Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yokozuna Japanese Restaurant

What do you do when plans get cancelled? Make new ones of course! Mwuahahaha. That's what happened on the last weekend of June, when my friend ended up having to cancel an event she had planned. Instead of feeling bummed, I took the opportunity to hang out with another friend and CJ. We initially thought about seeing 22 Jump Street at the movie theatre, but almost all the seats had been filled up when we went (apparently they were down to only 12 seats left!). So the next best plan? Food adventure! An idea that was obviously suggested by me, hehe.

I ended up choosing Yokozuna (, a Japanese restaurant located near the Whitemud Crossing area in South Edmonton. It's close to Whitemud Drive, so this place is easily accessible by car (or bus). There were actually two occasions in the past when I went here hoping to eat food, only to find out that I had gone at a time when they were closed to prep for dinner or when they weren't open for the day at all. Luckily this time around, my friends and I went at 8pm on a Saturday night, so it was definitely open!

The interior of Yokozuna isn't the most spacious, but there is still more than enough seating to go around. We were seated at a table along the wall towards the left hand side of the restaurant from the entrance. I felt just a little bit cramped in this spot, but it wasn't too big of a deal.

The menu.

The dinner menu at Yokozuna consists of tataki, skewers, house and standard rolls, and so much more - the usual Japanese fare. Everything on their menu is reasonably priced (definitely not too expensive), so your wallet will thank you later.

Okay... before I continue, I would like to point out that some of the next couple of pictures were taken with mine and CJ's new camera! Yay for high quality photos!

Our drinks.

For drinks: orange juice for me, iced tea for CJ and a couple glasses of water for the three of us. CJ also ordered one of their original cocktails - specifically, the Mero Melon ($7). This drink consists of Midori melon liqueur, peach schnapps, and apple juice. I had a few sips of the drink, and I thought it had a sweet, refreshing taste. My friend June also got herself Sapporo Japanese beer in the 341 ml size ($6). 


The first dish to arrive at our table was CJ's pick for the night: Skewers! At Yokozuna, a minimum of 3 skewers are required per order. CJ chose the Buta Toma, Buta Aspara, and Ebi Kushi skewers. The Buta Toma ($2.50) is a bacon wrapped cherry tomato, while the Buta Aspara ($2.50) is a bacon wrapped asparagus. The Ebi Kushi ($4.25) skewer is shrimp with soy sauce and butter. I didn't try any of the skewers, but CJ seemed to enjoy them. While he thought the price for the skewers were cheap, I personally thought they could have been a slightly larger size for the price (especially for the Ebi Kushi). 

Dragon Eye Roll.

Next up were my beautiful Dragon Eye Rolls ($13)! A couple years ago, my brother took me out for lunch at this same Yokozuna location where he suggested I get their Dragon Eye Roll. That was my first time trying out this type of roll, and since then I've always had a love for them. This will always be my favourite Japanese dish. For those who haven't tried a Dragon Eye Roll before, it is a deep fried roll with salmon, green onion and asparagus served with dragon eye sauce. The fried exterior of the roll was very light and crispy, while the salmon inside tasted fresh. A Dragon Eye Roll is not complete without the trademark dragon eye sauce - it does an amazing job at bringing all the flavours together. The sauce can arguably be the best part about ordering Dragon Eye Rolls. 

Our food.

Finally, all of our food together! June and CJ ordered their own rolls, but for some reason it arrived on the same plate. I thought that was a little weird, considering my Dragon Eye Roll had been plated individually. 

Seafood Tar Tar Roll (left) and Mango Roll (right).

June decided on one of Yokozuna's House Rolls - the Seafood Tar Tar Roll ($14). This roll is made up of scallop, tuna, salmon, tempura crumbs, tobiko, and mayo, topped with teriyaki and sesame. All the different sea food packed inside the roll seemed to promise a lot of flavour in your mouth. Although I didn't try her roll, I didn't really hear any complaints from June about her pick for the night. 

Did you really think those skewers were the only food items CJ ordered? Haha, of course not. He also ordered the Mango Roll ($13), which consists of tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and tobiko, topped with slices of mango and salmon. CJ loves mangos, so I wasn't surprised that he picked this roll out of all the possible choices. I really enjoyed the bright, vibrant taste that I got from the mango and salmon together in one bite - the two seemed to balance each other out. Mmmm... this is definitely another great house roll at Yokozuna. 

Green Tea Ice Cream.

Green Tea Ice Cream ($5) is a must for me after every Japanese meal I have. Even if I am full, there will always be room for green tea ice cream! I find the refreshing green tea flavour to be the perfect end for my dinner. So yummy! 

I am very happy I finally got the chance to revisit Yokozuna again after many years. This is definitely one of my top places to recommend if you're looking for delicious Japanese food. Here you'll find traditional Japanese fare with a modern twist. The dimmed lighting and darker wooden tones inside create a perfect setting for a romantic date night, and if you're not into that, it's also a great place for a more casual, spontaneous get-together with a few friends. Either way, I promise you'll be happy here. I know I was! 

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