If you want fresh, quality sushi, I would recommend this restaurant! Recently, I have been wanting to eat sushi very much. A friend recommended Kaide, a highly-rated sushi restaurant located near the corner of Richards and Pacific Street in Yaletown. I decided to try out them with my co-worker. The atmosphere is very cozy and the owner, Tom is very nice. This is the perfect place for having sushi during the work day or for a casual lunch/dinner with your friends. To be honest, at first glance I thought the sushi was a bit pricey for lunch, but after tasting it I found it is definitely worth it. Much of the sushi on their menu is an original creation. We ordered Marinated Tuna (Tuna with sweet soy & ground sesame), Big Bang (made up of tuna, sliced lemon, avocado and crunch) , Maple (made of sweet BBQ tuna, avocado and chives), and Dynamite (Kaide style – they don’t use shrimp tempura, they use boiled/steamed shrimp and panko flakes for crunchiness instead). As well, we wanted to enjoy the simple, pure taste of fish, so we ordered a salmon roll too. My favourites were the Salmon roll and Big Bang. The Salmon roll was really fresh and there is a nice portion of salmon in each piece. The Big Bang was refreshing - sliced lemon goes well with Tuna! The chef/owner, Tom, recommended us to try them without soy sauce. That way, we could enjoy a pure fish taste - he was right! Overall, the sushi is not overloaded with rice unlike many other sushi restaurants - actually, that’s the way sushi should be. There is a nice balance of flavours and not a heavy, “full” feeling after eating. We sat at the sushi counter and enjoyed a conversation with Tom, who gave some background on himself and the restaurant. Tom was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada when he was 7 with his family. He opened Kaide in July, 2002. He has been a sushi chef since 1991 and worked with the Kamei Royale Group and at a hotel prior to opening his restaurant. While he was working with the Kamei Royale Group, he was encouraged to go to Japan to receive proper training for becoming a Sushi chef, especially if his goal was to run a successful Sushi restaurant which would survive for a long time. At beginning, he wasn’t sure why it was necessary to go to Japan to receive training because he thought “it’s just making sushi”. However, his dream of running his own Sushi restaurant made up his mind to go to Japan. Although he was only able to stay in Japan for two years, he was able to learn a lot about becoming a Sushi chef. He said “I am so glad that I went to Japan because I met great teachers there.” Q. Are there any unforgettable challenges/difficulties when you were in Japan? A. I faced many challenges and difficulties. First of all, I came across the language barrier. Next, I was puzzled over the differences in culture and customs. I had experience being a sushi chef for several years in Canada before going to Japan. However, at first my job was to wash dishes and I wasn’t even able to touch fish! I had to do this for months – beginning at the basics! Even if I say training, many things are not taught by words. I had to learn technique through observing it. Q. Actually, it sounds like the typical Japanese style of learning, especially Japanese cuisine. What do you think is the most benefit you have received from training in Japan? A. Not only did l learn the skills for making sushi, but I also learned the fundamental spirit for being a Sushi chef. It isn’t just about making sushi, but everything that is involved whether it is preparing the plates, sharpening knives or how I cut the fish. Q. Is there anything that you keep in mind? A. Being creative yet keeping pure taste in mind. I feel you should not use more than 3 ingredients because too many ingredients makes it too hard to taste – this is the basic spirit for sushi! Actually, there is nothing in Kaide that is “pre-made” – each piece is made one by one ! We can tell that he loves his job by how he takes care of ingredients and people who work at the restaurant. He said that he is proud to make things that customers enjoy. I will definitely be going back to Kaide Sushi soon to enjoy its fresh, quality sushi and friendly service.
1375 Richards Street, Vancouver BC