I went to White Rock just because “we have always went to Vancouver to hang out, why don’t we try going south?” last weekend with David and Jason, and David brought us to a small Japanese restaurant called Taka’s take-out sushi.
It can seat only around 10 diners, so its name has “take-out” in it for a good reason.
When we arrived, we were lucky that the bar (which can only seat 4) was empty. David seemed to know the owner, Taka, very well, so he introduced us to a little bit of the background of this restaurant.
“Taka went to Japan to learn the art of sushi, and came back not only with a full set of knowledge and skills, he also brought back his Japanese wife.
“He uses fresh ingredients flown in from Japan, so what’s on the menu may be different every time you come in,” David said.
I took a look at the menu. Miso soup, tuna, yellowtail, salad… everything looks pretty ordinary.
David asked Taka: “what would you recommend, chef?”
Taka pointed to a much smaller menu on the counter: “these just came in, take a look!”
“Super white! That’s my favorite fish!” David was happy.
We studied it for a while, and didn’t know where to begin.
Taka smiled and took charge: “How about we start it off with toro tataki, and then a piece of Red Sea Bream, SeaBass, and Butter fish?”
“Alright! We will go with the chef!” and that’s how we got a chef-crafted lunch.
The tataki was very flavorful, and the bold use of pepper really stood out from other tataki I’ve had.
Butter Fish, Sea Bream, and Sea Bass
The Butter Fish has a rich and creamy texture that actually reminded me of butter.
Taka explained that the skin of the Sea Bream was intentionally left on to provide a chewy bite.
And the Sea Bass was less oily than the Butter Fish, with a lighter and fresher taste.
We couldn’t stop complimenting these sushi. (Well, David and I did. Jason, to our disapproval, garbled all of them down immediately when we were still savoring the first piece.)
“Next, let’s try scallop, ___, super white, grilled salmon, ___, and Flounder Fringe,” Taka said. (I forgot the two pieces… maybe David can help me out)
“You should eat them in that order too,” Taka added. “Especially the last piece, it’s a thin strip from the fins of flounder fish, which is extremely tendor and very rich in oil. More oil means richer taste.”
The scallop was light and indistinct compared to the rest of the sushi.
David’s favorite “super white” was indeed very awesome. It was the most juicy piece of sushi of the day, with a stream of savory taste washing over my taste buds on the first bite.
The grilled salmon has a distinct bbq flavor, which is an unusual twist in a sushi shop.
When we got to the last piece, which had been built up by Taka, we stopped and marvelled at it first.
It was fantastic.
The fish fell completely apart the moment it entered my mouth before I started chewing, but at the same time I can still feel the fibers of the fish dancing around, giving off a rich, buttery taste.
“Guess what was on it,” the sous-chef asked. “Besides salt and lemon.” He took out the obvious.
“Hmm…” we had no idea.
“We grilled it with a little butter,” he said. No wonder it was so fabulous.
(I am running low on time and also drive to finish this entry, so here are more food pics!)
The above salmon roe cone was like mini explosions of juicy, fresh salmon goodness in the mouth.
wasabi with chopped squid. Taka made three, one of which he doubled the amount of wasabi and did a Russian roulette, turning the plate this way and that before letting us pick a piece at random. I kept an eye on the plate, so I knew which one the spiked one was. I went straight for it. I love wasabi.
At first the sushi just tasted sweet. Then the wasabi punched my nostril hard from below my palate, and my eyes watered. It was awesome.
Overall we each spent $50 at Taka’s, pretty steep for lunch for me. But I haven’t had sushi like this ever, especially the interaction with the chef, which really made a great experience even more wonderful.