Wednesday, August 31, 2011

shizen sushi.

May as well get one thing straight right off the bat: I am a sushi FANATIC. There are few foods I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week - a girl needs a little variety in her life - but sushi is one of them. And yes, leftover rolls in the morning are edible and even quite enjoyable; try it. In the name of variety, though, I'm always looking for new variations on the typical spicy-tuna-and-dynamite offerings of your average sushi joint.

A friend introduced me to Shizen Sushi in downtown Victoria a few years ago. Hours before my first visit, I told my eyebrow waxer (sushi and waxing... what an obnoxiously girly post) that I was going and she tipped me off about the Highlander roll. "It's not on the menu, ask for it specifically and thank me later," was all she said. Obviously, I ordered it. And I've been thanking her almost monthly since.

Perfectly crispy tempura shrimp, avocado and spicy mayo draped with just-thin-enough slices of seared beef tataki and topped with a sweet and spicy kicker of teriyaki + tabasco (if only your typical teriyaki sauce was jacked up like this!) garlic and green onions. Flavor overload in the best way possible, and so freaking pretty to look at.

Other notable dishes: an interesting twist on your typical tempura veggie roll using asparagus (and at $3.95 a roll you can't go wrong) and another off-the-menu, "insider" favorite: a sushi pizza topped with a combination of tuna, spicy mayo and green onion. I've had sushi pizza before and hated it, usually due to the bland set-up of salmon or tuna sashimi on a bed of dry deep fried rice. Shizen's flavorful toppings and perfectly crispy base hit the spot.

Shizen Sushi
1706 Government Street
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 1Z5
(250) 381-8228

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