Today is a glorious day.  Why?  Because the end of Daylight Savings has blessed us with an extra hour of sleep.  Maybe not in Saskatchewan or the odd part of BC, but here at The Sheraton Hotel my sister and I went to bed at midnight, woke up at 7am, AND STILL SLUMBERED FOR 8 HOURS.

Yes, it’ll be all darkness and rain from here on in, but let’s focus on the positives.  Let’s revel in the fact that right now, while it may feel like 11am, it’s actually only 10am.  Let’s appreciate that this lazy Sunday can be that much more lazy.  Crazy lazy, if you wish.  This extra hour, which appeared out of nowhere, is like a golden ghost.

My sister joined me for the second day of my stay-cation, and I must now give her props; as soon as she woke up this morning she was forced to get out of bed and take pictures with me.  She’s a trooper, and almost always indulges the whims of her weird older sister.  So thanks for that Kate.

She made her way into Richmond yesterday around 5pm, and because it was still raining by dinner time, we didn’t want to go far.  Luckily, Charcoal Sushi is just a 5 minute walk down the street.

It was very busy, and since we didn’t have a reservation, we sat at the bar.  The interior is sleek and bright, with a number of large tables for groups and space at the bar for about a dozen people or so.

We ordered the Saba (mackerel) sushi ($1.75), the Hamachi (yellowtail tuna) sushi ($3.25), the Snow White roll ($8.75), the Charcoal roll ($9.75), Agedashi tofu ($5.95), and the Bacon Kinoko Udon ($10.95).

Of the two pieces of sushi, I actually liked the mackerel better.  It had been seared and was rich, oily, and strong.  Kate and I both agreed it tasted “like our childhood fishing trips,” which is a pretty strange conclusion to both come to.  In smell and flavour it was just so fishy, but not in an un-fresh kind of way.  Kate found it to be too powerful a flavour, but I liked it, maybe simply for nostalgic reasons.

My favourite of the two rolls was the Snow White, named for the sprinkling of coconut powder on top.  As you know, I’m a big fan of coconut, and it paired really well with the deep-fried spicy salmon, chopped scallop, and tobiko.  The scallop on top had been finely diced, and I loved that texture in contrast with the coconut and salmon.  I don’t normally describe food as ‘pretty,’ but this certainly was.

The Charcoal roll had prawn tempura, spicy tuna and avocado, and was topped with salmon.

It was finished with a slightly sweet sauce, and mounds of fine black tobiko.  It was expensive but really tasty, and made me want to try more of their specialty rolls.

The Agedashi tofu was just ok; it was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, but altogether it tasted a little bland.  The broth-like, dashi-based sauce it came with didn’t do much more than lessen the crunch of the batter, and I took to dipping the pieces in soy sauce instead.

The last thing we tried was the Bacon Kinoko Udon, which is not something I’d order again.  It was creamy, full of bacon, and had small brown shimeji mushrooms, which sounds good, but it was weak-tasting.  The sauce wasn’t salty enough, and I thought the bacon should have been cooked longer to bring out its flavour.  The pieces of it were rather limp, in fact.

Because we were sitting at the bar, we didn’t try any of their BBQ options, but not a single table had their grill going, so we didn’t feel like we were missing out.  I would certainly go back to Charcoal to try more of their rolls, which seems to be where they really excel.  Throughout our time there, many people came in to pick up takeout orders, so they obviously have a reputation for quality.

Oh my, doesn’t it just feel so much like 12:45pm right now?  But wait!  It’s only 11:45am!

Love this day, because dusk will creep forth all too soon……


Charcoal Sushi and BBQ

7997 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC


Cash and cards accepted

Vegetarian options available