I’m sure everyone has heard of the tiny, wife and husband run sushi restaurant in Pacific Plaza facing Cambie, that serves top-of-the-line authentic Edomae Sushi. It’s no doubt they’ve made a name for themselves with the impossible-to-make reservations, limited seating, and odd hours and days of operation, as if they don’t even want or care about your business. Course it makes them sound and seem a bit uptight and stuck up, but it is exactly that that makes Sushi Hachi such a gem. As the husband handles the sushi bar, the wife serves and preps whatever limited kitchen items they have as the two daughters stay quietly in the office.
Edomae Sushi originated back from the Edo period, where simplicity and quality are the utmost importance. The knife work with each slice of fish, the grains of rice melded together to form each nigiri – just writing this post is already making me salivate for Hachi. I’ve spoken to the chef many times, and even offered the wife drinks since Fatboy and I always enjoy sitting at the sushi bar. It’s cute and considerate how she drinks on behalf of the husband since he’s handling sharp utensils, that just further highlights his intensity and focus on the work that he does. They both teach golf on Sundays, and the reason behind the odd hours is because of family, how they would rather spend more time with their daughters instead. With that being said, you can still see the passion and love they have for each other, and that he has for his work.
Fresh Oysters (6pcs)
This goes without saying, we went straight for the sushi bar. Fatboy ordered a bottle of 白鶴 Hakutsuru Draft since they only carry 300ml bottles and priced on the lower end of the spectrum, almost to the point of cost. I was craving for some oysters, seeing how it was such a good deal, about $12 for half a dozen, I just had to get it. They were served with the usual Japanese fare; ponzu, momiji oroshi, and green onions. They were fresh and plump, definitely not what I was expecting when paying just about $2 an oyster. Another 6 was ordered shortly after.
Nigiri; ikura (salmone roe), shima aji (stripped jack), hotate (scallop), mirugai (geoduck), ika (squid), amaebi (sweet shrimp), hirame (flounder), saba (mackerel), toro (tuna belly), kanpachi (amberjack)
You wont find huge pieces of rice, with fish overflowing the edges, he stays true to the Edomae standards in Japan by having bite sized pieces that fit perfectly in your mouth. Every piece was cared for meticulously, with the freshest of ingredients, paired with perfectly textured and seasoned rice. I always loved the Ikura here, I’m sure they have had some treatement done to them and not just scooped out straight from the box. There is a subtle sweetness to the roe before it pops in your mouth, releasing the sea-saltiness. Grated ginger is served on top the Saba along with green onions, I had to remove the ginger since I’m not a fan of it. The Saba here is served slightly marinated, but not to the point that it becomes cooked like other Japanese restaurants, it still remains delicately raw. Unfortunately, they were sold out of Engawa, which is the thin muscle on the side of the Hirame’s dorsal fin, so Fatboy ended up ordering Hirame instead.
BBQ Marinated Kanpachi
Usually barbecued fish would just involve salt, but at Hachi they served a marinated version for Kanpachi. It sounded interesting, which lead us to order it. For about $5, it was more than what we expected. The meat was flaky, but a tinge too dry, most likely due to the limited space they have it might have just been warmed up in a boiler. I don’t really taste any marination, but nonetheless, it was a decent dish.
Another one of my favourite must-orders for Hachi. The red tuna has been carefully marinated, most likely overnight, in a soy sauce based concoction, allowing the flavours to steep in overnight. It gives the rather plain Red Tuna a more rounded umami-ness to it. Served with a piece of nori underneath, and grated ginger on top, it’s something that shouldn’t be missed.
Amaebi & Ikura Nigiri; sweet prawn & salmon roe
Finally, another encore of my favourite and an Amaebi for Fatboy, since I stole his.
Though it does not seem much compared to how we usually eat, it was enough to fill our tummies. There are a few rolls and appetizers that can be found on the menu, with the usual drinks that are priced fairly low compared to the rest, but your bill can get steep considering most sushi is $2 plus, it does start adding up. Since it is so small with only two people working, even though there seems to be empty tables, most of them are reserved and service will be a bit slow, so patience is a must. Overall, it is an experience and a must for sushi lovers. If by chance you do crave it last minute, without a reservations, let them know that it would be a fast meal, usually they will be more than happy to seat you at the bar just before the reservations arrive.