Now that the holidays are over, it's been difficult to get back into the swing of things (blogging included). I'm glad being consistent wasn't one of my New Year's resolutions because that ship has long sailed. Regardless, it had been a joyous and relaxing holiday season with family, friends, and plenty of food. My mom was graciously given a gift card to Sumo Sumo so that's where the whole family headed to for dinner on Boxing Day.
Sumo Sumo is a modern Japanese restaurant located in Sherwood Park. They've been around for a good number of years and I've visited on maybe two occasions prior to this outing. Though it might seem out of the way or a bit far to get to, it's easily accessible via the Henday.
On past visits, I've noticed that Sumo Sumo is a pretty popular spot, especially during the summertime with their patio. This time around, we made a reservation that may have not been necessary but I'd suggest doing so just in case.
The food at Sumo Sumo isn't particularly authentic but they also don't brand themselves as so. I would say they lean more towards the "fusion" end of the spectrum. The menu in particular has a good mix of approachable fare for those uninitiated in Japanese cuisine.
The holidays is a time for guilt-free indulgence (#treatyoself), so dad started out with a pint of Sapporo ($7.25). He's usually a Heineken guy so this was his first time having the popular Japanese beer. He mentioned that it was slightly stronger to what he normally drinks.
My brother and I aren't fans of oysters so the rest of the family had the deep fried oysters ($12.00) to themselves. The oysters were large and meaty, and served with a soy dip. By the colour, it looked a bit over-fried but the rest of the family enjoyed them nonetheless.
The supreme sashimi platter ($55.00) was huge and presented beautifully on a bed of ice. The 30 pieces included salmon, tuna, octopus, yellowtail, snapper, surf clam, ami ebi, squid, and toro. The fish tasted fresh and sweet, and disappeared quite quickly between the five of us.
We normally stay away from ordering bridges/boats at Japanese restaurants because you order them more for presentation than the actual food. Since we had the gift card anyways, we decided to get one for the heck of it. The shogun bridge ($38.00) included 8 pieces of spider maki, 6 pieces of California roll, 3 pieces of salmon maki, 3 pieces of tekkamaki, 6 pieces of kappamaki, and 6 pieces of assorted nigiri. I'm too lazy to do the math and see if ordering a bridge/boat is more cost-effective, but it does take away some guesswork with deciding what to order. Although you can try a variety of items, I found there was nothing too special with the overall selection.
Sumo Sumo has "theme nights" from Monday to Thursday where certain menu items are offered at a discounted price. Since it was a Monday, all sushi pizzas were $8.00 after 4 PM (dine-in only). My mom's not one to pass up on a good deal so we ordered two. The sashimi pizza is the best value since they're normally on offer for $15.00. The sushi pizzas are basically served on a rice "crust" which is deep fried in panko. Various cuts of sashimi adorn this version, along with salad and masago mayo. The rice crust was a bit too thick for my liking and I'm not sure if I liked the combination of hot, greasy rice and raw fish.
The second one we got was the California pizza (original price $9.50) with crabmeat, cucumber, avocado, and mango mayo. I liked this one a bit better but I found the mango mayo to be a bit too sweet for me.
The volcano roll ($14.50) was my sister's choice. An inside-out roll with tempura shrimp and spicy crabmeat, topped with spicy scallops, sweet chili sauce, and spicy mayo. I'm not a fan of sweet chili sauce in general, so naturally, I wasn't a major fan of this roll as well.
We also got a rainbow roll ($14.00), six pieces of a Japanese panko roll topped with slices of salmon, tuna, snapper, shrimp, and avocado. The Japanese panko made for a finer crumb than the usual tempura bits you see. Though the roll was fine, what I didn't like was that the slices were cut way too big. A bit impossible to eat without getting chipmunk cheeks.
Our last item was the dragon roll ($15.00), six pieces with eel, avocado, masago, sesame seeds, and eel sauce. It was the most simple one but I'd say this was the best roll out of the three.
Overall, Sumo Sumo is an alright choice if you're in the area but it wouldn't be my first choice for Japanese food. However, if you're interested in adopting a sumo diet, may I suggest their $35 all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch?