We at Surrey604 are proud to welcome our newest member, Kevin Chua. Kevin is a committed fourth year Business & Design student from SFU. He loves all things food, design and technology related. Raised in Surrey, Kevin has discovered many amazing places here and wants to share them with you.
Tokachi is a Japanese restaurant owned and operated by a Japanese family. Only a few minutes away from Gateway station, the restaurant has been a landmark of the Whalley neighborhood for years. From the outside, Tokachi may seem like a rundown and out-of-the-way restaurant, but what you find inside is a hidden gem.
The interior is a sharp contrast of the exterior. Upon entering, we were greeted by a waitress wearing a traditional Japanese Kimono. She asked us if we wanted a table or a tatami booth. We chose the booth. Remember to remove your shoes and put them neatly under the steps before hopping into the tatami booth.
We started off with half a dozen Fresh Oysters ($9.00). One of the best things about the service is that they don’t skimp on the lemons and the sauces. The Oysters were tiny but fresh and tasty. The ponzu sauce added a strong kick to the flavour.
The Beef Sashimi ($9.95) came with a similar sauce that accompanied the oysters. Needless to say, I loved the sauce. However, the beef tasted a bit dry and the flavor didn’t really pop as in my previous experiences with this dish. It was a little disappointing for the price.
Unajyu ($15.95) was the highest price dish that we ordered. Typically, dishes with eel tend to be expensive. I had my first Unajyu here and absolutely fell in love with the dish. I have had this dish almost every time I have visited this restaurant and have not been disappointed.
(From left: 2 Hamachi, 2 Tai & 2 Toro)
We ordered two Toro ($2.00 x2), Hamachi ($2.75 x2) and Tai ($2.00 x2) Nigiri sushi. Their nigiri sushi as a whole was respectable but not exceptional. The raw fish was well sliced and very fresh. It was seasoned traditionally with wasabi hidden between the raw fish and rice. However, I wished they had other seasoning styles in addition to wasabi. I asked if there was the option to sear the nigiri, but regrettably there was no such option.
As for rolls, we ordered their Deep Fried Roll ($8.95) and it was worth every penny. I liked that there was no rice filler – it was fully jam packed with pure meat and other tasty goodness. The cooked salmon and snapper were very moist and tasty while the tempura stayed very crispy. The sauce complimented the roll very well.
The last dish we had was the squid, Ika Maruyaki ($8.95). It wasn’t on the lunch menu but I knew they had it so I asked for the dish. The squid was burned so some parts tasted bitter. The ponzu sauce did give the squid a better taste. Regardless, I expected more from the preparation of this dish.
Overall, I rate the restaurant a solid 8 out of 10. When made correctly, their dishes were beyond exceptional. However, the varying quality between the dishes was unacceptable for the price. I would definitely come here again as the food is really good (when done right) and the servers were very nice. However, I hope they improve the consistency of the quality of each dish.
Bottom line: If you want to experience an authentic and traditional style Japanese restaurant try Tokachi. If you are searching for more creative rolls, look elsewhere.
(Thumbs up for Movember!)
I’m always looking for a new food experience. If you have a suggestion of a place you would like me to review, connect with me at @zzzzzomg on Twitter or leave a message on my post below.