Friday, February 5, 2010

Sushi Garden (Lougheed, Burnaby, BC)

The large sign for Sushi Garden has been up at the vacant commercial space at the corner of Lougheed at Douglas for months. For the longest time, it seemed that even with the installation of the new shiny signage, Sushi Garden wasn't going to open at the storefront next to Churchs chicken - the "For Lease" signs were still up in the paper-lined windows, and the unit itself showed no life.


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Just last week, however, Sushi Garden finally opened up shop at 4269 Lougheed Highway. We dropped in for a quick weekday meal and were surprised to see it already packed, with a small lineup for take out, and a small lineup in the waiting area as well.



Being tired from a workday, we pondered the menu for a while before succuming to weariness and deciding on the basics: california roll, chopped scallop roll, dynamite roll, a tuna & salmon sashimi, and mentaiko udon.

The food arrived nearly all at once; it made photography a little tricky as I couldn't move it around as much, and, combined with the flimsy / light tables, we nearly shocked a neighbouring table with a shower of hot tea.

The rolls were all good, although even M was careful to note that he wished the sushi chef who had made the dynamite roll had made the california roll and the scallop roll as well. But, it was Sushi Garden! At the prices they were charging, it was reasonable and went down well.



The sashimi was just ok. We were tempted by the large assorted sashimi platter that the couple next to us were having - on a side note, the guy looked a little like Edlau. Was it? I didn't want to stare, so I didn't get a good look. Anyways, we would not order the tuna & salmon sashimi again.

The mentaiko udon was good, with briny cod roe notes and hints of dairy / butter as well. I'm thinking that they soaked the salted cod roe in milk to rid of some of the salt? It was good, and the noodles were not overdone. Service was harried as the four waitresses could barely handle the volume and turnover of tables while we were there. M witnessed one waitress attempt to wipe down a table; instead she flung rice and sushi particles onto the floor and a piece hit a diner in the back - I wished I had seen that!

The dining area is quite large, and although the space looks narrow from the outside, there was ample space for waitresses and take out customers to dart about without bothering diners. That being said, the waiting area could stand to be larger as I foresee lineups going out the door. The decor is a little nicer than their Kingsway location, with dark wood and slightly more comfortable chairs. It is still all very utilitarian and the operation is efficient. (...As a matter of fact, it looks a little like something I could replicate in Cafe World or Restaurant City on Facebook! haha!)

Sushi Garden was very wise to open up a location on this strip of Lougheed: far enough from the Korean restaurants of North Road and the older eateries on Hastings, yet close enough to all the new apartments in the Brentwood area. There are four other Japanese restaurants within walking distance to Sushi Garden, so in a pinch, you could fulfill your sushi cravings if there was a long wait at Sushi Garden. However, Sushi Garden is strong where the neighbouring restaurants are weak; Sushi Garden has larger capacity, higher product turnover, and more efficient (not necessarily experienced though!) service. Parking is free out front and on the rooftop and the location is relatively close to Gilmore skytrain station.

Judging by the packed restaurant last night, the neighbourhood was waiting for Sushi Garden to open! Hopefully they can maintain the newness / cleanliness - just like their Kingsway location, it's a good place for a quick meal or takeout.

Sushi Garden (Lougheed)
4269 Lougheed Highway
Burnaby BC
P: 604-294-0104

Sushi Garden (Lougheed) on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

  1. So it finally opened! I was wondering when, as it seem a lot of similar Japanese eateries hav gone through their own development/construction hell.

    Mainly due to the queues, I wasn't really a fan of the Kingsway location of Sushi Garden. The only time I got something from them was from takeout and it wasn't as great as people suggested it is. Now that this second location is open now, that gives me a chance to visit one of them.

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  2. Glad to know about the sushi garden. Wish If I could visit the place coming weekend.

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  3. @KimHo I'm not a fan of lineups either. However given its proximity, I'd most likely call in an order on my way home from work and pick it up for a quick weekday meal. It sure was under construction for a long time - for a while I thought something had gone awry as the "for lease" signs were still up. Now that they're open, however, they're giving the smaller sushi joints around the area a run for their money.

    @Flowers It seems to be less busy earlier in the evening and later at night. I'm guessing that, without the movie theaters that are close to the Kingsway location, there's less of a crowd at non-peak hours?

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  4. I was there 2 Sundays ago, and I found the Alaska roll is WAYY better at the other location...

    Izzy

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  5. I'll have to try the Alaska roll there next time then! :)

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  6. I don't even know where this (Burnaby!?!) is so it probably wasn't me. :)

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  7. @Ed Lau shucks. I guess you have a twin running around the Lower Mainland. :p

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  8. You mean an Asian guy with black spikey hair wearing glasses?

    Yep, none of those around here! LOL

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  9. I suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative for them also. Great effort.

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  10. My brother love to eat this kind of food.

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