Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hello, Hi Genki

The pike mackerel was so long it didn't even fit in the picture!
Next to it, is the salmon and tuna sashimi/teriyaki chicken bento box with potato croquette.

Hi Genki Japanese Restaurant is actually the cafeteria of The New Sakura-so and Nikkei Home: Japanese seniors' residences located at the site of the National Nikkei Museum and Heritage Centre in South Burnaby. But quite unlike most cafeterias found in care facilities, this one is bustling with patrons, not depressing at all, and serves damn good food. Not fancy food, but what feels like home cooking. Because it's primary purpose is to serve the Japanese elderly, dishes seem more authentic, and less catered to a Western palate. There are dishes here that you won't find at other Japanese eateries, and ones that you will too, which is what makes it a worthwhile visit that will please all involved.

On this occasion which was yesterday's lunch, I decided on having a bento box, which is always a good choice when you really want a bit of everything, or just can't decide what you want. In it, was super fresh tuna and salmon sashimi and boneless chicken with a perfectly light, sweet and savoury teriyaki sauce. In other compartments, were a lightly fried potato croquette (with crispy breading on the outside and soft mashed taters on the inside), rice, and a wee bit of salad drizzled with seasoned rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds. What could have been a heavy box was instead, hearty and light.

My lunch pal had grilled pike mackerel with salad, rice, and a dollop of grated daikon on the side. Do watch out for the bones, as there are plenty of them in this fish, but it's worth the work if you like a fishy fish, as mackerel certainly is one. It was thoroughly enjoyed as it's rare to find whole pike mackerel on a menu, and it was perfectly grilled with not just one fish, but two.

Every main also comes with miso soup, and you can taste the real bonito flakes, a sign of true quality. Two can dine happily with drinks for about $25. (Did I mention that it is amazingly good value?)

Info can be found at:

It is run by Fujiya - the awesome Japanese market.

Calpeace. Actually calpis, a unique and refreshing Japanese yogurt drink.

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