I happened across Tokyo Thyme on Urbanspoon when I was looking for restaurants near my house. A sushi place in Kerrisdale that serves unique rolls and top notch sashimi? How did I not run across this place before?? I knew I had to try this place so I dragged Queenie out tonight =].
Earlier nights makes it really hard to find restaurants that don’t have a bright billboard. Good thing Tokyo Thyme has one! It’s by an area of Kerrisdale I rarely walk up to so that explains why I never noticed it before.
The interior was quite unique, nothing one would expect of a Japanese restaurant. It was bordering on tacky, but I think they made it work.
Their menu is on their website here as well as on Urbanspoon. For some reason, their special rolls aren’t on their website nor Urbanspoon though.
We tried some of the cool looking dishes I saw on Urbanspoon from the regular menu as well as one of the creative special rolls.
Our first dish to arrive was the House Special Sunomono Salad (1/2 order) [$5.50].
Take a look at that! Just from looking at their sunomono salad you can tell this place is not your typical sushi joint. Presentation was flawless.
The price was a bit hefty, $5.50 for 4 pieces but it was very delicious. (Queenie: still haven’t break away from the poor university student mentality…I had price shock!) The ingredients inside this salad roll tasted very fresh. There was that familiar vinegar taste that accompanies any sunomono, but it wasn’t over the top with the vinegar. Great dish to start off with. (Queenie: Glad we only did half order! don’t under-estimate those rolls! quite filling after a few sips of water…)
Next was the Spider Roll [$7.50]. The spider roll primarily consists of deep fried soft shell crab.
Again, presentation was fantastic and there was plenty of attention to detail.
We were a bit mixed on this roll though. The soft shell crab was very fresh, perhaps overly so. We both tasted a distinct “sang” or seafood flavour that did overshadow the Japanese mint and other flavours a bit. The soft shell crab was also only light deep fried and lacked the crunch I was expecting. (Queenie:i like anything deep fried but this was too fishy for me…as Chris said, lacking that expecting crunch of the shell. I had high hope for this dish but it turned out to be my least favourite dish of the night)
Next was the Red and White Tuna Stack [$10.50] (+50c for Quail egg). This was the much awaited dish as the pictures of this one was what made me really want to come visit this place. This dish came in three parts.
This first part of it is a tower of red and white tuna with yamaimo (dunno what that is) (Queenie: short term memory! the server said ti is some sort of potato/yam that lacks favour in general but it gives a very good crunch/texture) and avocado topped with a quail egg. The other two are just seaweed and rice. (Queenie:I had to say, the Japanese rice was exceptional! I liked that balance of sweetness and rice vinegar from the rice. It was not too soggy, just the right amount of stickiness)
This is by far the most original Japanese dish I’ve ever had in Canada. I’ve never seen anything as interesting as this!
We weren’t sure how to properly eat this, and I think the lady that brought it out saw that too. She mentioned that first we’re supposed to mix it all up.
Then you’re supposed to take some seaweed, smack on some rice, and add some of that awesome tuna.
This was a fantastic dish! Top scores just for the creativity of it. Flavour-wise, this was top notch tuna sashimi. So soft and marbled that it melts in your mouth. The Quail egg acts as a bit of binder and adds a slightly slimier dimension to it; doesn’t add much flavour to the dish as a whole though. Definitely a must have if you visit Tokyo Thyme. (Queenie: My favourite dish of the night! It was quite memorable! I am not a fan of sashimi in general, but this was delicious. The sashimi literally melts. I could go back and have it right now!)
Finally, we have our creative special roll. We didn’t know which one to get, so we asked the server (who seemed like a really cool and chill guy) what he recommended. He pointed out the Bloody Winter [$13.50] without any hesitation. (Queenie: HANDS DOWN, MY FAVOURITE BLOODY WINTER. I was sold by his enthusiasm) The description says it’s white tuna masago on top, spicy tuna, yamaimo, and shiso.
First things first, if you can’t take spicy don’t order this roll. The spicy tuna along with some hot Tabasco sauce plated (Queenie: Not tabasco sauce my dear. It is the red chicken spicy sauce that’s often serve in Pho) with the rolls were actually quite spicy!
Presentation for this dish was fantastic as well. I really liked the name for this special roll too!
I think this was the best dish we had (Queenie liked the Red and White Tuna Stack more though =P). The textures were superb; the inside was mushy with spicy tuna, the top was a bit tougher with the white tuna masago, and on top was a crunch strand of shiso. I always eat a piece of sushi whole, so these flavours and textures all blended together very well. It wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t taste the white tuna or spicy tuna, yet enough to give a kick. I wouldn’t recommend going with wasabi on this roll unless you’re a beast that can handle it! (Queenie: It was a little too spicy for me but still a very good dish nevertheless. A person doing take out stopped us while eating and ask us what we were eating! He then ordered himself a Bloody Winter too!)
And here is the total damage!
I wish they gave us some mints or candy along with that hefty bill =P. (Queenie: I always like to end off with something sweet!)
Overall, I think Tokyo Thyme is a fantastic sushi restaurant and one that deserves more recognition. Their location isn’t as pricey as some of the other restaurants in Kerrisdale, but hopefully more people will notice them. Definitely will come again. (Queenie: Oh yea, there are mostly meter parking…that’s the only downside to the restaurant location.)
5405 West Blvd
Note they’re closed between lunch and dinner, make sure to check their hours.