By: Michelle Chiang
Good food is notoriously hard to find on the SFU Burnaby campus, and given the limited selection of restaurants available on campus, my friends and I decided to go on a journey to find the best sushi place here. To keep the playing field even, we bought the most basic of basic rolls in each location — the California Roll. We looked at price, distance, ambiance, but most importantly, the taste and quality of the sushi itself. So without further ado, let the battle begin.
Location: 8915 Cornerstone Mews, Burnaby
Walking time from Convocation Mall: Five minutes
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., closed on weekends
My friends and I arrived around 10 a.m. Needless to say, we were delighted at the prices. Coming in at $2.86 per roll, you won’t be able to find a cheaper California Roll on campus.
The atmosphere was a little muted and quiet, but that may have been because it was still morning. From past experience, I know this location typically plays K-pop throughout the day.
Spicy Stone doesn’t actually specialize in sushi, so the only rolls they carry are the California Roll and the Dynamite Roll. After we ordered our California Roll, we were all quite disappointed.
The imitation crab meat was quite dry, tasteless, and oddly textured. What was even worse was that the avocado in the California Roll had been replaced with cucumber. Also their sushi is cut into six pieces rather than the standard 8 pieces which meant that each piece was a little thicker than it should have been and a little bit harder to chew.
Altogether, Spicy Stone wasn’t bad, but the only plus from this place is how cheap it was.
Rating: 2.5/5 rolls
Location: 107-9055 University High Street, Burnaby
Walking time from Convocation Mall: Five to seven minute walk
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., closed Sundays
The moment my friends and I stepped into this restaurant, we were greeted with smooth jazz and a well-lit room. While the store itself may not be big, it makes up for it in ambiance and a friendly wait staff.
The store specializes in sushi, so their selection is vast and covers a wide range of rolls. We ordered the California Roll at $3.75 per roll — not super cheap, but not crazy expensive either — and received it in record time, likely due to the early hour.
The sushi itself was delightful and chewy! In terms of the rice-to-filling ratio, the rice was a little sparse, but the filling was wonderfully moist and the avocado gave it perfect creaminess.
Customers also receive complementary tea, making for a wonderful location to just sit and chat with friends. This place is the farthest from the centre of campus, but if you’re willing to make the trek, it’s absolutely worth it.
Rating: 4.5/5 rolls
Mackenzie Café Sushi
Location: Mackenzie Café
Walking time from Convocation Mall: One to three minutes
Hours: Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m., closed on weekends
Mackenzie Café is located smack dab in the middle of the Academic Quadrangle and the atmosphere inside it reflects the outside. It’s usually crowded and noisy, especially at 11:30 a.m., which was when my friends and I bought our food.
Mackenzie had the most expensive roll to date, coming in at a whopping $7.19 for a single roll. The variety at the sushi bar wasn’t great as well — there was only one other sushi roll available at the time.
After opening the lid, my friends and I immediately spotted two of the eight pieces contained avocado with prominent brown spots. Immediately, this turned my stomach and I found myself losing my appetite.
The sushi itself wasn’t bad. It had very good rice-to-filling ratio and just enough chew. However, the taste does not justify the price or the quality. Do yourself a favour and get two rolls at a different location with the money you spent here.
Rating: 2/5 rolls