Friday, June 25, 2010


Akabane (Uh... couldn't find an address, but it's here, in the plaza across from the Loblaws that's Southwest of Bayview and High Tech Road.)

Replacing Green Thai is Akabane: a sushi and Thai place that also provides the all you can eat option. Me thinks it's run by the same people as the previous restaurant because Japanese sushi and Thai does not seem like a common mix.

As of right now, there's a deal for the all you can eat option which is buy three, get one free. Sadly, we were only three people.

We all had some issues with our disposable chopsticks. Josie's were wonky and mine were stuck to the paper casing. Josie suggested that they might've previously gotten wet somehow.

Deep-fried octopus balls and red dragon roll
The octopus balls weren't bad. There was a lot of something creamy after breaking through the deep fried shell. In the very centre is a cute-sized piece of octopus. The red dragon roll was satisfactory, but the salmon could have been fresher.

Seaweed salad and mango salad
The mango salad was made from crunchy mangoes, red peppers, chopped nuts, and a splash of something vinegar-based - possibly vinegar. Both were fine to me. Josie wasn't expecting just slices of mango, but that's more or less what I've come to expect mango salad to be.

Sashimi plate - three pieces of each.

I was surprised that they actually had scallop sashimi (though the menu stated a limit... that wasn't really adhered to). It was soft, but I can't really say it was the best I've had since the last time I had it was at Le Cafe Michi, where it was huge and delicious. Mel noted that the fake crab was pretty good in that it had divisible strands and wasn't just a clump. I wasn't much a fan of the frozen-tasting white tuna. On the plate, I think I most enjoyed the scallop, mackerel, and egg. I didn't really like that the salmon was a bit dull in colour.

Thai soup.
I forget what it's actually called, but it's the soup with a spicy coconut flavour. The flavour was actually pretty strong. The chilli oil was visible, and there was a small tingle on my tongue. 

Tobiko sushi.
I like the crunchy bubbles. I wasn't expecting the seaweed part to also be crunchy though.

Hot and sour soup.
Not so much hot as it was sour, but I liked it nonetheless. There were a lot of crunchy vegetables in it.

They were actually a bit warm when they came out, and I was glad that they weren't already dried up and crusty.

Taro tempura.
The tempura part wasn't bad, but the taro could've been cooked more in my opinion. I generally like the taro to be softer so that most of the crunch is coming from the tempura.

Soft shell crab roll.
It was stuffed with a lot of stuff, including cucumber and I think I tasted mayonnaise. 

Yummy banana and yam sushi roll.
The "Yummy" is part of the name of this item on the menu. Josie was disappointed that the filling was in tempura form. I liked the flavours and I think the tempura gave it an interesting texture. I took it as dessert sushi. The rice and tempura batter cut a lot of the mild sweetness from the banana, but the mango sauce added it back.

Deep-fried banana.
This came in a manageable portion. It's actually just banana slices in tempura batter with chocolate sauce. I thought it was fine for what it was.

They were out of sesame ice cream, but they did have coconut ice cream as a consolation.
I was surprised that there were actually strips of coconut in it. Those pieces tasted more like the softer young coconut kind than the older crunchy kind. Without the solids, the ice cream tasted more like vanilla than anything.

Service needs a little work in finesse, but I can see that most of them are trying. I commend them for not messing up or forgetting any of our orders, even when they hadn't written anything down. There were a few stumbles with taking away dishes and serving tea, but they seemed genuinely apologetic (and luckily I own the most invincible phone ever). Also, I didn't need to see the two servers getting into an argument with each other. Tea refills were brought without us asking except for the very last time right before ice cream. I was impressed with the few smiles from our servers as this is often overlooked in Chinese-run restaurants. One server even asked us how we were doing in the middle of the meal. Again, unheard of in many Chinese-run restaurants (at least in this area).

I think a lot of the cooked food is actually better quality. Their raw fish isn't the freshest. Their octopus was actually quite good and not that chewy. The beef was done right, and never overcooked. The portions are good sizes for all you can eat as they allow you to try more items on the menu. My favourites of the night were the enoki wrapped in beef, the grilled octopus, the soups, tobiko sushi, and the coconut ice cream. The banana and yam sushi gets an honourable mention for being unique. I wasn't a fan of the white tuna sashimi, the salmon sashimi, or the surf clam (bias).

Would I return? Maybe to try more of their cooked items.

Total damage: $24.

Look out for Professor Crunchy's take on this place when it gets posted.

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