Ikura

The second of a number of Vancouver reviews.

And honestly, this place was… well, let’s just say I’m surprised more Vancouver reviewers haven’t gotten to this place yet. But that’s alright! Room for me to talk about some very yummy stuff.

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The trip all began when Joy and McDan decided to go out for lunch and tell Eve and I to accompany them. I hemmed and hawed and somehow found myself in the car driving towards an unknown restaurant. True story.

Everyone else had been there before so I was there on good recommendation. Upon entering I found the place clean, spacious and well-lit and charming enough. Then the menu blew me away. Ikura has this ridiculous deal of 3 items for 9.99$, where your choices range from small dishes (3 pieces of tempura, anyone?) to larger, more substantial items such as chicken don or udon. The only limitation is that you can’t order more than one don (rice bowl) or udon, but still… if a bod can manage to get a bowl of udon AND two rolls of sushi all for 10$… that’s quite the fair deal.

We all ordered our own, which just means more pictures for you to look at =D Before we get started though, I will say that while the service was okay, our waitresses were a little strange. The waitress that served our food did so by depositing a plate, saying “Here,” without announcing what the dish was and left promptly, leaving us to peer into the plate and figure out who should take what. In most cases it wasn’t much of a hassle but being used to waiters / waitresses who announced what they brought made this experience a little off-putting. Otherwise the service was polite and quick enough.

Eve ordered the 3-item combo (9.99$) so her meal included: miso soup, salad with house dressing, and (pictured): yam tempura (3 pieces), chicken teriyaki udon, and a chopped scallop roll.

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Joy  ordered a similar 3-item combo (9.99$): miso soup, salad with house dressing, chicken teriyaki rice, a chopped scallop roll (already pictured above) and (pictured here) a spicy tuna roll.

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McDan on the other hand went for Lunchbox B (6.95$): one piece each of salmon, tuna and ebi sushi, 5 pieces of prawn and vegetable tempura, beef teriyaki on rice and salad with house dressing.

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And I, having eaten out very recently (read: yesterday > >) ordered Lunchbox C (5.95) because it would accommodate my slim wallet. I was oh-so-surprised by the amount of food I got: a bowl of miso soup, salad with house dressing, 3 pieces of deep-fried gyoza, 5 pieces of salmon tempura sushi and chicken teriyaki on rice. And an orange slice for kicks.

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“But what about the quality of the food?!” you might ask. Well, it was decent. Nothing was superbly made but nothing was awful either. The house dressing had a nice kick to it; there was definitely minced ginger in that sauce. The teriyaki sauce was a little salty but tasted quite alright paired with the rice. The worst part of my meal (and I certainly don’t mean worst in any dreadful sense of the term) was the deep-fried gyoza, since it was pretty greasy. I think the oil could have been cut in half, really, but at the same time it was tasty. Actually, with the pictures below, you can see that there’s quite a bit of residual grease from the food. The salmon tempura sushi roll was also new and strange but oh-so-filling, probably because the fish was breaded as well as wrapped in rice. Flavours were fairly spot on though and I really couldn’t complain about anything (except the gyoza).

McDan wiped his plate clean and part of Joy’s sushi rolls as well. Joy told me she usually saved her don for lunch the next day. And I found out that, despite enjoying almost all of my food, I had quite a bit left over. Enough, as I found out a couple days later, for a very satisfying lunch.

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After packing up our lunches for the next day, we left pretty satisfied. Including tips, I paid under $4 per lunch. Golly.

—–

Ikura Japanese Restaurant
8646 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6P5A2
(604) 261-6382

Pros: Pretty much every aspect has a good, decent middle-of-the-crowd quality. There are certainly small touches of flavour that make the food stand out, but what’ll really bring you back are the prices. This is the kind of sushi shop that gives Vancouver it’s reputation for good cheap sushi.

Cons: Of course, there are some drawbacks, like greasy gyoza, slightly fatty chicken, and slightly strange waitresses. These are minor details though, and anyone can avoid the deep-fried things (although not all of us want to avoid deep-fried things, amirite?).

Ikura Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I’m happy to say this is another place I will re-visit for sure, especially because I often eat on a budget. I’m open to checking out other sushi places, of course, but for now Ikura has made a good-enough impression that I’ll return.

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