Tiny and tasty

I’m not so tough — I’m in love with an Uptown Sushi
Wil Andruschak

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If you’re looking for yummy bites in a contemporary setting for your next lunch hour, look no further than Uptown Sushi. This tiny but tasty spot serves an extensive menu of sushi, sashimi and noodle bowls — perfect for an on-the-go-lunch or dining in.

Located on 11th Ave. S.W., Uptown Sushi’s space appeals to both the casual lunch and dinner crowds. The grey interior, adorned with authentic paper lanterns and a soothing water wall, features modern white seating and chocolate brown tables. If you plan on dining in for lunch, go early to get a table, as the restaurant does not take lunch reservations and only has a seating capacity of 20.

Kicking off our lunch, we started with Uptown’s excellent miso soup ($1.50). We were pleasantly surprised when our server offered us refills free of charge, definitely a nice touch.

Moving onto more substantial menu items, we ordered a selection of rolls — the highlight of our meal. Digging into the Philadelphia roll ($5), we noted the pieces were the perfect size. Not too big and not too small.

The roll was tasty, not too heavy on cream cheese, balancing nicely with the salmon. Next, we had the beef teriyaki roll ($4.25). With tangy beef and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, it was melt-in-your-mouth good.

A table favourite was the yam tempura roll ($4.25), also drizzled in teriyaki sauce. The seaweed-sprinkled roll was crunchy and delectable. Do not pass this one up.

The spicy tuna roll ($2.50) was straightforward. A suitable amount of spice gave it a nice punch without being overwhelming. Topping off our selection, we munched on the dynamite roll ($5.50). The deep fried prawn roll was top notch.

One thing Uptown Sushi could improve upon is its presentation. Understandably, the restaurant caters to a takeout crowd, but for those who dine in, it would be nice to eat off something less wasteful than Styrofoam, reducing the impact on the environment while creating a better impression on stay-in guests.

Finishing our meal, we sampled several sashimi and sushi pieces. The fish didn’t overly impress us that day. I enjoyed the steamed octopus tako ($2.20) and the steamed prawn ebi ($1.65), but the rest of our choices fell flat. The salmon was a little too pungent and the tuna tasted as though it had been previously frozen. If you’re a big wasabi fan, be forewarned that Uptown doesn’t layer its nigiri with the spicy garnish, so load up. Tough crowd, but you can’t win’ em all.

Uptown Sushi is tops for its friendly and accommodating service, and it’s a great spot for a casual lunch. Pay a visit for its heavenly rolls, and you won’t be sorry you stopped in for a bite.

Uptown Sushi is located at #101-1177 11th Avenue S.W.; phone, 228-5600.

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