kampachi or hamachi (yellow tail sashimi) for the summer.”
Much of the quality also has to do with how the professionally trained sushi chefs handle and store the seafood ingredients.
“The less you touch, the fresher it remains,” Lee explains.
“We receive the ingredients, prepare them right away to be used, and our high turnover of dishes helps ensure we are serving the freshest possible meals.”
The majority of their seafood ingredients come from local sources. Specialty items like hamachi and tako (octopus), come directly from Japan.
So, what are some of the menu favourites?
“Everything is really popular, so it depends on personal preferences. Some customers like it hot, cold, fresh or cooked,” Lee says. “We have so many varieties but our sashimi (bite-sized pieces of raw fish) is the number one seller, especially the spicy sashimi.”
Plus, the restaurant’s bento boxes offer great value and a variety of dishes packed in one convenient box.
“For lunchtime, the bento boxes are a very popular choice,” Lee says. “They are in the $15 range and you get a variety of dishes, such as deep-fried tofu and California or dynamite rolls. There is also sashimi and katsu (a pork cutlet deep-fried in panko breadcrumbs), or teriyaki beef included.”
It’s also very convenient.
Just call in your order by phone or visit their website, and pick-up will be ready for your midday meal.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, Otaru Japanese Kitchen is limited in its dine-in capacity, but has a busy and efficient take-out service.
“We are following, very strictly, all of the protocols for the pandemic,” Lee says, adding that, right now, there are just 18 seats available.
For more information, visit Otaru Japanese Kitchen at otarurichmond.com, or call 604-370-1887.