Print Edition: May 6, 2015
Ono’s is different from the usual sushi fare in Abbotsford. Rather than playing soft tinkling music or putting up pictures of geishas and jumbles of other Japanese décor, Ono’s keeps it simple. Walking in — if one didn’t see the sushi bar — a diner might not realize they’re walking into a sushi restaurant.
The décor at Ono’s Sushi fits the HighStreet style. It’s sleek and modern, with hard benches, interesting and impractical light fixtures, and expensive-looking bronze bamboo art.
I went in after the lunch rush and before the dinner, and the restaurant was basically empty. My sister and I sat down by the window, only to realize that any window booth had a full view of HighStreet’s playground. Annoying mall children aren’t the best dining entertainment, so make sure you go with someone interesting enough to hold a conversation; otherwise, don’t sit by the window.
Our server was prompt — what else did she have to do in an empty restaurant? We were brought our tea and miso soup soon after we ordered. The menu was a little pricier than my go-to places — Nikko Sushi and Yummy Sushi — but I liked that their sashimi is à la carte. I enjoy taking the small risks in life, but only if I have to pay $1.50 per piece.
The menu also has choices of roll sizes. You can order a dynamite roll, for example, in large or small. The price is the same, but the chef slices only six pieces for the large roll, and eight pieces for the small. That’s a nice option if you are going to share a roll.
My food was excellent, with great presentation. The miso soup was rich, the fish was fresh and firm, and the rolls were very flavourful. I appreciated that I could actually taste the crab in my California roll, and that the rolls were proportioned properly. Our dynamite roll had an interesting little twist: a bit of yam tempura inside.
The server came back a couple times to ask if the food was satisfactory, each time after I had just filled my mouth with a roll, so I had to do that awkward thumbs-up while frantically chewing. She was nice about it, and made our meal a comfortable one.
Whatever you might say about Abbotsford, we do sushi well here. Ono’s is a quality competitor for some great restaurants in town. Though the prices are a few dollars more, the quality of food matches the best of Abbotsford — right up there with Nikko and Yummy Sushi.