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Shermans Food Adventures - Link


Despite enjoying a nice meal at Koko a few days prior, we needed more quality Japanese food to erase the nightmare of a meal at Kawawa. I think it'll take me awhile before I recover psychologically from that meal. I wonder if there is such thing as a food shrink? Being that we were already on the North Shore, we headed up to upper Lonsdale in search of Hachi Hana. Interestingly, I already knew what the front of the restaurant already looked like since I looked it up on Google Street View. I must say this is a handy tool; yet creepy at the same time. I looked up some friends' houses and boy, I felt almost stalkerish. We got there at 11:45am and the door was open, so we strolled in. Apparently they were not open even though it said they opened at 11:30am. It seems that they changed their opening hour to 12:00pm. So instead of waiting in the pouring rain, we waited in the car. This sushi better be worth the wait and trouble!!! I was so tempted to go next door to the new location of Tamarind Hill and the other Japanese restaurant - Kokoro.

When we finally made it in there, I was surprised how small the place was. There is a table at the front that seats 2 people; but barely. The table we were at wasn't anymore spacious. It was tough to get into my seat since the table next to us was less only a foot away. However, I needed to sit there, it was the only one near the window! Looking over the menu, I noticed that the prices were quite reasonable, especially the bento boxes. Viv decided on the most expensive box which included green salad, tempura, dynamite roll, 4pcs nigiri and 4 pcs sashimi. I went for a Unagi Cone, Spicy Prawn Cone and 1/2 of a Futomaki. We got the requisite Chicken Udon for the kiddies.

Viv's bento box arrived first and the sashimi looked and tasted quite fresh. No mushy fish here. I actually removed the Dynamite Roll from the box to take a picture of it. I tried to take it in the box, but all I could see was rice and sesame seeds. Unacceptable! The roll was pretty good, rice was the right consistency being soft with whole grains while not being mushy. Despite what you see in the picture, the tempura was not not over-battered. It was crispy, hot and perfectly fried. We liked the addition of a green bean since we don't often get this.

My 2 sushi cones arrived next and they were filled with plenty of ingredients. First of all, they looked nice and secondly they tasted quite good. I found that the Spicy Dynamite Cone was really not all that hot; rather, it was more sweet than anything. It didn't detract from the cone itself; but if you were looking for spicy, this is not it. The Unagi Cone was stuffed full of unagi, pickled ginger and crunchy cucumber. It was a nice contrast of textures and flavours, with the ginger giving a nice kick. I also got 1/2 of a Futomaki Roll and this one was rolled tightly and full of ingredients once again. I emphasize the "tightly" because if not done right, the thing falls apart since it's so large. As you can see in the picture, lots of imitation crab, tomago, oshinko, cucumbers and shitake mushrooms. I liked that there was not too much rice in their rolls either.

The kiddies split a Chicken Udon and well, it was an udon. The soup base was quite flavourful; however, I found the udon a bit on the soft side. Actually the kids like it soft, so it all worked out. Another solid Japanese meal! How about that? My faith has now been restored! I think the 
meals at Koko and Hachi Hana have exorcised the demons of Kawawa. The sun is shining again, the grass is green, birds are singing and people are driving safely in Richmond (okay, let's not get carried away here). Bottom line, the food was fresh and prepared properly. Prices were reasonable and the service was friendly. The place might be small and unassuming; but I'd eat here again.



kasia-smooshi blogspot - Link


Me and some girlfriends decided to hit up Hachi Hana on Lonsdale after reading that it had won reader's Choice Awards for best Japanese Restaurant in the North Shore News recently.  The small location was farely packed with people, squeezing in a late lunch before they closed until dinner seating.  We sat at a small table directly in the middle of the place, in front of the door, and beside it..and slightly blocking it.  
  We looked over the familiar menu which all Japanese sushi eateries seem to share, and I decided on my meal: Agadashi tofu, Inari, Avocado, Tomago, Salmon and Tuna Nigiri with spicy sauce and extra ginger.  Unfortunately I am one of those people that rely on dousing whatever food is set in front of me with condiments, spicy sauce, or whatever is paired nicely with the many things I am eating.  In the case of sushi, I love the mixture of good Asian spicy sauce and the classic salty soy sauce covering my sushi.  
 After ordering, the sushi didn't take long to arrive to our table, which is almost always the case in sushi places, making sushi always a prime choice of a good meal when extra hungry.  Individual sushi came first, very nicely arranged and colourfully eye catching.  The rice was very crumbly, which is always disappointing, leaving an array and single rice pieces floating in my sauce dish.  The avocado was of perfect ripeness with no bruising or wetness at all.  Perfect.  The tamago was delicious as well, the cold egg was just the right texture and taste.  The inari was also great, however the crumbly rice did make it less enjoyable.  The salmon was salmon, but what else can you expect from raw salmon?  It was good quality, a beautiful deep pink, yet the tuna wasn't the most tuna-y tasting tuna I've ever had.  Overall, the nigiri sushi was delectable and I ate it all up in satisfied delight. 


The agadashi tofu came shortly after and was beautifully presented, lightly deep fried and crispy.  However, like I said I'm a girl who enjoys her condiments and the tentsuyu sauce was portioned on the small side, not saucy enough for me.  It did redeem itself with the green onions, because some places sadly decide not to garnish with the greens.  

Overall, I'd say Hachi Hana is great! The service was fast, the food was edible and tasty, but I don't believe it deserved the Reader's Choice Award for best Japanese on the North Shore!  It was pretty mediocre, just like many of the other sushi places I have been on various occasions.

A side note, my fellow companions whom accompanied me to my first sushi spot ordered a yam roll each, and to my surprise and they're displeasure, the roll was made with deep fried yam on top, and mushrooms in the middle! Never seen such a thing in all of my years of sushi eating.  Personally, I would've loved such a roll, but my friend tried to explain to them that she can't eat mushrooms and she wanted "just a yam roll."  Which, of course due to language barriers and possible recipe traditions, caused great confusion against our petite waitress.  She just did not understand that my friend just wanted yam in the roll and had to continuously reject the server's thoughts on cucumber or salmon with the yam instead of the mushrooms.  Eventually, we sorted it out and lied about allergies and my friend enjoyed a delicious yam roll minus the mushrooms.  Odd and frustrating, but don't worry, we got it all under control.  Phew!