Sushi Garden is my favourite go-to place for cheap, delectable, and good value for the money sushi. Conveniently located across Metrotown in Burnaby, it is always busy and packed with people looking to fill up on decent Japanese food while staying within budget. Although the food is not authentic Japanese food by any means, the big portions and reasonable prices are what keeps Sushi Garden so popular among locals.
It could be the fact that I usually frequent there during meal times, but I have always had to put my name down at the front desk and wait for a table every time I’m there. The average wait time is around 15-20 minutes, but it also depends on when you go.
The interior of the restaurant looks so much better after a much needed renovation. It looks much more modern and clean, although the seating area is still a bit cramped. It’s not hard to listen in to the conversations of the tables next to you without really trying to.
On this particular visit, I was joined by PonDeRing and Mochi for a casual lunch. Although it was a weekday, we still had to wait for around ten minutes before a table opened up for us. After being served tea and presented with the menu, we proceeded to order. The service was prompt, and we did not have to wait long until the items we ordered were presented to our table.
Salmon Sashimi ($7.95):
The slices of salmon sashimi were thick and tasted really fresh. I always order the sashimi here because I’m never disappointed with the quality! The sashimi is never frozen, and is a steal at only $7.95 for eight slices.
Assorted Tempura ($7.50):
The assorted tempura came with pieces of prawn, zucchini, and sweet potato. The batter was not too thick and was coated evenly. Pretty good.
We ordered three rolls: Crab ♥s Papaya Roll, Dynamite Roll, and Alaska Roll
Crab ♥s Papaya Roll ($3.95):
The unique name of this roll prompted me to order it from the menu. The papaya was hard and slightly chewy, not mushy and soft like the kind I’m used to eating. Maybe it wasn’t ripe enough? Or could be a different variety. Either way, the taste of papaya was subtle and was not too overpowering. The deep fried crab was tasty and paired well with the light tasting papaya. The julienned cucumber tasted refreshing and light.
There was just the right proportion of rice to ingredients in this roll. The prawn tempura was crispy, while the masago sprinkled on top provided a hint of flavour and texture. Overall, I would say this roll was tasty, but not that special.
Alaska Roll ($3.95):
This is my absolute favourite roll at Sushi Garden! I think it’s also their most popular roll. It is basically an avocado roll topped with a slice of salmon sashimi and covered with a special sauce. The avocado in the Alaska roll is really creamy, and the tangy sauce drizzled on top kicks the flavour up a notch. The sauce is what really makes this roll special — no need for soy sauce! What I also like about this roll is the fact that the pieces are bite sized. I hate it when the rolls are too big and the contents end up spilling out when you bite it in half. Sort of defeats the purpose of making the roll so large when you have to eat the ingredients separately anyway, in my opinion.
The grand total:
Not too bad for three people, agreed? We left satiated, and no food was left over. The service that we received on this visit was okay, although it does decline as the restaurant gets busier (on weekends especially).
My only complaint about this place is that the ambiance is rushed and noisy, and the servers can be inattentive when it gets busy. Don’t come on a date night, as you will surely be disappointed. With that being said, Sushi Garden is great place for a casual lunch or dinner with family and friends.