Rumor is that this fast food sushi stand is affiliated with “Sushi Garden”, the well known and well liked sushi chain across the street from Metrotown Centre. Apparently the owners wanted some presence in the mall, and this was their optimum solution. So today I was in Metrotown to see if “Umi Sushi” stacked up. And for those wanting to try it themselves, “Umi Sushi” is pretty much the go-to for Mall Sushi chains.

Their selection starts at sushi, but ends with noodles and lunch box specials. All rolls are buy one get one 50% off. What started as an end of night promotion to clear stock; is now an ongoing, at all times of the day special at “Umi”. A good way to entice customers to purchase more with the promise of saving. It sure lured me in.

The left showcase is containers stacked in rows. Each one housing a different sushi roll. Kudos to them, and their attempt to measure up against the bigger sushi chains; with a large array of rolls. You had the regular cucumber, tuna, dynamite, and California ones. But you also could choose from a dragon or a spider one too; made with avocado and yam purée, and soft shell crab. 

The showcase on the right housed the nigri pieces and traditional Japanese appetizers. There was “ebi sunomono salad” (a cold shrimp and noodle salad), edamame beans, and salad rolls with a dipping sauce. Then add on a bottled drinks for the perfect meal. 

“Dragon roll”. I could tell this roll was made not long ago, with the thin cuts of avocado still looking bright green with hints of yellow. Oxidation had yet to set in. This roll did nothing special to earn the title of dragon, it was just tempura-ed yam with avocado over rice. Disappointing still was the condition of the yam. It was mashed to a purée, which made it an unappealing texture to eat with the rice. 

“Tonkatsu roll”, pork roll with cabbage and teriyaki sauce. Not eating this right after it was made meant that the cabbage got soggy, and pushed its overwhelming flavour on to the other ingredients. Even removing the soggy mush of s cabbage leaf did nothing to improve the taste. The pork was flavourless and the sauce lacking. 

“Cheese roll”. A roll I only ordered for the rarity of seeing cheese on sushi. Especially seeing as Japanese cuisine traditionally does not use cheese in its cooking. This was nothing more that a Kraft single slice gingerly placed and torched over a California roll. The saltiness of the cheese was a welcomed additional to what I find, is the boring taste of a California roll. 

“Chicken Teriyaki roll”. There was plenty of chicken jammed into each roll, but each piece was too dry to enjoy. An easy remedy would have been the ample usage of teriyaki sauce. 

Over all, for a pre-made, take it and go sushi stall in a mall, it wasn’t half bad. But when you really compare the prices and consider the superior quality in a sit down restaurant your choice is clear. I would not be coming back. 
However I would be recommending it for the employees of the mall. A fairly descent meal at a discounted price. A good way to not spend all the money you are making in an hour. The food is passable and with enough options to keep your pallet interested lunch after lunch. 


Metropolis, Metrotown
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby BC, V5H4M1

UMI Sushi Express on Urbanspoon

Pacific Centre, Downtown
609 Granville St, Vancouver BC, V7Y1H4

UMI Sushi Express on Urbanspoon