Friday, February 25, 2011

Hachi Hana

                                                                Map to Hachi Hana 

    Me and some girlfriends decided to hit up Hachi Hana on Lonsdale after reading that it had won reader's Choice Awards for best Japanese Restaurant in the North Shore News recently.  The small location was farely packed with people, squeezing in a late lunch before they closed until dinner seating.  We sat at a small table directly in the middle of the place, in front of the door, and beside it..and slightly blocking it.  
  We looked over the familiar menu which all Japanese sushi eateries seem to share, and I decided on my meal: Agadashi tofu, Inari, Avocado, Tomago, Salmon and Tuna Nigiri with spicy sauce and extra ginger.  Unfortunately I am one of those people that rely on dousing whatever food is set in front of me with condiments, spicy sauce, or whatever is paired nicely with the many things I am eating.  In the case of sushi, I love the mixture of good Asian spicy sauce and the classic salty soy sauce covering my sushi.  
 After ordering, the sushi didn't take long to arrive to our table, which is almost always the case in sushi places, making sushi always a prime choice of a good meal when extra hungry.  Individual sushi came first, very nicely arranged and colourfully eye catching.  The rice was very crumbly, which is always disappointing, leaving an array and single rice pieces floating in my sauce dish.  The avocado was of perfect ripeness with no bruising or wetness at all.  Perfect.  The tamago was delicious as well, the cold egg was just the right texture and taste.  The inari was also great, however the crumbly rice did make it less enjoyable.  The salmon was salmon, but what else can you expect from raw salmon?  It was good quality, a beautiful deep pink, yet the tuna wasn't the most tuna-y tasting tuna I've ever had.  Overall, the nigiri sushi was delectable and I ate it all up in satisfied delight. 

   The agadashi tofu came shortly after and was beautifully presented, lightly deep fried and crispy.  However, like I said I'm a girl who enjoys her condiments and the tentsuyu sauce was portioned on the small side, not saucy enough for me.  It did redeem itself with the green onions, because some places sadly decide not to garnish with the greens.  

Overall, I'd say Hachi Hana is great! The service was fast, the food was edible and tasty, but I don't believe it deserved the Reader's Choice Award for best Japanese on the North Shore!  It was pretty mediocre, just like many of the other sushi places I have been on various occasions.
  A side note, my fellow companions whom accompanied me to my first sushi spot ordered a yam roll each, and to my surprise and they're displeasure, the roll was made with deep fried yam on top, and mushrooms in the middle! Never seen such a thing in all of my years of sushi eating.  Personally, I would've loved such a roll, but my friend tried to explain to them that she can't eat mushrooms and she wanted "just a yam roll."  Which, of course due to language barriers and possible recipe traditions, caused great confusion against our petite waitress.  She just did not understand that my friend just wanted yam in the roll and had to continuously reject the server's thoughts on cucumber or salmon with the yam instead of the mushrooms.  Eventually, we sorted it out and lied about allergies and my friend enjoyed a delicious yam roll minus the mushrooms.  Odd and frustrating, but don't worry, we got it all under control.  Phew!

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