Azuma Sushi Restaurant0
So I have to admit I’m not a sushi expert. That is why, when I went to Azuma Sushi Restaurant to do a review, I brought my sushi loving friend Mark along.
When we first walked into the restaurant, we were seated right away. We were there on a Saturday afternoon for lunch and it was pretty quiet.
I imagine the lunch hours are more busy during the week as the restaurant is right downtown and convenient for working people to get to for their lunch break.
Since it wasn’t busy, I asked if we could sit in one of their “booths”. Normally one of these booths could sit probably eight people so being that there were only two of us, we had tons of room.
The booths are square, with a wooden bench that wraps around the table. There are cushions to sit on to you don’t get uncomfortable sitting on the wood.
Pretty much as soon as we sat down, we were served some tea, and given the menu.
There were so many things to choose from, of which most I had never tried, so I decided to ask our server what to get.
All the servers that I saw were Japanese and it seems as though English is their second language. This makes for a more authentic Japanese experience which I like.
To start, our server recommended the”Chicken Karage”($4.95) appetizer. It was basically plain chicken wings with some sesame seeds on them. To me they tasted average, and I wished there had been some sauce or something on them.
Oh, I forgot to mention we were also served some “Gekkeikan Sake”right before our appetizer. It’s a Japanese alcoholic drink made from rice.
If you’ve never had sake, it’s pretty strong so I recommend you take a little sip first as opposed to a big gulp. I don’t like it much, but Mark does so he was happy to drink mine.
For my main course, our server recommended the “Bento Box” ($7.95). I ordered mine with the Beef Teriyaki, and also added the “Assorted Tempura” for an extra $2.
Mark ordered the”Sushi Regular” ($15.95).
While we were waiting for our meals to come (which wasn’t long by the way), it was nice to hear the Japanese music in the background and watch one of the chefs behind the sushi bar working away.
You can even sit and eat your meal at the sushi bar if you want a closer look at how the chef makes his creations.
When we were served our dishes, I was thankful to see that I was given a fork in addition to my chopsticks.
I am not the most efficient user of those eating utensils yet and when I’m really hungry, I often don’t have the patience to use them!
So my Bento Box looked pretty good. It came with beef teriyaki, some green salad, some fruit, a few pieces of assorted tempura, and some sticky rice on the side.
Tempura, in case you don’t know what it is, is simply seafood or vegetables that have been lightly battered and deep fried. My Bento Box came with some shrimp and sweet potato tempura, both of which were pretty good.
My beef teriyaki was also good, but the rice that it came with it was even better. I love sticky rice, but this one came with a sesame sauce on it that was so yummy!
It’s weird, I wouldn’t have thought I would like a sesame sauce that much, but it was thick and a bit sweet and it really made the rice taste great.
As for Mark’s entree, his Sushi Regular came with “Hoso Maki” (thin rolls of sushi) and seven different types of sushi.
As I mentioned before, Mark loves his sushi and has eaten it at many Japanese and sushi restaurants.
He said though he wasn’t disappointed with the sushi at Azuma, he wasn’t blown away by it either.
For dessert, we ordered the “Tempura Banana” ($4.95). You get to choose from three types of ice cream that you want with it, either coconut, green tea, or mango. We chose the coconut.
If you’ve ever had deep fried banana, it’s similar to that, but the batter is lighter.
I had never had tempura banana before but I would say this one beat all the deep fried bananas I’ve ever had. It was awesome!
The cocunut ice cream went perfectly with it too. Of course this is just personal taste, so if you don’t like cocunut I’m sure the other flavours would have gone nicely with it too.
I would have to say the dessert was the highlight of my lunch at Azuma Sushi, and overall I would say it was a good experience. Again, the sushi wasn’t the best ever, but it was still good.
The prices were quite reasonable and so if I were in the area with a hankering for Japanese food (not necessarily sushi though), I would definitely come here again for lunch.
Just one side note… Azuma Sushi doesn’t take American Express as payment. This is a little pet peeve of mine.
In my opinion, if you are a restaurant owner downtown Victoria, you should take as many forms of payment as possible as there are many tourists from out of town and you might risk losing their business if you don’t accept all the major credit cards.