Takeya Sushi may seem like a typical Japanese takeout & dine in restaurant, but it is always just as busy as its sister restaurant, Ichiro. Finding where to dine is a routine
habit ritual for me and I wonder how the two would compare. So, we sought out the modest restaurant on No. 1 road one Saturday night. As I sat down and flipped through the menu, I began to question how authentic it was going to be. It seemed the style was leaning more towards Western style Japanese cuisine with some fusion, hence spring rolls and dry deep fried gyoza. Regardless, I later discovered their nigiri were solid.
Toro pon nigiri, all dressed up for a party with sliced onion, mayo, roe, and light ponzu sauce. The ponzu amount was very little and didn't really enhance much flavour. I thought maybe the sauce should have been drizzled on top of the nigiri, so the onion would have a chance to absorb the citrus flavour and wouldn't be so strong tasting after. Also, their toro was already great on its own with super fatty, melt-in-your-mouth texture I crave for so much. Therefore, I felt the add-ons were not necessary and didn't enhance the taste of the fish that much.
I think I will always order this at Takeya from now on, Takeya nigiri; seared toro, salmon toro, saba, amebi, eel, salmon and tuna roll. The seared tuna and salmon toro hit the spot just right; smoky, faintly charred flavour on fatty toro. The saba didn't have that strong, distinct fishy taste and was quite lean for saba. Unagi was a good size and very saucy with buttery texture. The amebi was plump but not as sweet as Hachi Sushi. The tuna and salmon roll made great fillers.
Another dish that just made it on my list of favourite things in Richmond, salmon pon, Takeya's version of tataki. Thinly sliced pieces of seared salmon (or tuna) were dressed with spinach, onion, roe, mayo, and bathing in citrus ponzu sauce. The dish had the right amount of burst in flavours, and contrasting crunch from onion and popping roe.
The first three dishes were all from Chef's special menu which may change monthly. I really hope all three dishes are here to stay.
Tempura don and udon set made savoury fillers, because heaps of nigiri and sashimi just couldn't fill us up the way noodles and rice bowls can. Although everything about them may be typical, they are also a great in value and portions. Most of all, they get the job done.
To go with the udon, I needed a side of chicken karaage, but a small portion with 4 pieces. The batter was crispy and flavourful while the meat was juicy and tender.
Can you believe all that food was shared between 2 people? Like Ichiro, Takeya also places more emphasis in delivering fresh and decent quality sushi and sashimi. While I found the cooked food to be on par with the rest of other Japanese restaurants, some items offer great value and serve their purpose just fine.