A few people have mentioned that I should add a restaurant review section to Crumb Fight. Mainly because I am obsessed with food of course, but also because I am always trying out new places, and I rarely order the same thing twice.
On Tuesday my boyfriend (Jake) and I had date night at Sushi Bella on West 4th between Arbutus and Maple. This Japanese restaurant is Korean owned with extremely talented Korean chefs. I have even more of a soft spot for this place because my friend Monique works there, so it is always a pleasant visit no matter what. Here she is! She makes amazing sculpture jewellery which you can check out on her Etsy page – shameless plug!!
I have one golden rule for when I’m dining out somewhere new and exciting, and known for good eating. Healthy options go out the window – the most delicious or weirdest meal has to be chosen. This means no boring salads as mains. My biggest pet peeve is when people say “that salad sounds delicious!” Does it? It’s a bowl of leaves with a hunk of meat planted on top! I can make that at home for half the price! You can’t judge how good a place is from sampling a salad, and it’s usually the least thought about item on the menu. But I do know that not all salads are created equal, and at Sushi Bella that is definitely the case!
I should also mention that I am not one of those girls that can eat anything I want and get away with it, and as a result I always have to think about what I’m about to put into my mouth. So I don’t make these comments lightly.
So, we sat down with a cute decorative flower napkin and a list of recommendations on what to eat. I love that! Sushi Bella’s menu is huge by the way. You need a good 15 minutes of solid menu attention to make up your mind on what to have, so sharing plates takes some of the pressure off.
We started off with miso soup, which I am sad to say was not the best miso I’ve had. It was overly salty and neither Jake nor I finished it.
Next up as per Monique’s (server and friend) recommendation, we got the Asian Dream Salad. It was amazing! It was more of a seafood sampler with beautiful soy ginger dressing. The salad consisted of tuna tataki (my fav!), REAL crab meat, baby shrimp, edamame, mandarin orange, red beets, mixed organic greens and their light yet flavorful soy ginger dressing. I highly recommend this dish if you love fresh seafood. I could eat it every day! Jake will shake his head reading this. He doesn’t believe anything can be eaten every day and still be enjoyed, but I disagree!
I’m not really sure what to call the next dish that came up because it was made especially for us. Apparently it’s what they do for friends of staff – how nice! The chefs here are super talented so you can expect a delicious masterpiece every time you go in. I guess I would call this dish Sushi Pizza Bites. We received 4 beautifully presented, mini sushi pizza’s with a variety of toppings. If you’ve never had sushi pizza, it is definitely something you have to try! It is pretty much your sushi filling sitting on a fried rice cake, and this was the best I’ve had. Not overly fried and oily, really fresh ingredients, great dressing and awesome presentation. We had tuna tartare, real crab meat, and salmon and tuna sashimi.
We went for one of the recommended sushi rolls – the Paradise Roll, which had wild salmon, cucumber, and fresh house made mango salsa. This was a nice simple roll, fresh and light. The mango salsa is great, I should start making it at home…
Last up with the Trio Agedashi Tofu. I had to fight Jake to order this as he is not a tofu fan. I don’t love tofu, but when prepared well (firm and fried), I do enjoy it. I’ve had agedashi once before, and it was that experience that changed my mind about tofu. The verdict at Sushi Bella? It was good, but different to traditional agedashi – the pieces were much larger and the sauces all varied. If you like the taste of fresh tofu you will enjoy the twist on this dish. The trio sauces consisted of mango salsa puree, traditional, and chili spice. I quite liked the chili spice one mixed with soy.
The worst part of this tofu dish was that it was so filling, that neither of us could fit in dessert. This is extremely rare for me! There is a ‘Monkey’s Roll’ with my name on it for my next trip – whole banana, CRAB MIX?!, cucumber, and chocolate sauce.
UPDATE: I had the Monkey’s Roll. Contrary to my excitement, it was kind of weird and uninspiring. Not something I would order again. It wasn’t a complementary marriage, You tasted the sweet and you tasted the savory. but both flavors were very separate. They didn’t mesh well at all.
Price $$ | Service 5 | Atmosphere 3.5 | Overall 4
Sushi Bella | 2059 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver | 604-734-4990 | sushibella.com
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