Green Leaf Cafe: Welcome Addition to Burnaby
If you’re a fan of aburi oshi sushi (flame-seared and box-pressed) in Vancouver, you’ve probably heard of Green Leaf Sushi, a popular location in the trendy Kitsilano area. Earlier in May, they opened up a second location… this time in Burnaby, behind Lougheed Town Centre at the corner of Cameron St and Erickson Dr.
They did a pretty good job of renovating this place… there’s plenty of room and it has an airy feeling with the light coming in from the glass pyramid cupola while still feeling grounded with the extensive use of warm wood elements.
On my first visit, I had to try their Aburi Salmon Oshi ($10) and Aburi Spicy BBQ Eel Oshi ($15). When it arrived at my table, the faint aroma from the searing process was still wafting in the air.
The double-layer Atlantic salmon oshi sushi is well executed with a light and creamy oshi sauce and a sliver of jalapeño which imparted a delicate spiciness to the bite.
Meanwhile, the buttery double-layer unagi was topped with crisp garlic chips that you encounter on your last bite and a sweet and spicy miso sauce which lingers in your mouth afterwards.
The aburi here is pretty solid, similar to what you’ll get at their Kitsilano location. I actually liked it so much that I came back for a revisit the following day to try their Tornado Omelette Rice ($14).
This is truly a beautiful omurice dish with the soft, fluffy eggs spiraled around a dome of rice with garlic flakes, tomato, and chili to resemble the shape of a tornado. Surrounding the omelette is a rich and flavourful demi glace sauce that perfectly completes the dish.
I returned the following week to try some more of their dishes… the Wild Sockeye Salmon Temari ($3 each), Albacore Tuna Toro Temari ($3 each), and Dungeness Crab Oshi ($15). For those who are unfamiliar, temari (an uncommon sushi dish in Vancouver for some reason or another) is a fairly simplistic sushi item where a ball of sushi rice is topped with various fish. Green Leaf Cafe’s version sticks to the simplistic approach with a beautiful piece of glistening sashimi draped over a small sushi ball. The freshness of the sashimi really stands out. The temari here doesn’t compare with the off-menu temari set found at Victoria Sushi but Victoria Sushi’s version is fancier and applies a torch to the sashimi pieces.
They use real dungeness crab in this aburi oshi dish topped with creamy oshi sauce and a crispy caper. Inside, a layer of tiger prawn can be found in the middle which adds to the pop in your mouth.
On another revisit to this location, I ordered the Mango Scallop Oshi ($12) made with mango, scallops, avocado purée, wasabi aioli, and topped with a caper. This was a pleasantly creamy boxed sushi item.
I also wound up ordering their OMG Roll ($12) which is a type of Korean gimbap (similar to Japanese sushi roll). This took a bit longer to come out but when it did arrive at my table, I was astounded by the size of this dish. The OMG Roll is a deep-fried spicy roll with soy glaze, wasabi sauce, prawns, salmon, crab meat, and avocado. It’s shaped like a cube and then cut in half and artfully presented on a long serving board (like their oshi sushi). I was actually quite pleased with this “roll” and liked the mixture of crunchy and creamy textures along with the slightly spicy sauce.
On yet another visit, I decided to try their Yukke Tuna Oshi ($12), Mackerel Oshi ($12) and Green Tea ($3.5). I was a bit surprised that they charge for tea but it did come in a cute little tea pot.
The Mackerel Oshi is marinated in sweet vinegar and employs a house-made miso sauce and green onions. Meanwhile, the Yukke Tuna Oshi is made with soy marinated minced tuna, a house-made sweet onion sauce, and topped with pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts, and sesame oil. In my opinion, the Yukke Tuna Oshi doesn’t look very pretty as everything is hiding under the pea shoots and alfalfa sprouts but the flavours work.
The good thing about these two oshi sushi is that the fish melts in your mouth. Personally, I don’t think they are as good as the other aburi oshi dishes I’ve had here but that might be just my own preferences.
Determined to try some of their non-aburi dishes, I returned and ordered their Crispy Chicken ($6.50 for small) and the Hamachi Sashimi ($18). The chicken (similar to karaage) was boneless chicken pieces that had been battered and fried up and served in mini fry baskets with a spicy mayo dip. The 5-6 pieces of chicken were nice and crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.
Meanwhile, the hamachi (yellowtail) was melt-in-your-mouth tender with a buttery essence which made it so satisfying to eat. This was as good as any of the sashimi that we had in Japan.
The following month, I tried their Deep-Fried Gyoza ($6.50). Served with a dipping sauce, these crispy dumplings had a pleasingly juicy and hot filling on the inside.
I’ve been eyeing their Charcoal Grilled BBQ Eel on Rice ($15) on the menu for a while now and I’m glad I finally got to try it out. There was about 6 pieces of tender eel in this bowl along with mushrooms and topped with ribbons of tamago. The unagi sauce went well with the rice and the hot bowl created a crispy char to the rice on the bottom (similar to a dolsot bibimbap).
Later in the month, we came back to try another slew of dishes… the Prawn Fritters ($6), Spinach Salad ($5), Mango Scallop Oshi ($12), Mentaiko Linguine ($12) with cod roe, Wild Sockeye Salmon Sashimi ($16), Beef Yaki Udon ($10.50), and Cha Shu Rice Bowl ($10.50) with half-boiled egg.
The Green Leaf Signature Aburi Platter ($63) is probably one of the most recognizable dishes here and it great if you’re sharing with friends (or just have a really healthy appetite) and consists of mackerel oshi, tuna yuuke oshi, tobiko roll, salmon oshi, basil prawn oshi and scallop oshi.
The new Green Leaf Cafe is a welcome addition to Burnaby. If you’re looking for a place that serves up solid Japanese/Korean dishes… look no further.
9604 Cameron Street
Posted on October 12, 2018, in Japanese, Korean, Restaurant Review and tagged Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi, Aburi Spicy BBQ Eel Oshi Sushi, Aburi Sushi, Burnaby, Chicken Karaage, Dungeness Crab Oshi, Food, Gimbap, Gyoza, Hamachi, Japanese, Korean, Mackerel Oshi, Mango Scallop Oshi, OMG Roll, Omurice, Oshi Sushi, restaurant review, Sashimi, Temari, Tornado Omelette, Unagi, Yukee Tuna Oshi. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.