For my birthday lunch, my office family took me to Sushi Bistro Anzu. I picked Anzu because neither Asian Persuasion, What’s up Hamsup and Office Dad have been before. Also, the bento boxes offer wicked variety and value. Office Dad threw a hissy fit in the car when I told him the reasons I picked the restaurant. He retorted that he doesn’t like bento boxes. I told him when it’s his birthday, he can decide where to go. He sulked in the backseat and would intermittently start an argument with the other members of the office family.
When we arrived at Sushi Anzu, we ordered green tea ($1.50) and gyoza ($6.00) to start. The gyoza here is tasty. It tasted homemade with its silky, extra big wrapper and juicy, flavourful pork filling.
We all order slightly different versions of the same bento box ($13.99). Office Dad and I picked mackerel, tempura and sashimi as our main proteins. Our combos also came with a hot, flavourful bowl of miso, rice, a salad and a side dish of root vegetables and tofu. The tempura was oily and not as light or fresh as Red Ember‘s version.
This was my first time eating grilled mackerel. I ate the skin too. The flesh is heavier and has a more pronounced flavour than cod, salmon and tuna.
The cuts of sashimi were small but fresh. I thought each piece of fish was cut well and when you bite into it, it would cleanly tear away from your teeth.
Office Dad enjoyed his food and exclaimed how much he likes bento boxes because of the variety and generous portions. I pounced on him in a millisecond. “I told you that I picked this restaurant because you guys like bento boxes.” He nodded in agreement and responded, “I know. I don’t know what got into me earlier. I think I was just hungry.” Damn Office Dad, I’ll be keeping a Snickers in my purse for when you get hangry again.
What’s Up Hamsup picked the pan-fried sliced beef with Anzu’s special yakiniku sauce, breaded deep-fried tenderloin pork cutlet and nigiri. He really liked the sauce and the onions in the sliced beef dish. I took a bite and it was tasty and tasted homemade.
Asian Persuasion picked the same thing but chose sashimi instead of sushi. She wasn’t a fan of the katsu sauce. She also thought the salad was plain. I agreed, the dressing on the lettuce was almost nonexistent.
Office Dad insisted the four of us share dessert. He wanted to order mango ice-cream but Asian Persuasion and I both told him we would rather have sesame ice-cream. Since it was my birthday, he consented. Man, I love the taste of sesame, it’s so nutty and rich.
Service was great and the food was excellent value. Asian Persuasion, What’s Up Hamsup and Office Dad still think Red Ember has the best bento box in the city. Red Ember is awesome and I always enjoy the food and service. However, Sushi Bistro Anzu is a nice alternative if you want to try traditional Japanese dishes. Both Red Ember and Sushi Bistro Anzu get two thumbs up from me.