Takoyaki Japanese Cuisine
15041 Stony Plain Road
UPDATE: I have since heard that this restaurant has closed – but is opening up under another new name.
I was never much of a fan of the former Sankyu, and while in the area – noticed a new sign for Takoyaki Japanese Cuisine. Thinking that It may have changed – I was up for some Japanese street food for which this restaurant is named after.
The interior looks identical to its former life, and menu items appeared to be identical as well. A large menu filled with their ‘modern’ take on sushi, along with a long list of other Japanese food options. Wanting to fill my craving for takoyaki (small fluffy battered balls of octopus) – I was told that they didn’t have the ingredients to make it this evening…
Going back to the menu – an image of the ika karaage (fried squid) caught my eye – and figured it was a good compromise.
Bad choice – not only were the squid tenticles connected in a large mass (making it difficult to eat with chopsticks), it STANK like old squid and funky oil.
The tuna dice arrived next. Square forms of rice, topped with albacore tuna – then blowtorched. From a cosmetic viewpoint – these look interesting, but taste like warm tuna on burnt rice.
There is a really great cooking technique used in Japan on onigiri (commonly seen as a triangular rice ball, filled with a variety of items), in which it is grilled using a ceramic coated wire appliance. This results in a crispy toasted rice layer adding a fantastic textural component – but in this case, the sugars in the sushi rice seasoning are just burnt – adding absolutely nothing.
Albacore tuna, when seared properly can also create a great textural component – but again, in this dish – torching such a small piece of tuna doesn’t add any textural change – and only alters the color and warms it up.
The nigiri sushi was the next in the parade of food failures. Mushly, overcooked rice, packed so tight that each piece tasted like a mochi meatball. Combined with the sesame oil sauce drizzled on the plate – this had to be the single worst sushi experience of my life.
I was tempted to say something to the chef as this was so bad – but decided to pay my tab, walk away – and ultimately initiated my desire to initiate our post on the foodosophy of sushi.