Asa Sushi (Burnaby)
There is no end to the number of tiny sushi joints there are in the Lower Mainland. Take, for example, Asa Sushi which is located in a small mini-mall on the corner of Rumble and Royal Oak in Burnaby (the same mini-mall as the Polish bakery BJ Bakery) and within spitting distance of Makoto.
Like many of the nearby shops, I think they get a fair amount of noon hour business from Burnaby South High School. There is a narrow counter for diners that stretches across 3 walls with a small table seating off to the side. Even though I drive by Rumble almost everyday, I’ve never really noticed Asa before because it’s right at the end of the mini-mall. Based on its location, I really didn’t have my hopes up very high but I was pleasantly surprised.
The Spinach Gomae ($3.50) had a nice peanutty aroma.
The Small Salmon Sashimi ($6.50) comes with 5 slices of farmed Atlantic salmon which had a nice clean taste.
Unagi Don ($11.00) is basically BBQ eel served over a bed of rice. The unagi was fine but I would have liked more sauce over it.
The Wild Roll ($7.50) has a good kick to it that builds up and contains spicy scallop with asparagus, avocado, tuna and salmon sashimi on top.
Asparagus must be an Asa specialialty because it’s also included in the Futomaki ($4.50).
The House Roll ($5.50) comes with tuna, salmon, tamago, crabmeat, and avocado.
I like how they don’t use too much rice in the rolls so the focus is really on the filling.
The place is open 11:30am to 7pm but is closed on Sundays. Apparently, there’s another Asa Sushi in Kerrisdale but I’m not sure if they are owned by the same people or if the food is comparable.
I came back the following month to try out some of their other items including the Asparagus Gomae ($4) and Unagi ($2 each). The slices of unagi was generous, fresh and almost melted in my mouth.
The Spicy Chopped Scallop ($2.00 each) and Toro ($1.50) were equally fresh.
The Tamago ($1.25 each) pieces were cut fairly thick.
I’ve never heard of a Scallop Bacon Roll before ($5) but I thought it was interesting. The bacon was a bit crunchy and salty and went well with the richness of the avocado.
The Love Roll ($6.50) had eel, shrimp, avocado, asparagus, and tobiko all rolled up into one.
For something a little more basic, I also ordered a California Roll ($3.25).
As I mentioned earlier, the prices are fairly cheap and the rolls don’t use too much rice filler. I’m not sure why it took me so long to try this place out.
7608 Royal Oak Avenue