Monday, May 26, 2014

Sushi Sugoi

Now that it's summer, you think seeing other people becomes easier to do. Not for CJ and I. He gets pretty busy with work and some other things, so that's why I cherish every moment we get to hang out together. He picked me up on Tuesday so that we could have lunch together. He was initially planning on eating somewhere in South Edmonton Common, but we ended up going to Sushi Sugoi ( instead. Sushi Sugoi is a Japanese restaurant located on Calgary Trail (not too far from South Common). I've been wanting to try this place out for awhile now, but I've never really had the chance to do so. It's a bit difficult to get here by bus, so the only real option is to drive or walk if you live within the area. 

When I walked in through the doors, I immediately knew that Sushi Sugoi was a modern-style Japanese restaurant. I really loved the texture on the walls - I thought it looked very refined and unique. There were also a lot of large, oversized windows in the right section of the restaurant which provided good lighting for the darker accents inside. The restaurant was also very spacious, which is always a bonus. 

We were seated at a booth close to the sushi bar on the left side of the restaurant. Unfortunately, there weren't any windows around us so the lighting in general was pretty dim. Not really good if you like to take pictures of your food (or any kind of pictures for that matter). 

My view from where I was sitting.

I decided to get a Golden dragon roll ($14), one of their Special Rolls. "Seasoned salmon" and "Deep fried" in the description were the selling points for me. CJ chose the Hardcore roll and Teriyaki chicken with rice. We ordered a Magma roll as well. 

The menu.

Our server returned a few minutes after taking our order. She told us that they couldn't make the Golden dragon roll! Doesn't it suck when you're unable to get your first choice? I asked for the menu again and she apologized several times. It's okay, it happens. She suggested to get the Crazy roll, another one of their Special rolls that was also deep fried. I decided to go with her suggestion and got the Crazy roll as my second choice. 

CJ's Teriyaki chicken, Hardcore roll and the Magma roll arrived in a consecutive fashion at our table. I sampled some of his Teriyaki chicken since my food hadn't come yet. 

Teriyaki chicken with rice.

The Teriyaki chicken lunch ($11) came with sautéed vegetables with a nice amount of teriyaki sauce served with rice. I thought it tasted good, but considering the fact that CJ orders this dish at EVERY Japanese restaurant we go to, it was nothing special. I did appreciate the portion size of the dish though. Not too big, not too small.

The next dish I tried was the Hardcore roll ($16). This roll features spicy tuna, spicy seasoned salmon, Thai chili, cucumber, tobiko, hot sauce and shichimi, and a soy bean wrapper. You can tell from the description that this roll would be packed with a lot of spice and heat. CJ loves spicy food, so it's no wonder that he picked this roll out of everything else on the menu. 

The Hardcore roll.

I loved the way this roll was presented. It indeed looked very fiery. I tried one roll and it definitely had the spice that was promised in the description. Instead of a powerful punch of heat in the first bite, this roll had a nice heat that built up with every bite. Not too spicy, but just enough so that I had to reach for my glass of water afterwards. 

The Magma roll was next in the line up. After all these dishes had come out, my Crazy roll was still nowhere to be found. I think it was this delay and waiting on my own food that prevented me from trying more of the dishes CJ picked. 

The Magma roll.

The Magma roll ($17) looked just as beautiful as the Hardcore roll. Another one of Sushi Sugoi's Special rolls, the Magma roll consists of deep fried eel, avocado, cucumber, pickled ginger, tempura crunch, unagi sauce and hot sauce. I really enjoyed the crunchiness of the tempura surrounding the roll, as well as the mild heat from the hot sauce. I thought this dish was just okay. It was nothing memorable for me. I guess if I had more than one roll, I would have liked it a little better. 

My Crazy roll finally came out! I definitely thought it arrived late, considering that the Magma roll was already halfway done at this point. The Crazy roll ($14) is a deep fried roll that has spicy tuna, cucumber roll bread with panko, mango sauce, tonkatsu sauce and hot sauce. I've had spicy tuna before, so I thought the taste of this roll would be somewhat familiar to me. 

The Crazy roll.

My first impression of the roll: its overall appearance wasn't very pretty. It kind of reminded me of chicken cordon bleu... and I don't think that's a good thing. The roll was also topped with bonito flakes, something I've never had before. I tried one roll, complete with the flaky topping. I did not like my first bite at all. I thought the deep fried layer was too thick and very chewy. I was actually expecting the roll to have a thinner fried layer. Since I take small bites, I had to chew through that layer in order to reach the middle of the roll. I did not like the flakes which had a slight onion taste to it either. While the spicy tuna alone tasted delicious, the roll overall was very unpleasant. This makes me wonder if the Golden dragon roll which I initially wanted would have tasted any better, considering that it was also a deep fried roll. I was definitely not crazy about the Crazy roll. 

"Sugoi" is Japanese for "awesome" in English, but unfortunately the food I had ordered was far from awesome. CJ's food (especially the Hardcore roll) was great, so I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get the same experience as he did. One of the only positives worth mentioning was our server. She was very friendly and was able to answer our questions and give us descriptions of the other rolls on the menu. Apart from that, I think the food I got took away from the lunch date. I was expecting amazing food considering how pricey each item was, but that wasn't the case. If I ever do return here, I plan on avoiding any of the deep fried rolls. Hopefully next time I'll have a more positive experience. 

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