Monday 11 March 2019

Riz Sushi Serving Up the Freshest Sashimi in Vancouver

When it comes to Sushi, Vancouverites are definitely spoiled as the city boasts a staggering number of Japanese restaurants, both high-end such as Miku and fast-casual like Togo Sushi. But as our fondness for Japan's most iconic dishes has grown, so has our appetite for quality sashimi. Over this past year, our craving for fresh fish was appeased by the influx of Poke Bars. But that too has become boring for our ever-evolving palettes.  

This is where Riz Sushi comes into play. Riz Sushi is literally at the cusp of Vancouver, a tiny storefront on the corner of Renfrew and East Broadway. Owner Keith invited me down to Riz Sushi for a taste and perhaps even a little education on Chirasi! 

To the average foodie, like moi, the Chirasi Don looked like a Poke bowl, but the similarities basically stop there. Poke hails from Hawaii and means "to cut." Small cubes of fish are marinated and served on a bed of rice with a vast variety of toppings like edamame, sauces and pineapple. 

Riz Sushi serves the Chirasi Don which originates from Japan! Chirasi in its simplest form is fish on rice in bowl form aka a Don. Owner Keith takes care to select and import the freshest whole fish from Japan and the whole fish is expertly broken down by the chefs at Riz Sushi. Since Riz Sushi has a massive catering aspect to their business, they go through the fish in a matter of days, so all of the fish is extremely fresh. Did I emphasize that enough? The fish is hella fresh! 

On offer is a build your own Chirasi bowl, so select your favourite pieces of sashimi. During my visit, Keith made me a bowl with his favourite pieces of fish. The bowl was stunning to look at. Beginning at the ikura (orange fish roe - little balls) and going clock-wise we have Hokkigai (looks like a pretty orange claw!), Japanese Hamachi, Salmon, Albacore Tuna and the crowning jewel in the middle, the Otoro (fatty pieces of bluefin tuna). 

Full Disclosure: I do not eat raw fish; however, I did bring a friend that loves sashimi and I trust his opinion:

--- The Albacore Tuna was the best albacore tuna he has had to date in Vancouver. In fact, you could clearly taste the freshness in every piece of fish. To his surprise, the Otoro was not his favourite despite it being the fattiest melt in your mouth piece of fish in the Chirasi. He would 100% be returning to Riz Sushi because he has not had fresher sashimi in all of Lower Mainland. ----

Keith was also a phenomenal host and probably spent an upwards of two hours chatting with us, sharing stories and feeding us until our stomachs were about to burst. It is hard not to see Keith's passion and the pride he takes in serving his customers the highest-quality fish. 

While we were at Riz Sushi, the Chirasi Don was one of many dishes Keith had us try. Since I do not eat raw fish, he was extremely accommodating and personally oversaw the making of a pan-fried salmon bowl which was YASSSS absolutely yummm. This was not just a special service just for me. You can always request a bowl with the fish of your choosing cooked. 

We rounded out our massive feast with one of my favourite Japanese snacks, pan-fried gyoza. Keith also had me try an Onsen egg. The egg is cooked whole at a low heat very slowly allowing the insides to become this luscious creamy custard-like texture. 

I whole-heartedly recommend checking out Riz Sushi especially if you appreciate high-quality sashimi. Let me know in the comments below if you have tried Riz Sushi yet as well if there are any other places in the Lower Mainland that you recommend!


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