Sashimiya is a takeout sushi and sashimi shop opened recently by Takayuki Omi, formerly the executive sushi chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge RawBar. While Vancouver seems to have sushi joints every block, there’s a gap in the market for higher quality offerings that don’t break the bank. I’ve been looking forward to trying Sashimiya since it opened: a successful chef who strikes out on his own to open a no-frills takeout restaurant is the kind of stuff foodie dreams are made of.
The Take-Out Experience
Sashimiya’s located on Hornby and pretty easy to miss. Due to the one way street and construction in the area, it’s kind of a pain. If you can’t find parking directly out front, you’re probably best off parking on Drake street around the corner.
Inside the cozy shop you’ll also find a variety of Japanese groceries and pre-made sushi as well as packaged sashimi that the chef can slice for you upon request.
I’d highly suggest calling ahead of time to order, as staffing is limited and wait times can be long. The menu is also available on Uber, but unfortunately the prices are marked up about 20%. Because they only had one person working the till and the place was so small, I didn’t want to cut in line and had to wait quite a while for everyone ahead of me to order and pay, even though mine was ready for pickup.
While most restaurants are merely trying to adapt, Sashimiya’s takeout-only model seems especially appropriate for our times. Everything was packaged nicely and wrapped for extra protection. The boxes were the right size and the sushi snugly packed. They kept the sashimi plate in the fridge until the time of pickup, which really helped preserve freshness.
Everything about the sashimi plate was high quality and fresh, and good value for the variety and number of pieces you’re getting. I typically try to avoid ordering sashimi for takeout, but Sashimiya executed this perfectly. The bed of daikon not only aided with presentation, but seemed to help keep the fish cold. Even after my 30-minute drive home, the sashimi tasted like it came fresh from the sushi bar.
This isn’t on their menu, but I saw this in their cooler and couldn’t resist trying it. They were OK but I couldn’t really taste any sake or much flavor.
The Nigiri Plate includes 6 pieces of assorted nigiri along with 1 roll (spicy tuna in this case). The fish was fresh and the rice maintained its texture, instead of getting mushy which often happens with takeout. However the chef seemed to assemble some of the pieces with less care than what would’ve been presented at RawBar. The tuna on the right wasn’t cut very elegantly, and if you look at the middle piece of salmon, you can see that the rice wasn’t fully covered by the fish. Still very tasty though.
The tempura bits on the spicy tuna roll gave it a crunch, while the cucumber and addition of radish sprouts added some freshness. Much better than the standard spicy tuna roll you see at most restaurants.
The Salmon Aburi roll was topped with spicy salmon and motoyaki sauce and torched Aburi-style. Another unique and tasty roll.
Each element in the futomaki was delicious and tasted like it was made in-house. You can actually taste the egg in the tamago, the flavor of the shiitake mushrooms and kanpyo. Having a delicious roll with cooked ingredients really helps break up the monotony of raw fish and serves as a palate cleanser. I couldn’t taste any sakura denbu though (the sweet fluffy pink fish flake powder) which is usually my favorite part of a futomaki!
You can’t go wrong with sushi and sake. Hakutsuru offers great value across their entire range, and at $22.99 this is probably the cheapest Daiginjo sake you’ll ever be able to find here. It’s smooth and mellow with a nice fruity aroma, and good either chilled or served at room temperature.
Sashimiya is a welcome addition to Vancouver’s sushi scene and offers great value for the level of quality you’re getting. This is the go-to place for those seeking above-average sushi without paying high-end prices.
1348 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC
Price Range: $$$ ($30-$50)
Rating: **** (4/5 – Recommended)