yuji…a japanese tapas restaurant in kits…

19 May

We’ve walked past Yuji’s Tapas in Kitsilano countless times and it wasn’t until we saw an ad for it at a movie theatre that we decided to venture in!  This is not your average $5.95 for 18 pieces of sushi kind of place, it’s the real deal.  Famous for the tapas style small dishes, there were countless options to choose from, each sounded just as delectable as the next.  Luckily they had a few prix fixe menus that made choosing even easier.  We went for the $30 per person menu and although we were apprehensive of how much food we’d get (we were starving!), we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and the quantity!

Our first appetizer was the Spicy Curry Calamari, they deep fried a whole squid (tentacles included) and it had a slightly spicy seasoning.  Perfectly cooked, tender on the inside and crisply on the outside…not overly battered and delicious!

Next came the Seared Albacore Tuna with Sesame seeds….what a giant piece!  Two kinds of toasted sesame seeds added a nice nutty flavour and the combination of the savoury soy base and the slightly sweet kewpie mayo was divine.  The tuna was mostly raw on the inside and nicely warmed throughout.

What really made the California Salad rolls were the sauces on the side!  Four dollops of a spicy plum sauce and another four of a mild one.  Stuffed full of imitation crab, the texture was truly soft and almost melt in your mouth.  The rice paper was very supple and the thick sauces added the zing!

The set menu included three rolls, their signatures of course!  Our first was the Prosciutto Roll, an interesting combination of mango and cream cheese in the centre, topped with a thin slice of prosciutto and a dollop of pesto sauce.  Rich and creamy and reminiscent of Italian flavours.  This was the heaviest of all three rolls and after a few, the cream cheese was starting to get a little overwhelming.  Delicious in small quantities!

Chicken fingers japanese style?  A staple in all Japanese restaurants is the Chicken Karage.  These fat nuggets were big hunks of dark meat in a crunchy batter and smothered with a savoury brown sauce.  Piping hot and fresh!  Chicken was super tender and gobbled up in no time.

I failed to take a picture before we started demolishing the next two rolls but managed to catch the last few straggling pieces!  On the left is the Mango roll that had avocodo, tuna, salmon and of course mango.  A giant mouthful, I sometimes love rolls that are just soft ingredients without the crunchy stuff.  Buttery smooth and delicious with a nice hint of tart-sweetness from the mango.  The Dynamite roll was also pretty great…nothing super unique about it but the shrimp was well cooked and the roll was well assembled.

And last but not least, the delicate Sable Fish.  What can I say?  Sable fish is always my favourite with a buttery flavour and amazingly soft texture.  This dish was made simple with a few smears of sauce on the side.  Pan fried and cooked perfect, this was a great end to a fantastic meal!

All in all, Yuji’s is a superb authentic Japanese restaurant that is affordable.  Lots of snacky-type bar foods sets it apart from the other sushi restaurants on 4th Ave.  The service was fast and friendly and the food came out quick!  We will certainly be making our way back to this restaurant in the near future!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Flavour: 4/5
Presentation: 4/5
Uniqueness: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5

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