I always mistake the restaurant name as Applesauce instead of Applause. All the time I drove by it and from the quick glance, I just see Apple Sauce…I even call it that and people would get confused. I guess it is the same issue as calling Deacon’s Corner as Top Deacon.
The restaurant has been opened for 10+ years. I remember going there when it first opened as a new highschooler…gosh where did the time go!? Even then my impression was “COOL! Finally a Japanese food place with actual Japanese servers and Japanese on the menu.” To be honest, I don’t quite recall how was that dinner experience since it was so long ago.
We returned to this place once again with the family upon my sister’s recommendation. She works relatively close to the area and would go there for lunch with coworkers from time to time. Parking isn’t really an issue as there are some street parking.
It is a small-medium size restaurant. It has bar seating area, 2 booths that could even further divide into 8 2-people tables and 2 long tables for bigger parties. I think the space is clean and well used.
The menu is kept simple. The usual appetizers, sashimi, nigiri sushi, maki rolls, noodles, rice, tempura, combs and set dinner. It is refreshing to not have overwhelming amount of choices to pick from.
My sister ordered her favourite dish: the corn cream croquette ($5.25). It is a deep fried corn cream and vegetable cake. The description is a little surprising because most of the Japanese croquette is made with mashed potato. Anyway, one order has 3 medium size pieces of golden croquette. I really enjoyed this dish as it kind of reminds me of a deep fried shepred’s pie. The sweet corns in creamy mashed potato with a crispy exterior is a great combo! What’s there NOT to like? I can see why my sister loves this dish so much. The sauce that came with it is the Japanese ponzu sauce. It does pair well with the croquette. I think it can be with or with out sauce and still taste great.
My order of California roll ($3.50) was typical. They were enjoyable with the creaminess of avacado and the imitated crabs. The ingredients were fresh. No complains there.
My dad ordered the Assorted Sushi Plate ($11.95). Don’t let the picture fool you. The order is quite massive when it was presented to our table. It has an order of California roll with assorted nigiri sushi (salmon, tuna, hokkigai, tai, ebi and tako). The quality seems quite fresh. My dad was stuffed to the brim after eating all those. If an order of California roll is only $3.50, the 6 nigiri sushi would be $8.45 which is a good deal. It is about $2 cheaper than ordering one of each sushi a la cart.
The tempura yam is praise worthy! One order has 5 pieces and it is ($6.50). The batter was light but extremely crispy. The yam tempura was not greasy. Even after a long time, there wasn’t soggy and soaked in oil. It was still delightful to eat at the very end of the meal. Highly recommend this dish!
My sister’s 2nd favourite dish at the restaurant was the Sukiyaki ($7.95). It has beef, tofu, vegetable and noodles in clear broth. It is a premade Japanese hotpot! Doesn’t it look that way? I had some and the first thing it came to mind was how sweet the vegetable broth is (not sugary sweet but the sweetness from the veggies). My sister and I enjoyed it very much. The portion is huge and I just finished off whatever she couldn’t finish. I am surprised it is only $8…very good value to get this.
My sister’s boyfriend got the Unagi Rice Bowl ($11.25). He was sick so couldn’t really taste too too much. The only impression I got is how much rice is in the bowl! After he was done, there was still 1/4 full of rice still…
When all the food arrived and half way finished, my order of appetizer came. The sauteed scallop with mix wild mushrooms ($9.95) came wrapped in tin foil foil. I don’t know what happened to the picture but I apologize for the lack of visual. The dish was alright…there was many little scallops…they were similar to the size of bubble tea pearls. I felt a lot of butter is added to add flavor. Everything is cooked well but I think instead of sautee, the dish is more baked hence the tin foil. I don’t think I will order this dish again. Nobody else touched this dish beside me.
The service was great. Our tea/hot water was never empty or had to ask to be refilled. Our empty plates were taken away promptly to allow more space. It is your well-manner and polite Japanese customer service.
All in all, solid food and good service.
Side note, if you remember how I was impressed with this restaurant being real Japanese? At the end of the meal, the sushi chef came to talk to who I guess is a regular customer in Cantonese! Surprise surprise!