1065 Columbia St
New Westminster, BC
Hayashi Sushi is located in a newish commercial shopping area off Columbia Street that cuts through this riverside town. Nearby are New West stalwarts such as Burger Heaven and Cockney Kings Fish & Chips (the subject of a future post in the foodosophy backlog). It is a mid-sized, Korean-operated, Japanese cuisine restaurant, with takeaway options. For this visit, that’s exactly what I did.
After placing my order, I waited in a nearby booth and was offered a cup of hot tea to pass the time. The restaurant started filling up with other dine-in customers while I waited, so seemingly is a frequented place by locals. With only one man behind the sushi counter, my large order of various pieces of nigiri sushi took some time to prepare. Some of them are pictured below, but it was not the entire lot, as by the time I got it to our group for eating, some were more anxious than others and couldn’t wait for me to finish taking pictures. 🙂
Tamago (egg) is always the benchmark by how I judge a good sushi-ya. Screw this up and you’re in my bad books. The one here was okay, too condensed perhaps (lacked those thin visible layers) and could have used a bit of sweetness. The shake (salmon) and maguro (tuna) both had “long tails”, by that I mean they were cut quite long and dragged past both sides of the shari (rice). As with most run-of-the-mill places selling sushi, the salmon was the better of the two in terms of freshness and flavor.
Next up, the slightly texturally “tougher” items in the tako (octopus) and ika (squid). If they were placed directly beside say the salmon or tuna, you would have noticed the distinct length of those two relative to these. Again, the finer touches of scoring the exterior surface was appreciated with the ika. I don’t think I got the best parts of the tako however, at it left me wanting better in terms of quality as it lacked some “toothiness”. The ikura (salmon roe) has been rinsed free of brine and fresh as each egg’s outer membrane was firm and the inner juice just popped out.
Followed by the toro (fatty tuna), ebi (shrimp) and unagi (eel). The oiliness of the tuna was even a bit much for me, and it was overly delicate and tender soft, and the flavor of the fish itself got overwhelmed. The unagi was disappointing, both in terms of flavour and size. I think they were too hard (microwaved?) and had too much dryness to them. Lastly the shrimp, hard to mess that up so it was just passable.
As a treat for just myself, I decided to order this bowl of chirashi (to be eaten for lunch the next day). It wasn’t large by any means, and the slices of overly oxygenated avocado struck me as odd and misplaced (photo taken the day of order). The toppings were on the light side in terms of overall thickness and quantity as well. I imagine it suffered from an overnighter in my fridge so can’t slog on it too badly. Nonetheless, it was not an ideal chirashidon.
Among all the hundreds of places selling sushi in the GVRD, Hayashi Sushi would probably fall right in the middle – not outstanding and not horrific to warrant an outright boycott. So if you’re in the mood for some safe, reasonably priced sushi, you can’t go wrong here…