Ottawa finally caught up with the sushi craze and sushi joints have been popping up all over the town. But we are not Vancouver, and here there are mostly two ways to satisfy your sushi cravings: picking up a box of assorted sushi at SushiGo, Go For Sushi or whatever combination of these keywords; or hitting one of the more or less “authentic” all-you-can-eat sushi buffets.
But recently, I found a good compromise between the to-go bento box and the “stuff-yourself-silly” buffets: Sushi 88.
The restaurant is located in Somerset, right past Bronson and the Chinatown Arch. It’s pretty small but very cozy inside, with a sushi preparation area at the back, two comfy booths by the window and tables and chairs in the middle.
I was pleasantly surprised by the prices. Sushi isn’t that cheap and bento boxes are often around $10, while Japanese restaurants charge much more. At sushi 88, you can have a complete meal for around $15, and trust me, you’ll be full!
I chose the Veggie Delight (18 pieces) that came with a miso soup for only $13.95—not bad for a sit-down restaurant. The sushis were very tasty and inventive: sweet potato, red pepper, cucumber… There were also very well rolled, i.e. tight and they didn’t fall apart when picked with chopsticks. The food was beautifully presented, a nice change from sushi in a plastic box. Watch out though, the wasabi is strong!
On my second visit, the three of us opted to share a “party central”, 48 assorted pieces of sushi, some cooked, some raw and some vegetarian. The ones topped with kiwi with sweet potato inside were delicious!
This is one of the few sushi restaurants where I wouldn’t mind eating raw fish: the place is spotless and the ingredients are consistently fresh. I like the fact the menu clearly describes the sushi, and even offers a “newbie special” or a “I like my sushi cooked”.
- Great view on the Chinatown Arch.
- Comfy atmosphere, very cozy place and friendly service.
- Excellent sushi and great presentation.
- Their “party” deals are great when you are three or more.
- Can get pretty packed. The nicest spots are the two booths by the window, the rest of the tables are kind of squeezed together.
- Service can be slow.
- If you are really into true Japanese food, you may not like the somewhat “Westernized” sushi.
At a glance
690B Somerset St W (Chinatown)
Mon-Sat 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sun 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.