A Bee-View of the Drive – Britannia Sushi

by admin - January 11th, 2012.
Filed under: Commercial Drive Restaurant Reviews. Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , .

I must first of all qualify this review by admitting that we are perhaps not the best people to review sushi restaurants since we are very boring about our choices and often end up just grabbing a couple of California Rolls “to go” when we need a quick bite. Therefore, we will restrict our comments to the things we have tried and hope other people will give us feedback on more adventurous dishes. Commercial Drive has an abundance of wonderful sushi places, as does most of Vancouver, but Britannia Sushi is the closest to us at the Bee & Thistle Guest House, located just around the corner at 1016 Commercial Drive. First impression – the exterior is not particularly attractive but probably not much different from the many little sushi outlets that you will find in every Vancouver neighborhood. The interior is basic diner style and the restaurant was relatively busy when we were there on January 6, 2012.

Sushi is so popular in our city that we wouldn’t be surprised to see it listed as a new major food group in the Vancouver editions of the Canada Food Guide! However, I’m not quite sure that Britannia is keeping up it’s end by providing fast, fresh and delicious tidbits for our sushi loving Vancouverites, not to mention our visitors. In looking at the reviews one can’t help but notice that they vary widely, and we would have to agree somewhat with both sides (overall rating of 2 1/2 stars on Yelp http://www.yelp.ca/biz/britannia-sushi-vancouver). Many reviewers say they have been eating here for years and can’t beat the quality for the price. Probably true – at only $2.75 for a California Roll, a bottle of Kokanee for $3.25 and $5.75 for 18 pieces of sushi and miso soup, the price is definitely right.

And the food is “okay”. However, we also have to agree with those who say the service is very unenthusiastic and the quality of the food did not blow us away. I decided to go for my usual California roll, but noticed that they do offer it with brown rice. Although we are known for our decadent breakfasts, or perhaps because of it, I do try to make healthy choices about food for the rest of the day. Brown rice sushi seemed like a great idea! However, I suspect that the brown rice had just come off the stove because my roll arrived warm, with very sticky brown rice. Hmmm – a warm, sticky California Roll, I suspect it’s an innovation that may not catch on! The price was right, though, at $2.75 for the California Roll, plus $5.95 for my Chicken Udon soup. Unfortunately, I am also very picky about the chicken I eat and this chicken had much too much fat for my taste. The broth and noodles were okay but a little bland. Michael had Chicken Yakisoba @ 6.95, and thought it was not bad, though not amazing. Our conclusion? We will probably still dash down to Britannia and pick up a couple of California Rolls when we are tired and just want something quick and close. But, with all the other Japanese restaurants to choose from, we would probably not recommend this restaurant to our guests if they are hoping to try one of Vancouver’s famous sushi restaurants.