Business website: kushimura.com
Phone number: (604) 553-9950
Add: 800 Carnarvon Street
New Westminster, BC V3M 0G3
|Mon||12:00 pm – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm|
|Tue||12:00 pm – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm|
|Wed||12:00 pm – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm|
|Thu||11:30 am – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm|
|Fri||11:30 am – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm|
|Sat||11:30 am – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm|
|Sun||12:00 pm – 3:30 pm/ 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm|
About Kushi Mura Izakaya
Kushi Mura Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant located on 800 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster. The restaurant is a casual, after-work style Japanese restaurant/izakaya, suitable for coming in and grabbing a softer drink and enjoying a wide range of Japanese cuisine. It is an easy access for the customers. It is right under the New Westminster SkyTrain Station, which takes roughly just 3 minutes walk. Here is the map for those who have a poor sense of direction:
The front view of the restaurant is shown like the image provided above. The restaurant sign is not very vision friendly for the customers who are coming from the left yet still easy to spot from the opposite side.
Integration of modern food and beverage trends
In terms of modernness, Kushi has a mixture of both traditional and contemporary style. With a creative touch to their menu such as adding the cream cheese to the rolls, or more vegan options, etc. Kushi has shown that they are quick to adapting to the market, for what people’s preferences are currently. According to Sakamoto, Y. (2019, January 21), this is a new trend not just in Japan, but more and more people around the world are paying a paramount attention towards health.
As Kushi Mura is a Japanese restaurant, they did a fairly good job. The entrance is clean and there was literally no piece of trash. Even though, it was a fast paced kind of atmosphere, the staff were still able to exert a standard of sanitary and services. However, the only flaw that we noticed was that there was a mountain of boxes getting in the way of the washroom entrance. If they were placed in the stock, it would have given us a better impression as well as better sense of security.
Atmosphere and Décor
Kushi Mura really gave us a sensational impression. For a restaurant which is located at a SkyTrain station, we did not expect much from just a “come and go” fancy vibe type of place to get dinner. The ambience has cool lighting, and many different decoration pieces. Even though, Kushi is Japanese restaurant there’s still a big Korean influence such as, the music playing and some décor pieces.
There’s a lot of tapestries and paintings displayed around the restaurant that would actually make you feel like you’re actually visiting Japan. Moreover, you can recognize right away their signature custom when the staff and chef greet you with this word “irasshaimase!”, which basically means welcome to the restaurant in Japanese language.
Another plus point for their presence was the Sake bottles are all aligned and free of dust and placed at pretty much on all shelves, a brilliant cost- saving way of decorating for both aesthetic and environmental purposes.
The dinnerware fit the environment and the food type. All serving dishes were in a dark tone, it almost looked like they were made of rock, while the eating plates were in light colors, giving it a nice contrast.
Alright, here comes the judging time! Even though Kushi Mura gives their eaters a pretty authentic occurrence in Japan. For some people the restaurant would look “a bit over decorated“. Only if they reduced the level of details would it look much more sophisticated we would say.
The lighting of the restaurant was rather gloomy with yellow tones, giving an impression of a night pub, and we reckon this is a very common setting in every Izakaya restaurant, with the intention of creating a relaxing and cozy atmosphere. The table were all scattered around the restaurant which gave us some confusion at first, but thanked to Eugene- our waiter, we ended up sitting next to the sakura tree, in the centre of Kushi Mura.
For those who expect anything more Japanese at this stage, maybe the following element would disappoint you a little – the music. Even though, we knew it was a Korean owned restaurant, we never thought they would play that lots of the Korean hallelujah songs, they were fun, yes, but just didn’t seem to harmonize with the whole vibe of the restaurant at any levels.
On the scale of 1-10, we must give Kishu a solid 8 for their service. Everything was responsive including drinks, foods, and other inquiries. We decided to make a sort of challenge for them as we intentionally longered our pick, but Eugene still patiently waited for us with his warm and welcoming smile. Part of the quick service was because the moderate number of guests when we arrived. We were suggested some signature dishes such as the rolls and the assorted sashimi, the waiter knew what he was talking about, what ingredients come with which dish and it was very nice of him to check if we were enjoying the foods. Some other waiters came serving us as well kind of made us feel like kings, but not so sure if the restaurant could maintain that standard if we arrived at the peak hours, but for the overall experience, it was satisfying!
The options are diverse. The menu captures your attention with the white background, black lettering, and the pages were plasticized. We just wish there were some English translation for the Japanese called dishes such as “Tempuyaki” or “Oniremi” since not all the guests have that gut to ask them what there’s in the dish, so would just go with some regular ones like “Salmon Avocado” or “Caterpillar Rolls” like we did.
The way the items were displayed wasn’t the best, as it was mixed between hot plates and cold plates. Also, all combos were located almost at the end of the menu, where the desserts and drinks are normally located. So, after we spent a lot of time going through a thousand of option the menu has. We decided to ask Eugene for suggestions and that’s when he showed us the combos at the end of the menu that would let us try a little bit of everything.
