Traditional à la carte Japanese fare at Waterdown's Sushi Ya

News Mar 26, 2019 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The traditional dish most associated with Japan has come to Waterdown, and at Sushi Ya, pay close attention to the rice: when it comes to sushi, it’s the most important part.

“We are a traditional à la carte Japanese restaurant focused on sushi and rolls, with some Korean items on the menu coming from our own background,” said William Kim, restaurant helper and son of owner Min Joung Kim.

Sushi Ya opened in mid-January and has already developed a following in town. Kim said that the family has been in the industry for over 12 years, and previously owned Sushi Ya Japan in Milton for about 11 years.

“The menu has been just slightly adapted to just refine and make sure that our items are the best … they can be over the past 12 years,” he said.

Sushi, Kim explained, had humble beginnings — it began as a way to preserve fish, and in the Edo period (1603-1868), the rice that was used to help the preservation process would be discarded.

“The vinegars and sugars were merely a way to keep the fish fresher," he said. "Only until much later in history had sushi been actually eaten in conjunction with the rice it was preserved with."

Eating the fish raw came even later in the evolution of the dish.

While sushi usually refers to the pieces of nigiri — which is a small piece of rice with a slice of fresh fish — Lee said that people use it colloquially to mean the entire concept of eating raw fish.

He said that the most popular type of sushi is maki — rolls comprised of a sheet of seaweed, with rice spread evenly along the sheet with fillings and toppings “to add contrast and flavours.”

As the sushi industry has grown, so too has the education; becoming a sushi chef takes years of training and apprenticing.

“Traditionally speaking, if (you work) at certain Japanese restaurants overseas, like in Japan, you may even spend several years washing rice, where you have a minimum of one year simply washing the rice,” he said.

Sushi Ya serves a variety of maki and sushi — looking at the menu, one can find tempura, calamari, smoked salmon, eel (unagi), sashimi and even Korean barbecue.

Trusted with a menu that also features ika (squid) and tai (snapper) is sushi chef Donovan Lee; his creations, Kim said, feature the well-seasoned rice using vinegar, mirin and other seasonings.

According to Kim, it’s Lee’s experience and discerning palate that makes their product what it is.

“The luxury of experimentation always comes in the form of a solid foundation," he said. "Unless you know that your sushi rice and your fish quality is up to good standard, you know if you’re able to reliably change some other component or aspect of your sushi, and know that you have made an impactful change (in the) quality of your product.”

Traditional à la carte Japanese fare at Waterdown's Sushi Ya

Sushi restaurant opened in mid-January

News Mar 26, 2019 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The traditional dish most associated with Japan has come to Waterdown, and at Sushi Ya, pay close attention to the rice: when it comes to sushi, it’s the most important part.

“We are a traditional à la carte Japanese restaurant focused on sushi and rolls, with some Korean items on the menu coming from our own background,” said William Kim, restaurant helper and son of owner Min Joung Kim.

Sushi Ya opened in mid-January and has already developed a following in town. Kim said that the family has been in the industry for over 12 years, and previously owned Sushi Ya Japan in Milton for about 11 years.

“The menu has been just slightly adapted to just refine and make sure that our items are the best … they can be over the past 12 years,” he said.

Sushi, Kim explained, had humble beginnings — it began as a way to preserve fish, and in the Edo period (1603-1868), the rice that was used to help the preservation process would be discarded.

“The vinegars and sugars were merely a way to keep the fish fresher," he said. "Only until much later in history had sushi been actually eaten in conjunction with the rice it was preserved with."

Eating the fish raw came even later in the evolution of the dish.

While sushi usually refers to the pieces of nigiri — which is a small piece of rice with a slice of fresh fish — Lee said that people use it colloquially to mean the entire concept of eating raw fish.

He said that the most popular type of sushi is maki — rolls comprised of a sheet of seaweed, with rice spread evenly along the sheet with fillings and toppings “to add contrast and flavours.”

As the sushi industry has grown, so too has the education; becoming a sushi chef takes years of training and apprenticing.

“Traditionally speaking, if (you work) at certain Japanese restaurants overseas, like in Japan, you may even spend several years washing rice, where you have a minimum of one year simply washing the rice,” he said.

Sushi Ya serves a variety of maki and sushi — looking at the menu, one can find tempura, calamari, smoked salmon, eel (unagi), sashimi and even Korean barbecue.

Trusted with a menu that also features ika (squid) and tai (snapper) is sushi chef Donovan Lee; his creations, Kim said, feature the well-seasoned rice using vinegar, mirin and other seasonings.

According to Kim, it’s Lee’s experience and discerning palate that makes their product what it is.

“The luxury of experimentation always comes in the form of a solid foundation," he said. "Unless you know that your sushi rice and your fish quality is up to good standard, you know if you’re able to reliably change some other component or aspect of your sushi, and know that you have made an impactful change (in the) quality of your product.”

Traditional à la carte Japanese fare at Waterdown's Sushi Ya

Sushi restaurant opened in mid-January

News Mar 26, 2019 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

The traditional dish most associated with Japan has come to Waterdown, and at Sushi Ya, pay close attention to the rice: when it comes to sushi, it’s the most important part.

“We are a traditional à la carte Japanese restaurant focused on sushi and rolls, with some Korean items on the menu coming from our own background,” said William Kim, restaurant helper and son of owner Min Joung Kim.

Sushi Ya opened in mid-January and has already developed a following in town. Kim said that the family has been in the industry for over 12 years, and previously owned Sushi Ya Japan in Milton for about 11 years.

“The menu has been just slightly adapted to just refine and make sure that our items are the best … they can be over the past 12 years,” he said.

Sushi, Kim explained, had humble beginnings — it began as a way to preserve fish, and in the Edo period (1603-1868), the rice that was used to help the preservation process would be discarded.

“The vinegars and sugars were merely a way to keep the fish fresher," he said. "Only until much later in history had sushi been actually eaten in conjunction with the rice it was preserved with."

Eating the fish raw came even later in the evolution of the dish.

While sushi usually refers to the pieces of nigiri — which is a small piece of rice with a slice of fresh fish — Lee said that people use it colloquially to mean the entire concept of eating raw fish.

He said that the most popular type of sushi is maki — rolls comprised of a sheet of seaweed, with rice spread evenly along the sheet with fillings and toppings “to add contrast and flavours.”

As the sushi industry has grown, so too has the education; becoming a sushi chef takes years of training and apprenticing.

“Traditionally speaking, if (you work) at certain Japanese restaurants overseas, like in Japan, you may even spend several years washing rice, where you have a minimum of one year simply washing the rice,” he said.

Sushi Ya serves a variety of maki and sushi — looking at the menu, one can find tempura, calamari, smoked salmon, eel (unagi), sashimi and even Korean barbecue.

Trusted with a menu that also features ika (squid) and tai (snapper) is sushi chef Donovan Lee; his creations, Kim said, feature the well-seasoned rice using vinegar, mirin and other seasonings.

According to Kim, it’s Lee’s experience and discerning palate that makes their product what it is.

“The luxury of experimentation always comes in the form of a solid foundation," he said. "Unless you know that your sushi rice and your fish quality is up to good standard, you know if you’re able to reliably change some other component or aspect of your sushi, and know that you have made an impactful change (in the) quality of your product.”