Shizen Ya (Fairview): Organic Japanese Food
Shizen Ya is a unique chain of sushi restaurants (they have one location on Hornby and this location on West Broadway). This isn’t your run-of-the-mill sushi joint that pumps out cheap California rolls.
Shizen Ya proudly claims to be the first natural food Japanese restaurant chain in North America which serves sushi with only brown rice and salad with organic vegetables (yes, you can find some Japanese restaurants that provide the option for brown rice but this is the first place I’ve been to where all of their sushi rice is made from certified organic brown rice).
The Miso Soup ($2.50) was quite flavourful. They say that they make their stock every day with kelp and shiitake mushrooms that are soaked overnight.
The Agadashi Tofu ($5.95 + $0.30 for spicy) has large cubes of fried organic tofu that sits in a broth of homemade tempura sauce. The combination of textures, from the crisp exterior of the tofu to the soft interior when you sink your teeth into it, is what I enjoyed the most.
Shizen Ya has an interesting selection of vegetarian options including the Greens Roll ($6.95) which includes organic avocado, mango, cucumber, bell peppers, alfalfa sprouts, and spring mix lettuce in the roll. The roll is quite refreshing with their homemade ginger dipping sauce.
The Shizen Ya Beans and Chicken Curry ($9.95) is better than it sounds. Served with organic brown rice, the rich curry sauce is quite filling with the addition of chickpeas. Our dish was garnished with spinach gomaae with roasted sesame sauce.
I opted for the Chirashi Don ($13.95) which includes locally caught wild seafood that’s Ocean Wise certified on top of organic brown sushi rice. There was sockeye salmon, tuna, toro, real crab meat, and butterfly shrimp.
Despite being fairly full, we wanted to try their Black Sesame and Green Tea Mochi ($5.95). These were sooooo good! They remind me of the mochi ice cream that we get in Hawaii.
We came back a couple of months later for a revisit and tried some of their other dishes. The Prawn Sunomono ($3.95) was like none that I’ve seen before. The large tiger prawn was accompanied by organic carrot, seaweed, and cucumber with brown rice vermicelli in a vinegary broth.
The plating of the Sakura Blossom Roll ($14.95) was beautiful but it was how it tasted that really shone through. The inside of the brown sushi rice roll was real crab, spicy albacore tuna, cucumber, and organic avocado. The roll was topped with wild sockeye salmon sashimi and paired with a creamy maple/mayo sauce.
Although being quite creamy from the avocado and the crab, there was a nice contrasting crunchiness from the cucumbers.
The Assorted Tempura ($16.95) is made with a whole wheat tempura batter which gives it a nice crispy texture to the tiger prawns (4 pieces), sockeye salmon (2 pieces), and veggies (5 pieces).
If you’re looking for a cheap sushi joint, you’re in the wrong place. But if you’re looking for some quality Japanese food with interesting takes using local and organic products, you’ve got to try them out.
1102 West Broadway
Posted on June 5, 2017, in Japanese, Restaurant Review and tagged Agadashi Tofu, Chirashi Don, Curry, Fairview, Food, Japanese, Mochi Ice Cream, Organic, Prawn Sunomono, restaurant review, Sakura Blossom Roll, Sashimi, Vancouver, Whole Wheat Tempura. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.