My mom treated me to a wonderful sushi lunch on the day of my flight back “home” (I put “home” in quotations, at all times, because I kind of feel like I have two of them). We decided to go to Mega Sushi in Steveston as I had not yet been. Of the quality Richmond Sushi joints I’d been to, the top two were probably Ichiro and Torarembo. Both served really great quality sashimi and super fresh and interesting rolls. So, in other words: Mega sushi had a lot to live up to.
And it succeeded!
First, the staff at Mega were adorable. All of them (e.g. waitresses and chefs) said hello in unison and definitely made us feel warmly welcomed. It’s a tiny place, no more than 40 people could fit – or maybe 50 – but it’s small. Not a whole lot of atmosphere in the sense of ambience or warmth, but by the same token, it isn’t cold or sterile looking – it’s modern and clean. The plating is beautiful, and something I noticed right away as I was eyeing other patrons’ orders coming out from behind the sushi bar. Each plate – clay pottery of green, blue and neutral hues – is unique and looks very authentically Japanese. The presentation of their food is incredible, with respect to arrangement of the delectable morsels, sauces, and garnishes. Definitely the prettiest and most thoughtful array of ingredients I’ve seen in a long time at a sushi restaurant. And the menu is full of options.
Onto the good stuff! We decided to have a Granville Island lager (in order to drown our sadness) … and the following menu items (pictured below):
1. Spinach Gomae: This delicious steamed spinach – drizzled (or doused) in a peanutty-tasting sesame sauce – is always a favorite of mine. As you can see, Mega Sushi really went above and beyond with the gorgeous presentation. It was very tasty.
2. Tuna sashimi (they didn’t have the Toro (aka fatty tuna belly) so we got the regular tuna): The sashimi was tender and generous, and the pieces were nice and thickly cut. There was not a hint of iciness, so you could tell it has been perfectly thawed. MMMMMmmmm Tuna. I miss the delicious tuna sashimi from BC. While Ottawa has top notch salmon sashimi, the tuna is always darker and kind of stringy. Even at the good sushi places. Not like the buttery, lighter-in-colour West-coast stuff.
3. Sunset roll ($14.95): This roll was so fresh and chock-full of really tender seafood and fresh veggies. Inside the roll was cucumber, avocado, and tuna. It was topped with torched salmon and scallop and a few delicately scattered alfalfa sprouts, as well as fish row. The sauces were also beautifully drizzled on the plate; one was similar to a spicy mayo and the other almost tasted like it could’ve been a mix of hoisin and oyster sauce. Don’t take my word on this, though. Seriously, I am shooting in the dark when it comes to the sauces! One noteworthy thing: I have had a TON of sushi in my day but I have never had torched salmon and/or scallop on top of a roll (or either on its own, for that matter). The flavour was not like smoked seafood nor was it cooked … just …. really unique, raw-ish, smoky seafood. (Unique in an “awesome” kind of way, not in an “interesting” kind of way – which can be a passive aggressive, disguised criticism – e.g. “she’s … interesting”. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean.)
In conclusion, I would LOVE To go back to Mega Sushi and try more of their delightfully fresh grub. The sushi is exquisite and the ingredients are top notch. I mean, when you think about it, the chefs probably walk the three-something blocks to the dock and buy their stuff fresh of the boat. Nom nom nom … who would have thought, one day, the very thought of eating raw fish would make me salivate? I remember being a young girl and walking the Steveston wharf with my family after a dinner at Shady Island or Sockeye City. While I was entertained by the throwing of raw fish and the weird crab/shrimp creatures with all their strange limbs … I was also simultaneously distracted by how nasty the odorous fish was. I guess it IS still kind of off-putting, but it’s a completely different experience (for your nose and taste buds) when you eat it in sushi form. And for anyone who has not tried sashimi or sushi rolls with real raw fish (no, California and smoked salmon rolls don’t count) I highly recommend you do. Just get ready to be plagued with a life-long, costly, and persisting addiction ….
I dream of sushi.