DinnerYakko Sushi Express

[rating:3] :

Yakko Sushi

Yakko Sushi Express is a hidden gem on Kingsway in Burnaby, housed in what I believe used to be a bubble-tea house at one time. Tre and I used to frequent the original Yakko located in Station Square at Metrotown way back in the day. The previous owner/chef was a friendly, older Japanese gentleman who knew how to make good sushi and some mean salmon teriyaki. But the owner decided to sell the business and move on. We haven’t returned since, but had a hankering for sushi and figured we’d check out how the new owners have carried on the Yakko name.

Tre and I were seated near the kitchen, which I felt was a little awkward. We could see the dishwasher guy and the cooks moving about in the kitchen behind the curtains. I knew the minute I saw something suspicious, I would want to leave. The funny thing was, I think they knew a pair of eyes were peeping at them, which probably kept them on their best behaviour.

Yakko Sushi
(Top to bottom: 1. Grilled chicken gizzards. 2. Grilled salmon cheeks.)

Yakko has a bunch of grilled meat dishes known as Yakiniku: bite size pieces of meat marinated with sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, Japanese soy sauce and then grilled. Anything that is grilled sounds good to us, so we ordered a few plates: grilled chicken gizzards, grilled squid, and grilled salmon cheeks. Not wanting to discriminate against the sushi half of the menu, we also ordered a California sushi combo that included two pieces of tuna, salmon, ebi, and a California roll. Our dishes arrived promptly and we began to nosh.

The chicken gizzards were marinated nicely but the texture was a bit tough. The salmon cheeks were huge but (as expected) had very little meat, and some portions of the cheek were extremely bitter — too bitter to eat. The grilled squid was over-cooked and felt like rubber. And the sushi; the sushi was surprisingly good. The tuna melts like butter in your mouth and the California rolls were very fresh and had a slight sweetness to it.

The current owners of Yakko are Koreans and are a friendly bunch. But the lighting is terrible. They use a tinted light bulb that produces a hideous, yellowish cast which makes the food and the atmosphere unpleasant. The service is slow when it comes to taking our order and receiving our bill, so they’ll need to pick up the speed if they want to continue using the “Express” part of their name. As far as carrying on the Yakko name — well, it just isn’t the same. But overall, we would come back for the sushi and avoid the Yakiniku.

Perfect for:

Better sushi and service than other sushi joints in this neighborhood.

The Details

4689 Kingsway, Burnaby

Yakko Sushi Express on Urbanspoon

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