The décor now, is a dark wood that looks a bit burnt, adding contrast to the restaurant, the t-shirt/uniforms of the staff, and the sushi on the plate. The place does look more chic than it did, and more like it’s trying to be itself rather that something else. As with most sushi restaurants, I don’t get greeted in Japanese, though I can get that just around the corner at Kappa Sushi. Stepping through the door of Sushi Garden, you get a healthy dose of 80s rock. Rule number one at the Garden is to put your name on the list, so go up to the cash register and ask.
I stay away from seafood, so my focus is on the non-fish part of the menu. For starters, I order the Miso Soup, Chicken Karage, and the Wakame. The Miso is not too salty, and has thin strips of tofu with chopped up green onion. The Chicken Karage of six wings is way better than any wings I’ve had in a sports bar, warm, and perhaps too good. Finally, the Wakame seaweed salad is probably better shared. It’s a slimy bowl of cold, suspiciously green coleslaw without the mayonaise, which to the North American pallette is a bit of a stretch. That said, it is healthy, and does go down well with other food like the Karage. For the Maki Sushi, I ordered the Kappa Roll, Avacado Roll, Vege Roll, Havaiian Beef Roll, the BLT Roll, Chi-Chee Roll, and and Inari. The server warned me right off the bat that the Chi-Chee would take 20 minutes, but with all the other rolls I though there would be enough time. When it arrived, it was — unfortunately — delivered on the same tinfoil as ten years ago, so it loses points for presentation. Maybe next time I’ll request that the foil is removed.
All the other rolls came on a board of wood with a dab of green and a shavings of pink. Perhaps the tinfoil is in defence of the melted mozzarella, but I keep thinking that there has to be a better way to present the Chi-Chee. The Kappa Rolls do have a bright cucumber and sesame seeds in them, but they are nothing to write to the farm about. Priced the same as salmon, tuna, and egg, it would be nice if there was some way of making the name sake of the mythical water-carrying monster a bit more than rice, seaweed, and crunch. Perhaps I ask too much.
The Avocado Roll was jam-packed with lovely, mushy green, and there’s nothing bad to say of it. I have a bone to pick with the Vege Roll, however. Many suns ago, I swear that the Vege roll that a massive untamed beast that made me tremble in my knees. It used to be that I had to stop, and wonder what the best way to eat it was — and decided that the soya/wasabi must be drizzled on it rather than dipping. Nowadays, the Vege Roll is a vestige of its former glory. It does look colourful, with exploding ends. Yet, it remains small fry to the nostalgia I have for its parent.
The BLT Roll (bacon, lettuce, tomato) is the monolithic size that the Vege Roll used to be. You really have to stand back to appreciate how vast it is. However, it’s fake crab — i.e. fish — which I don’t eat, and I forget this almost every single time I go to Sushi Garden. Chomping down on a section of the colossal BLT, I realized too late my mistake. It set sail for my gullet, and the itchy burn of allergy set in. This coloured my perception of the Hawaiian Beef Roll, but I do have good memories of it. Sushi Garden is worth a roll. On the whole, the portions are decent, and the service is excellent.