Hi Genki – Lunch at the Old Folks Home
I was watching one of those Discovery tv shows on Tokyo life the other day and it got me into the mood for some Japanese food. What better place to try but Hi Genki? Located in the Nikkei Place complex in Burnaby, Hi Genki is run by the same people that run Fujiya.
I heard that it gets really busy here during lunch so I stopped by at 11:30am on a Wednesday and it was pretty quiet. It felt a little strange walking into an old folks home for lunch but I got past that pretty quick. It’s a good thing that I came early because all of the tables were full by noon. There were a lot of different age groups dining here so I’m not sure how many were residents, visitors, or just people looking for some great Japanese food.
I decided to try the Spicy Karaage Donburi ($7.95) which came with piping hot miso soup. The boneless karaage pieces here were some of the best I’ve had anywhere. The plentiful chicken was tender inside, crispy on the outside and had a bit of a spicy kick due to the hot sauce. I was a little disappointed that the rest of the donburi was just plain rice and pieces of lettuce (I like my donburi with onions, eggs, and other veggies) but it is a big bowl and a good value.
I thought the Korokke at the Powell Street Festival was great but I think the ones at Hi Genki were even better. At only $2.95 for 2 large croquettes, it was a steal and had an awesome crispy shell that surrounded the soft innards. They also give you a large bottle of sauce that you can apply to the korokke to your liking.
The first 2 dishes were very filling but I heard that the Banana Tempura was really good and for only $3.95, how could you not try it? Honestly, this dessert was way bigger than I expected and I didn’t manage to finish it all (not for lack of trying). I think the deep fried banana pieces were better than the ice cream (the ice cream wasn’t as creamy as I would have liked).
I was fortunate that I came early because the food came out rather quickly – once the restaurant got busy, I could tell that some of the other diners were having to wait for their food. I found it a bit odd that they were delivering all of the dishes on rolling food carts – even if they only had one dish on the cart!
There’s plenty of free underground parking at the National Nikkei Heritage Centre. So if you’re looking for some affordable and tasty Japanese food, stop by the old folks home and get your fix.
6680 Southoaks Crescent