Print Edition: November 26, 2014
I always thought Presto Cucina would go out of business. If you wanted second-rate Italian, you’d go to the Old Spaghetti Factory; if you wanted something a bit fancier, you’d go to Paliotti’s, where they’d have some form of customer service.
I was surprised to see in Presto Cucina’s place at Five Corners, a new sushi place: KoJan Sushi, which opened in early November. I think Abbotsford is getting to the point where there are more sushi places than churches, and that’s saying something.
Either KoJan really liked Presto Cucina’s décor, or they didn’t have time to redecorate. When you walk in, it looks like an interesting cross between rustic Italian and elegant Japanese. The brick-work and indistinctly Italian pictures clash with the sushi bar and chef hats behind the counter.
I stopped in for lunch with my fiancé. The server was very friendly, and immediately sat us down. This might have been because the place wasn’t exactly bustling — there was only one other group besides us. They were playing classical music; I think I heard Schubert.
The location is really nice if you are seated beside the window. It’s bright, and for some reason I like watching people wait at the slow lights of Five Corners, getting more and more annoyed ’til they finally gun through on a green light. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
The menu boasted both sushi and Korean food, as well as interesting-looking burgers — a bulgogi burger, teriyaki burger, and a rice burger, all served with fries. The majority of the menu catered to sushi tastes, but there was Korean mixed in, and the menu was extensive. The lists of combos and party trays were very diverse; in addition to the usual lunch and dinner boxes, combos catered to certain tastes, such as the Old Fashioned Combo (California, dynamite, salmon-tuna maki) and the Rainbow Combo (rainbow roll, salmon, tuna, and ebi nigiri) as well as a Veggie Combo for vegetarians.
I just came for sushi, though the burgers and Korean food looked so tasty that I resolved to come back and try them. The Chef’s Special section — especially the basil chicken and sweet-and-sour pork — looked interesting, too. I was definitely impressed with the creativity and variety of the menu.
The prices are decent: between $4 to $8 for rolls, and up to $14 for the special rolls. The burgers were $11, and the teriyaki was between $11 and $14. Not low prices, but I’d pay that for good food. I ended up ordering a box special. Their lunch box specials are sold all day, and range from $12 to $16.
My miso and sunomono salad were good, though there could have been more tofu in the sunomono. They came in funny dishes, white with the words “give thanks.” This was the subject of speculation for my fiancé and I.
I was surprised at how much food eventually came out. The rolls were big, and the teriyaki was heaping. The server came back again and again to refill my green tea. The chicken teriyaki was delicious; the sauce was rich and dark. I was on the fence about my California and dynamite rolls. They were big, but the proportions were a little off — there was too much rice and not enough stuff inside the roll. Not only that, but the rice didn’t have enough sushi vinegar on it, so it ended up tasting a little bit bland. I dipped my rolls into the teriyaki sauce a lot. I think my order was just too boring, and that’s why the food was a little bit boring. Next time, I’m going to try the interesting-looking menu items, like the jalapeno tempura, the feta cheese roll, the kimchi and bacon fried rice, or the lobster roll.
I left very full and with a lot of leftovers. The service was great and the food was plenty — I just need to find the right menu item.