In an earlier post, I'd mentioned that in the North Road - Lougheed Area, there were a couple of Japanese restauants run by Japanese people. One of them was Fuji Sushi, and the other one is Matsuzushi, which is in the same area as Insadong and Pho 99, on the corner of Lougheed and North Road. The restaurant is much more causual than other Japanese restaurants, and feels a lot more like a cafeteria than any thing else.

The interior of the restaurant is very simple--basic tables and chairs, a wall of photographs of menu items on the one side, and a self-serve station where you get your tea, chopsticks, and soy sauce bowls. The restuarant definitely needs renovation, but the feeling of the place is quite friendly and warm. Plus, right next to the eating area, there is a small store of Japanese grocery items.

We got the chicken karaage ($6.50), which turned out to be one of the better fried chicken I've had. There wasn't much of a crust, but the chicken pieces were seasoned wonderfully. The pieces were crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. So good. Almost as good as my mom's!

Next, we had assorted sushi and maki rolls: toro ($1.60), tako ($1.60), avacado roll ($3.50), spicy salmon roll ($3.50), and ume shiso roll ($2.75). Of course my favorite roll is the ume shisho roll, and I'm always happy when I get it. The sour and salty of the plum with the herby shisho leaf just go so well with the rice. The sushi pieces were just okay. The octopus (tako) could have been a lot more tender and flavourful, and the toro tuna was a little too soft. The other rolls were good; the spicy salmon had a real kick, and the avacado was nice.

One of the very special things about Matsuzushi is their special dessert, DEEP FRIED ice cream sundae ($3.00). This huge crusty ball of ice cream arrived in a cute little bowl. The hot outside batter was almost fritter like, with a panko (or cornflake?) crust, and the inside was a cool vanilla ice cream. All this is topped with chocolate sauce. It was a real taste experience: hot, cold, crunchy, soft. So good. Worth every calorie, we swear.

In terms of quality and price, Fuji sushi is better, but there is something extra special about Matsuzushi, like the ex-marathon runner owner (he has pictures of himself running on a small corner of a wall), like the karaage, and the fabulous deep fried sundae. The servers and the chefs are always really friendly. Plus, where else can you shop for Japanese grocery items right after you have your dinner?

From the store attached to the restaurant: umeboshi, tea, and Mario's green tea ice cream!

Matsuzushi on Urbanspoon


  1. are you from coquitlam? i am ! :)
    the deep fried ice cream sounds so good. i can just imagine the deliciousness.

  2. Hey neighbor, I grew up in Coquitlam, but am living in Burnaby now.