From the exterior it looks like little more than a hole in the wall. A sign on the window explains that the restaurant has recently completed renovations, and so the staff are currently working to get back to “Yokozuna standards.”
But, the interior of the restaurant is in high contrast to its modest exterior. Recently renovated to reflect a modern take on Japanese cuisine, the room is softly lit and decorated in minimalist dcor. The sushi bar follows the back wall of the crescent shape dining room, giving diners a multi-angled view of the food preparation.
So far, so good.
First up is the takoyaki, a golden battered ball stuffed with octopus, green onion and red ginger, then topped with dried bonito flakes and a tangy, sweet katsu sauce. The ball’s initial crispness gives way to a melt-in-your-mouth savoury experience accented with the katsu and a salty kick from the seaweed.
Our expectations are blown away, once again, with the arrival of our tacos. Tat’s tuna tacos feature a crispy gyoza wrapper topped with blackened tuna, a garlic-laden guacamole and spicy aioli. Meanwhile, Roy’s butakaku tacos meld soft tortillas and perfectly grilled pork belly with a house-made salsa fresca. Unlike a traditional taco, this one’s spice is well delivered from a healthy drizzling of hot karashi aioli.
We end the meal with the black dragon – a maki roll packed with a buttery scallop, well-done barbecued eel, fluorescent orange tobiko and fresh avocado, topped with a thick and sweet teriyaki sauce. But we’re left with one lingering question: If this is Yokozuna at its lowest standard, what it like at its highest? Rest assured, we will return to find out.
(4121 106 St., 780-431-1508, yokozunarestaurant.ca)