Made a long time goal of mine come true last Friday when my sister took my mother and I out for lunch at Hi Genki located in Nikkei Cultural in South Burnaby. Located in a seniors home, we killed two birds with one stone that afternoon because not only did we get to eat the most delightful Japanese homestyle comfort food, but we also got to do our retirement home research.
After this meal, there can be no question – we will be sending our mother and father here as soon as they are old enough because the restaurant in the complex will give us the best reason to visit them on a regular basis.
For years, I have been hearing about this no frills Japanese eatery that serves authentic Japanese meals for cheap cheap and yet it’s taken me this long to get here but good things must really do come to those who wait. Fact: Hi Genki is owned and operated by Fujiya – who woulda thunk.
With quirky senior home cafeteria vibes, it is bizarre how comfortably Japanese this eating room feels. Attracting an odd mixture of families, senior citizens and their visitors, and tech bro types, all you need is some good company and down to earth home cooked food to have a good time.
Three entrees were shared between three ladies because we are non-committal and we just want it all.
Deluxe Genki Bento Box ($14.95) complete with Teriyaki Grilled Chicken, Salmon Sashimi and Salad, Tempura, Rice, and Miso Soup. You know your chicken teriyaki must be the real deal when you can taste the actual juicy chicken because it isn’t drowning in teriyaki sauce. I don’t think I even knew what to do with my hands in that moment because of the shock – in fact, I can’t even remember the last time I received chicken teriyaki as simple and delicious as this. Just like back in old country.
Even the tempura tastes fresher. How do deep fried things taste fresh?! And remember a time when Miso Soup came with real chunks of tofu? Ya, me neither but at Hi Genki your Miso comes with tofu chunks and seaweed like we’re back in 1996 again or something.
I’m not used to having Salmon Sashimi as part of my bento boxes but I have to say it sure is a delightful contrast to be able to eat my refreshing and light raw fish with my rice and deep fried sides.
Oyako Don ($9.95) is a longtime family favourite and had to be ordered. No choice. A generous mound of rice with plenty of big chicken chunks, egg, and sweet onions, this was a much needed and welcome reminder of my childhood.
Genki Udon ($10.95) featuring everything your heart desires. Along with your springy Udon, you get your Prawn Tempura, you get your Grilled Chicken, you get your Fish Cakes, you get your Vegetables, and you even get your Egg. This was a nice palette cleanser from all the rice.
One hour and three ladies rolling out of Japanese Seniors Home later, would we return?
Three can dine on seriously quality homestyle food for under $40 – mama didn’t raise no fool. We will all be back not only because our food was delicious but because we actually have so many more dishes to try – Pork Tonkatsu, Chicken Katsu, all the Japanese Curries, all the Grilled Fish, all the Beef Don, Chicken Katsu Don, Yakitori Don you better stop me now because the list goes on and I cannot stop.