Another day of sushi eating. This time we went to Torarenbo because it's a Sunday, and Sakura Sushi is closed. There was a time in my life that I came here quite a bit because I was addicted to their udon soup. But more on that later.
The decor around the bar tries to be quite Japanese I think, though it's not as cool and fancy as an izakaya. I don't really love or hate it. By the way, they love playing this food and travel show that takes place in Japan, but is produced by a Hong Kong station.
First up was the sushi combo ($10.50). I order this almost every time because I like how it has both udon and sushi. Torarenbo is one of the restaurants that do not use prepackaged udons that sit on the shelf. They probably use the frozen ones, which are really good (for me anyhow, I don't think I have tried fresh-made udon). These ones are more springy to the bite and do not carry weird sour tastes. The soup here is also really good with a strong dashi stock taste to it.
The sushi overall was okay. The fish here was pretty fresh, though today's sushi rice didn't seem to be that good. The rice parts pretty much fell apart when I put them in my mouth. My favourite sushi out of the four was the tai (red snapper) nigiri.
We also ordered the karaage combo ($8.50), which came with tempura, rice, and a few pieces of rolls.
Their karaage is pretty good by my standards, without too much flour. The chicken is always in sizes that I like -- not too big and not too small. They also have some ginger flavour to it, which reminds me of Chinese style fried chicken. They are a bit on the oily side though. In comparison to Kamei Royale's, this one does not have much of a crunchy exterior. They're both quite different, yet I like them both.
Both combos came with assorted tempura, with two shrimp tempura, one yam, and one carrot tempura. the yam one was quite oily, but I was quite full by the time I got to it. I didn't really care for the carrot one. The shrimp tempura weren't the best I have tasted, since the shrimp wasn't entirely fresh. They didn't have that much "crunch" to them as I would have liked.
I used to like Torarenbo a lot, so it's a bit sad for me to see that the quality of the food has gone down a bit. The udon is still good, though I did find another place in Richmond that does the soup really well (I'm not telling you where, you'll have to wait and see!) I still really like the chicken karaage here though, even though its not the crispy kind like Kamei Royale.
8191 Park Rd
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