We rarely find ourselves in the deep south of the city, but on Mother's Day, we planned a quick outing to the Callingwood Farmer's Market before having lunch at Nomiya Ellerslie. We only managed to get lost once on the way back, so I consider it quite an accomplishment.
Nomiya is a Japanese restaurant with two locations in Edmonton, one on Calgary Trail, and the other on Ellerslie Road. We went to their second location, which is nestled in a strip mall anchored by Save on Foods. It's quite a small restaurant, and by virtue, it was packed when we walked in. Though we were quoted a 15-20 minute wait, it only took five minutes before a table cleared up.
Known for being one of the first restaurants to bring ramen to Edmonton, Nomiya's menu also features sushi and classic Japanese dishes. A unique aspect to their Ellerslie location is that they also serve various types of udon.
The sushi bar is definitely a focal point of the restaurant, and they have quite a few diners clustered around it. We found ourselves sitting in the lone booth on the left.
The lunch menu is pretty diverse, and has quite a few combination-style meals. Though ramen would be an obvious choice, I'm not much of a ramen junkie, and the weather was way too nice for hot soup, so we ended up ordering appetizers and sushi.
The first item to come out was the ika geso karaage ($7.95), or fried squid legs. A touch chewy, but they were fresh out of the fryer and served simply with a touch of lemon.
The sashimi mori was next, and came artfully presented ($24.50). The 15-piece selection was chef's choice, and featured salmon, tuna, octopus, surf clam, scallop, and salmon roe. The sashimi definitely looked like they were cut with a deft hand, and most importantly, they were all pretty fresh. Despite testing my patience and my chopstick skills, the salmon roe was probably my favourite out of the bunch. Similar to the popping boba found at fro-yo establishments, they were plump and bursted with a briny sweetness.
One of the rolls we picked out was the natsu maki (14.95). Shrimp, salmon, jellyfish, and lettuce, topped with lightly torched salmon belly, green onions, shaved red onion, and natsu sauce (which tasted like Japanese mayo and tobiko mixed together). The roll, I felt, was constructed a bit clumsily. It fell apart easily and had too much rice. The ingredient combination tasted okay, but there was nothing mind-blowing about it.
For our last roll, I went against my better judgement and ordered the ring of fire ($14.50) after reading aburi salmon belly in the menu description. The inside was almost like your standard California roll with imitation crab meat and avocado. It came topped with lightly torched salmon belly, spicy sauce (basically Sriracha), and sliced jalapenos. As you can see, they were quite heavy-handed with the sauce, which dominated the whole taste of the roll.
Some closing notes: service was nice and attentive without being too overbearing. Since it was Mother's Day, they also dropped off a carnation for my mom at the end of the meal - a cute touch.
I echo the sentiments of many when I say that Nomiya was pretty average. The sashimi was good but the rolls were a bit of a let-down. It could be argued that we ordered the wrong things, but that's a weak excuse since restaurants should stand behind their entire menu. I'd say it's a decent option if you're already in the neighbourhood (being the only option really), but I'd probably suggest skipping their sushi rolls and sticking to their cooked items next time.