218-3355 North Road,Burnaby, BC V3J 7T9view map
Tucked away along North Road near the intersection with Cameron Street, Japolo Sushi is easily missed as it’s located within the upper portion of a small strip mall where the parking lot is only accessible by heading southbound on North Road (confusing?). To further make things far from obvious, the restaurant is located in the back corner and the signs also advertise Pho and noodle soup. Despite the geographic challenges, if you’re in the neighbourhood near North Road or Lougheed Mall, Japolo is worth finding and trying as they have a variety of delicious sushi on their menu.
The specialty sushi roll that we tried was the Brooklyn Roll, which consisted of chopped wild salmon, spicy sauce, and tempura crumbs mixed together with avocado, and topped with colourful tobiko. The roll was smooth, the spice minimal, the crunch delightful, and the overall taste, wonderful. Each piece of sushi was topped with a different colour tobiko, which made for a nice, but not fancy, display. The mixture of the soft avocado and salmon combined with a few crunchy tempura crumbs made this roll very addictive to eat.
The Jaden Roll is one of the specialty rolls on the menu for vegetarians. It has gomaae (spinach and peanut sauce) on the inside and is layered with avocado on the outside. The combination of gomaae and avocado did not work well together and it felt as though the spinach and peanut sauce completely overpowered the avocado. Some might enjoy this but the combination did not work for us.
We also ordered one of the dinner boxes to try and assortment of items. Dinner Box A came with assorted tempura (prawn and vegetable), grilled lemon grass chicken (the Vietnamese influence), 2 pieces of gyoza, 4 pieces of Nigiri, and 3 pieces of California roll. The best part of the dinner box was the lemon grass chicken and the nigiri. The chicken was perfectly cooked and nicely flavoured, leading me to wonder if Japolo’s expertise might actually be in Vietnamese cuisine and not Japanese. The gyoza was overcooked and hard, most of the tempura was a bit gooey, and the California Roll was very ho-hum.
The restaurant was very busy for a Friday night, with most tables occupied and a crowd coming and going for takeout. The decor inside was ok, things seemed clean, but the dim lighting left one wondering what was hiding under the tables. The service was excellent, fast and friendly.
The sushi was good enough to make Japolo a restaurant to visit when in the Lougheed Mall area. There’s plenty of nearby competition but Japolo doesn’t seem as crazy busy as other restaurants, yet it is busy enough to realize they have a regular clientele which keeps our curiosity heightened. However, we will be careful to avoid ordering anything with gyoza and take a pass on the Jaden Roll.
Ate here on October 18, 2015
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