Sushi Mart. Great sushi especially for cold and rainy days.

By Tana Kosiyabong

sushimart BC roll & Tamago roll (2nd visit)

It was the lunch hour on a cold and rainy afternoon. My stomach was growling. I was desperately searching through my drawers and locker for any sign of edible items so that I could stay inside. Unfortunately, I got nothing to fill my empty stomach. It was do or die time. I must defy the spine chilling rain to grab something to eat. But why suffer alone when I could drag someone else down with me? So, I persuaded a couple of coworkers—Apiradee and Jason—to go along. Even without wearing my Axe cologne, both of them took the bait almost immediately.

And off we went out in the bitter cold rain like the Three Stooges (or Musketeers???) on a mission. It was only a few blocks walk but it felt like a hundred miles away. I was shivering from head to toe. About half way there, I started to doubt my decision to go out for a sushi lunch. Perhaps we should have ordered pizza instead.

Finally, we were in front of Sushi Mart. When the three of us walked in, there were already 6 or 7 customers inside. Sushi Mart’s interior is interestingly decorated. It is quite different from most sushi places. The restaurant is clean, modern and has only one very long wood table that could comfortably seat 16 people if not more.

sushi mart combo 2 with free miso soup and hot tea (dine-in only)

sushi mart california roll and spicy tuna roll (combo 2)

This was my third visit to Sushi Mart. During the first couple of visits, I was able to keep my lunches at $5 or less. One was the Combo 2 (spicy tuna and California roll). The other was a BC roll (also known as “Seattle roll” in, you know, Seattle) and a Tamago roll (egg omelet). See menu at the bottom of this post for price details.

So this visit I decided to splurge a bit. I ordered my favorite from the earlier visits—a BC roll and a spicy tuna roll ($5.75 total); Apiradee got the Combo 2 and an order of Gomaae (chilled spinach salad with sesame dressing); Jason got a tuna roll, a salmon roll and 2 pieces of salmon Nigiri sushi.

sushi mart bc roll and spicy tuna roll

My BC roll (barbecued salmon with skin on, imitation crab, and julienne cucumber) was really good. It was drizzled with thick, dark brown, sweet and savory sauce similar to Unagi (Japanese eel) sauce. The sushi was perfect as is. No need to dip in the soy sauce unless you want to challenge your own kidneys. The cucumber added crunchy texture to each bite. The barbecued salmon flavor did overpower the crab, but I didn’t mind. The more, the merrier. (As far as I know, BC roll doesn’t normally come with the fake crab anyway.)

The spicy tuna roll was impressive. The roll came with a chunk of raw tuna meat—instead of chopped raw tuna—marinated with Japanese spice (possibly Shichimi Togarashi). The tuna chunks allowed me to taste the natural flavor and texture of raw tuna better than the chopped siblings. Although I still can’t eat Nigiri sushi with a big honking piece of raw fish on top, I can handle the smaller chunks in the rolled sushi.

Apiradee really enjoyed her Gomaae, and her sushi combo. She told us that she had attempted to cook her own Gomaae before, but it didn’t quite work out. She let me sample it as if she knew that I would never buy that salad for myself. It was unexpectedly yummy. The spinach was cooked just right. The sesame dressing was delicious. Jason particularly liked his salmon sushi. He said the fish was very fresh and tasty. The salmon color was so bright, it hurt my eyes.

sushi mart gomaae

One great thing about Sushi Mart is that they throw in free miso soup and hot tea (for dine-in orders only). The tea comes in a big kettle. You can drink it all if you don’t mind multiple trips to the bathroom later. I hope Sushi Mart continues serving these complimentary soup and tea for years to come. They were the reason why we went there on that nasty day, aside from the tasty sushi. Thanks to the free hot soup and tea, we felt so warm and cozy we wished we didn’t have to walk back to work.

Apiradee gave her overall order 4-1/2 stars. Jason was struggling between 4 and 4-1/2. He also mentioned that it could go up to 5 stars if Sushi Mart made his order a new combo (so that he could save a buck or so). What a Cheapskate! He must have been hanging out with me too long.

Sushi Mart also sells readymade sushi in the display fridge for those who are in a rush. You can also order by phone or online. All menu items were priced from $1.25 to $9.75.

sushimartfridge

Sushi Mart BC roll: ©©©© 1/4
Sushi Mart California roll: ©©©©
Sushi Mart Spicy Tuna roll: ©©©© 1/2
Sushi Mart Tomago roll: ©©©©

Sushi Mart is located at 1668 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.687.2422 (Website) sushimart.com

For another point of view on Sushi Mart from imonlyhereforfood blog, click here.

©2009 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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20 thoughts on “Sushi Mart. Great sushi especially for cold and rainy days.

  1. I can’t remember if that was the same sushi mart I had at 12th street. It’s been years. You’ve made me crave for sushi right now. Brings back good memories.

    1. Divana, I’m not sure if they are the same brand or not. There are so many sushi restaurants in Vancouver. Probably more than Starbucks here. Some are very affordable. other are expensive. Obviously, I only go for the cheap one:)

    1. Penny,
      I think it’s about the same. I normally got 2 rolls for around $5 too. Sometimes a bit more depending on what you get. But the free miso and hot tea are great value added items:) I love it. Although many sushi places would offer free hot tea, but I hardly find one that offers both, except Sushi Mart:)

  2. was it your camera or the sushi itself? they look really good, so colorful and fresh! would definitely give it a try!
    so, weather sucks! huh?! last wk it was chilly and rainy. yesterday when i thot it was cool in the morning, it’s soooooooooooooooo warm (27 degrees…WTF???) during the afternoon when i was wearing my way-too-warm jacket!

    1. Thanks Lululu. Glad you like the pictures. Yeah the weather was horrible last week. It is good today. (knocked on wood). Vancouver weather is really hard to predict like you said. Though I hate the cold rain, but I prefer it to snow storms:)

  3. I love sushi! You definitely got a bargain on sushi where you’re at. Usually for two hand rolls the average price is about 8-10 US dollars depending on which one you get.

    1. Wow, That’s crazy. I guess a part of it is because we have so many sushi restaurants Vancouver. They all need to compete to survive. So, the benefits fall into the customer laps. Sometimes it could go up to 8-10 bucks too depending on where you get it. But I won’t go to those restaurants anyway:)

  4. You know, there’s just no bad time or weather for sushi. On hot days, it’s refreshing, and on cold days, a bowl of miso soup and some tea just makes the whole thing feel cozy! Beautiful sushi shots. Dang. Now I’m hungry.

    1. Hey Tiffany,
      Great to see you again. Sushi Mart, though sounds like a grocery store, is a restaurant. But it has a take out display fridge so you can grab what you want and run (not literally. lol.) You can also order fresh made roll too if you want to wait. Their fish is pretty fresh I would say. But I went back there yesterday, and some of the rolls weren’t quite the same as it used to be a week ago. Maybe a new chef? the spicy tuna was made of chopped tuna instead. And there were wayyy to much fake crab and too little salmon in the BC roll. Very inconsistent. I’ll give it another try before I make any note on the post itself.

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