One thing shocking was that they didn’t have any type of desserts, literally nothing, not even matcha ice-cream. Compared to a gazillion options for main courses, come on! We deserved some sweets! The restaurant also didn’t sell any type of alcohol, even though their decorations are full of empty Sake bottles. This is a little bit strange to us as it was an Izakaya restaurant. Their drinks were limited to soda, water and tea, probably not ideal for up-selling, so you’re seeking for a spree, Kushi isn’t probably the place.
To see the full menu: https://www.zomato.com/vancouver/kushi-mura-izakaya-1-new-westminster/menu
What we ordered
Ok no further due, you guys must be curious of what we ordered. We first attempted to try out the sashimi combo for 5 people (because that was the only dish with image depiction) but then go for smaller portions that we will have more things to write about.
Chloe started her order with a portion of assorted sashimi served on an oval shape plate, it came out surprisingly quick after just roughly 7 mins order. From the aesthetics side, the dish looked great, a decent presentation for what you would expect at any Japanese restaurant with three slices of salmon, 2 slices of tuna and garnished with attention captured color combination of lemon and daikon radish strands, and some ginger and wasabi for freshening the after taste. From the flavour side, we kind of expected some more of the freshness as well as the length of the fish cut. Also, this might sound weird but the tuna alone tasted a little “raw”, not in a “just out of the sea” way, but more like “just out of the fridge” kind of feeling.
We continued our culinary critic experience with our second dish, it’s called Veggie Yakisoba on iron plate (what a fancy name!). It’s a simple dish with the most basic ingredients but the way they flavoured them together was just amazing. There were sweetness of the sauce which we were pretty sure it’s Worcestershire sauce, frugality of the cabbage which is a plus since we had been massacring a lot of fish the last ten minutes so the dish was just our guilt’s saviour. There were also the presence of other veggies like carrots, bean sprouts, some chopped green onions all bringing the tastefulness to the plate.
One thing we noticed after that the noodles were actually Chow mein, a signature Chinese type of noodles, so we wonder if the restaurant used Udon, how would it taste like, more Japanese? We bet it would!
Our next tray came out just a few minutes after the Veggie Chow Mein, and we were all so happy that we had ordered these scrumptious taste rolls. Not just normal salmon avocado, they were “cream cheese” salmon avocado sushi. Praises must be given to the restaurant for making these rolls, “perfecto”, the richness of cream cheese combined with the ripe avocado and fresh salmons making it the most 6 dollars worthy spent ever! For all of you who ever wants to come to Kushi Mura, we strongly recommend these, not just one but double the order.
We also ordered some more assorted Tempura and Pork belly on skewers. To be honest, we were pretty sure the the chef just dipped the vegetable slices into the all purpose plain batter, which gave the tempura literally no tastes but solely the crunchy fried dough (even though we still had to give them some credits for the creativity because squash tasted quite “interesting”). Same with the pork belly grilled, we wished there was some special BBQ sauce sprinkling on top, that would have bettered our amateur critics’ overall experience.
Last but not least was the kimchi fried rice starring a well done omelet in the centre, some sesame ornamented on top of the mixed rice with bunches of other Korean ingredients. To make a guess, it seemed like the rice was mixed with some soy sauce, some secret Korean spicy sauce and a lot (we meant it, it was a lot) of chopped kimchi, which gave us a little hard time finishing the plate, and poor Phat, he was suffering the later spiciness striking and kept scratching his head due to his bizarre allergy toward spicy foods. And for those who are wondering how much the plate costs, you can get a portion as such with $11 which in our opinion was fairly high compared to what the food offered.
- Veggie Yaki Soba – $10
- Assorted Tempura – $10
- Pork Belly Skewer – $5
- Kimchi Fried Rice – $11
- Salmon Avocado Roll – $6
- Salmon Avo Cream Cheese – $6
- Assorted Sashimi – $16
Some of our recommendations
Even though going to Kishu was a fine experience, recommendations for betterment still need to be made. Like mentioned above, they can adjust the setting a little bit more simple, add some more dessert options to the menu, pay attention to the sashimi quality (we are willing to wait more for a fresher plate of fishes), also try to play more Japanese folk songs in order to give an integrated experience, etc. Their overall rank is 3.8/5 on the internet, which is a fair mark for what they offer. Even though, Kushi has an Instagram page, they are not really active in terms of content marketing. They are also not present in any other social media, which would limit people’s awareness about the place.
Che, N.(n.d.). Yakisoba 焼きそば. Retrieved from https://www.justonecookbook.com/yakisoba/
Kushi Mura Izakaya Company. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.kushimura.com/
Lane, G. (2015, October 2). Retrieved from https://tokyocheapo.com/food-and-drink/drinking/beginners-guide-japanese-izakaya/
Sakamoto, Y. (2019, January 21). Retrieved from https://metropolisjapan.com/tips-trends-january-2019/