For me, the corner of King George Highway and 72nd is a bit frustrating. You see, there are medians on all 4 approaches to the intersection. Essentially, if you are driving in the opposite side as to your location, you're pretty much screwed. Think of it similar to Richmond, especially #3 Road, except the traffic moves here. Sure, there are "secret" ways around it as mentioned by Drew (in the comments of the Kyoto post). However, I always seem to get stuck going the wrong way. One time, I thought I'd be creative and pull into a side street. Well, I ended up in one of the many strip malls along KGH. Although it was not my ultimate destination, there were a few restaurants there and I filed it away for future food adventures. One was Lido Chinese buffet and I filed it away in my "if I'm desperate or drunk" category. A couple of stores down is a plain looking Japanese restaurant named Akashi-Ya. I would've actually tried it that day; but it was not open yet.

Honestly, it's a bit difficult to find really good Japanese food out in the burbs. In fact, since I've never gone to Japan personally, I'm sure I don't even know what the "best" Japanese food is like. However, I base my thoughts on the very best I've had in Vancouver. Thus, as we move away from the those places (such as Ajisai), our expectations must be tempered. So, as a disclaimer, if I say the food is "good", it may mean "good for (insert city) ". On a side note, I really have a problem with people who complain that the food here is never as good as it is in (insert country) . Duh. Of course it won't be; but how many people are going to get on a plane to have an "authentic" dinner in the originating country of that cuisine???

So the first thing that caught my eye was a lunch combo which included most of the items I wanted to try (sashimi, tempura, California roll - hey it's a roll and choice of karaage, croquette or gyoza). However, I wanted to give the Spinach Gomaae a try first. Not the most appealing looking gomaae, it was a miss. I wasn't that happy with the toughness of the spinach itself. The dressing wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but at the very least, it was not too overpowering. I was happy to receive some pretty decent-looking Sashimi, especially the wild salmon. And it was good being fresh-tasting and not mushy. When I first laid eyes on the Tempura, I was a bit worried. Looks like they used old oil; thus the darker appearance. Not to worry, it was crispy and the veggies were not overcooked.

I know, I know, a California Roll ain't exactly the best way to try roll sushi; but... I wasn't going to order more food, especially for lunch. Anyways, the sushi rice was acceptable. Still exhibiting a decent bite, while not being too dry, the rice encased fresh avocado. I had a choice for my last item between the Chicken Karaage, Gyoza or
Pumpkin Croquette. Since I eat the other 2 items regularly, I went for the Croquette. Quite crispy on the outside with a fluffy and sweet pumpkin filling, I enjoyed it. So once again, I must repeat... "For Surrey", I found that the food at Akashi-Ya to be decent, especially at a reasonable price too. Furthermore, the staff were friendly and kept my tea refilled. It's not going to provide any serious competition to the big boys in Vancouver; but for someone who is in the neighbourhood, it certainly doesn't offend.

The Good:
- Okay prices
- I found the fish fresh (well as fresh as flash-frozen fish can get)
- Decent service

The Bad:
- Gomaae was not very good
- Some other Japanese restaurants in the area are a bit better

Akashi-Ya on Urbanspoon

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