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Thursday 2 February 2012

Sushi Wasabi Edmonton, AB - Tasty fresh hamachi special!

Rating Service 8/10, Food 9/10
With a yet another craving for sushi, we head to our favourite  family run Japanese sushi restaurant... Sushi Wasabi!  We noted on their specials board they had a hamachi special, so we ordered a smaller repast than our usual, so we could have tummy room for the hamachi special.  For what our "usuals" we've pigged out as a couple and with friends and family, the pics are here in our first review, second review and third review!  The place is packed (as usual) with couples out on a date, foodies, and families, and we can hear both Papa-san and Mama-san cheerfully choreographing the organised chaos in Japanese.  We grill the waitress about the hamachi special - How is it prepared, and how is it different than the sushi nigiri hamachi on the regular menu?  Turns out its prepared similar to the horse mackerel special, where the entire fish is initially served as sashimi with different dipping sauces, then afterwards, the bones are deep fried to a crunchy crisp and served in a ponzo sauce.  You had me sold at whole fish sashimi! Itadakimasu! :)

the FOOD
We start off with our fav... I don't think there's been a time we haven't ordered this since we discovered this restaurant about a decade ago.  The wakame salad is made with small ribbons of fresh verdant green seaweed and marinated in their secret slightly sweet sesame oil and rice vinegar based dressing with just a small hint of chilis. We noticed the wakame wasn't cut as thinly as usual, and thus, the salad had a more chewy mouthfeel (different person prepping tonight?), but garnished with thinly sliced cucumbers, this salad is still tangy and super addictively tasty!

Our next appetizer was a platter of shrimp tempura. Lightly battered in their signature tempura batter, the shrimp is cooked to perfection, sweet and succulent inside. You can dip it in their tangy ginger flavored dipping sauce if you like, but they stand well on their own.  The tails are left attached so you have something to hang on to, but they're usually fried to a crisp, so you can eat them too if you like.

Next was our order of sushi nigri - salmon (Sake), scallop, and tuna (maguro) along with two orders of tekkamaki - small bite sized tuna rolls cut with precision.  You can line them all up and they are (usually) all the same height.  The sushi rice is well seasoned, with a hit of tanginess from the rice vinegar, working well to balance the  slightly sweet-salty creamy pieces of tuna, scallop and creamy sweet salmon.  Nom!

Hamachi Special!
Hamachi sashimi sauces
Papa-san informed us that the more muscular back portion of the fish was to be dipped in a freshly grated wasabi and soy sauce, while the belly portion was to be dipped in his secret ponzo sauce laced with lots of grated diakon, toasted black sesame seeds, some diced green onions and a spicy mixture of Japanese spices.

looked prettier with the sliced lemon garnish
Hamachi sashimi
The back portion of the hamachi (hidden a bit by the head sorry!) had a stronger flavor and was much firmer than than the belly portion, thus working well with the stronger fresh wasabi-soy dipping sauce. The belly portions were sweet and had a more subtle flavor, standing well on its own, but quite tasty too dunked in the Chef's ponzo sauce.  The fish was wonderfully fresh, taking on a silky silvery translucent sheen.

Deep fried hamachi fish bones
Similar to the horse mackerel special, the bones of the hamachi are lightly dredged in flour, fried to a super crunchy crisp and dusted with a fleur de sel. Served with the chef's secret ponzo sauce, this was a yummy combination of crisp, savory and tangy. The bones are so crunchy, its like biting into a chip.  While tasty, we found the bones a bit thicker than the horse mackerel, so they weren't as crisp crunchy due to its inherent thicker, thickness
. *crunchy munch munch!*

Overall, yet another super tasty meal from Sushi Wasabi... and we waddled out yet again, without having any space for dessert, a small box of leftovers, and shouted thank you's from the staff.  Gochisousama deshita!

Sushi Wasabi
Address 5714 111 St NW Edmonton, AB
Phone (780) 433-0533
Sushi Wasabi on Urbanspoon


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