Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sushi World

Mixed Seafood Shells

Restaurant: Sushi World
Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi/Fusion
Last visited: September 14, 09
Area: Richmond, BC
#1020 - 4540 No. 3 Road (in Empire Centre, across from Hon's)
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5
Service: 5
Ambiance: 1
Overall: 4
Additional comments:
  • Creative & trendy rolls
  • Sushi with strong West coast influence and flavours
  • 4-5 star sushi served in 1 star setting
  • Made upon order
  • Not your average take-out sushi - quite gourmet
  • Lots of healthy, low carb options
  • Get more than you pay for
  • Friendly service
  • Chinese (Chinese-American or Chinese-Canadian) owner
  • Make sure you double check that all the ingredients are in the roll because they tend to forget things and descriptions aren't accurate.
  • Take-out/to-go
  • Open 11am-9pm
  • Closed Tuesday
  • Cash only
  • Frozen yogurt/smoothies available
  • Also owner of Pink Swirl frozen yogurt next door

Tokyo Roll, Mixed Seafood Shells

I was surprisingly impressed with this little sushi joint. It's been around for 7+ years, but I never noticed it until recently. It's a hole in the wall to-go place, but you can't tell from the outside. My expectations for it was pretty low, but I was hungry and craving sushi that day so I just wanted the closest sushi place I could find. I'm glad I fell upon Sushi World because it's a diamond in the rough. The rolls are really creative and the menu is suitable for a downtown crowd, yet the pricing is half the price of downtown. He can afford to give relatively gourmet sushi at a low cost because I'm sure the rent is really cheap. The place seats maybe 10 people.

The owner is really friendly - talks to everyone and really gets to know his customers kind of owner. He explains all the rolls upon order and really walks you through the menu. You can tell he does it because of his passion for good sushi and good food. He lived in LA for a while which explains his menu - major west coast influence! Very fusion, very trendy, very LA! Very unexpected for a to-go sushi place in Richmond. There's things on the menu I've never heard of before and they're his own special creations. The menu is really suitable for a downtown crowd because he offers trendy rolls and some low-carb (no rice) healthy options - not to the point of adding flax/seeds/brown rice etc. I hope the Richmond crowd can appreciate it because it's definitely not your ordinary sushi - although those are available as well.

Compared to other fusion creative sushi roll places it's a 4/6, but for what it is - a to-go sushi place in Richmond - it's a 5/6! I'll definitely come here again to try all his other creations. Eg: Kyoto roll - chopped scallop, baby shrimp & kappa wrapped with rice & Japanese crepe topped with a creamy pesto sauce & black sesame.

Word-of-mouth business and loyal customers has led the owner to start another sushi place a couple units over (will be more of a sit-down place, it's still under construction), as well as Pink Swirl - a frozen yogurt place that just opened.

On the table:

  • **Tokyo Roll 5.5/6
    • Salmon, crab, avocado, wrapped in a Japanese crepe with green tobiko. No rice. (This is the description on the menu, but mine had fresh mango and they forgot the avocado...still good though!)
    • This is their "Best Seller" - it's advertised all over their menu and by the owner as soon as you walk in. It's delicious! You get 8 large pieces for only $4.95 - what a deal.
    • I expect to see this at a sushi place in downtown. It's packed full of crab meat with just the right amount of mayo (so that the crab meat isn't drenched and soggy, but still flaky). There's a piece of fresh ripe mango and a decent piece of salmon sashimi all wrapped up in a thin Japanese crepe - almost the texture of a thin omelette - you can tell it's made with some egg, but the crepe itself doesn't carry much flavour. It's more of a unique and simple ingredient that serves a purpose in the construction of the roll. All the ingredients just go together so well, it could have used something crunchy - maybe a bit more tobiko or a few shreds of cucumber...but it was still great as is.
  • **Mixed Seafood Shells 5/6
    • Chopped scallop, baby shrimp, crab meat, fresh mango on crispy shells topped with green and black tobiko and a drizzle of raspberry coulis.
    • This is a gourmet hors d'oeuvre with the help of the grocery store. I have to give the owner credit for coming up with this. This is a great appetizer you would expect to see at a fancy party - anyone would be really surprised to get this here. Even the presentation was lovely. If this was at a nice sit down place it would have sold for $10-12 easily, but it's only $5.50!
    • These "crispy shells" are actually "Siljans Crispy Cups" - those baked hors d'oeuvres shells you buy at the grocery story. I can't ding them for this though, because those cups would be a pain for them to make and it's just a take-out place...and it was only $5.50.
    • These shells are packed with crab meat and topped with chopped scallop. I really don't remember eating mango or baby shrimp in these, and my pictures don't show it either...I didn't realize until now though, probably because they were still enjoyable even without them. I really liked the texture of these and the shells stayed crispy! You don't need to eat them with soy sauce or wasabi, they're one-bit wonders.
    • The "raspberry coulis" isn't in the description, but it is on there. This "raspberry coulis" is actually the Smucker's strawberry syrup - the stuff you put on ice cream sundaes. You can see the bottles right there, so it's not like they try to hide it and play it off as a "homemade sauce" - it's more funny than disappointing. It's actually a really creative way of using the sauce, so again I have to give him kudos for turning a 5 min. instant snack to a gourmet hors d'oeuvre. Even a chef would be impressed. It was the perfect addition to this dish, it added a sweet and tangy flavour and without it the dish might have been a bit boring - or you'd get sick of eating it faster.
    • Firecracker Roll
  • Firecracker Roll 3.5/6
    • Salmon, fresh mango, & crab, topped with deep fried soft shell crab, and chef's special hot sauce and green tobiko.
    • It's the most expensive roll at $9.95 and one of the few deep fried items available.
    • This is a pretty big roll, and you get a whole soft shell crab! This was the only one where the dish matched the description on the menu. There was a decent amount of filling and generous mango, but a bit too much rice.
    • The Japanese sushi rice here also isn't very good. It's flavourless and a bit mushy and wet. There's a lack of vinegar and sugar, but part of me thinks it's intentional because they do aim for the "healthy factor". Honestly, they could have done a better job with the rice, it tasted like regular rice - you can tell by the picture the quality wasn't there.
    • They nailed the soft shell crab and the other ingredients, but what should have been easy - the rice - was a flop. Maybe that's why most their rolls are riceless? This would certainly explain it.
    • I also appreciated the fact that the sauce was made in house. It's almost like a spicy chilpotle mayo. You can eat this sushi on it's own, but I preferred it with soy and wasabi because the sushi rice was just way too bland. If they nailed the rice it would have been a 5/6.
  • Frozen Yogurt
    • I didn't get to try this - but I will. It's $3 for a cup and additional for toppings. He owns Pink Swirl the frozen yogurt place next door, so that's why he sells it at Sushi World as well.

Sushi World on Urbanspoon


  1. I've always passed by this place and I have always wanted to try it. After reading this and seeing the creative rolls, I am going to try it!!

  2. Hi Lucy! I'm glad you found this review useful. It really is an unpretentious place that serves somewhat pretentious sushi...if that makes sense. With what they charge, you don't have much to lose and it's definitely worth the try. Let me know what you end up trying. Thanks for your post!