Michael randomly searched for a place in Richmond and we ended up going to Charcoal located at 7997 Westminster Hwy. They serve sushi and do it yourself barbeque. I have been to Charcoal before with my parents and friends, I never thought anything special of the place except the fact that it was a more cleaner then many other sushi places in Richmond. Michael had never been and I didn't want to burst his bubble, so the good girlfriend I am I went with him anyways.
The restaurant is a decent size about 10 tables or so, and there is a little stove built in to the table where you can grill your delicious meats and veggies. The enviroment of the restaruant is modern with stoned walls and a good ventilation so all that barbecue smoke doesn't build up in the restaurant. I personally don't really have the patience to grill my dinner myself in a restaurant, it gets pretty frustrating when I am hungry the last thing you want to do is wait for your chicken to cook a front of you.
|Tuna and avocado roll|
Michael and I wasn't that hungry today so I ordered a tuna and avocado roll ($4.25) which of course is just tuna and avacado. The tuna didn't have much of a taste but the avocado added some texture and a faint taste to the tuna. But nothing like some good old wasabi would do the trick.
Michael had the classic chilled dish Ebi Sunomono ($3.95) which had prawns, cucumbers, lemon, and vermicelli salad. Michael thought the appetizer was perfect, sunomonos are usually cold sour noodles which are supposed to stimulate the appetite before a meal.
As for the dishes that Michael and I shared, we first had the classic roll ($7.99) which had eel, yam tempura, with sliced avocado. For an original roll it didn't taste that classic to me, I have had MUCH better original rolls, this taste description is going to be short, there isn't much to say, the roll had no taste, even the mayo and teriyaki sauce did nothing for me. This roll just didn't cut it for me. Wheres the flavour flave? it tasted like I was just eating rice with random stuffing inside. Michael on the other hand did enjoy the roll a little more then I did, he thought the tempura gave it a nice crunch and the price was pretty good for something with barbequed unagi (eel) in it.
Now, something Michael and I can both agree on is the Sauna Clams ($5.95). We both thought the clams were going to be pint sized but we were far from being right. The clams were very big and was served in a clay pot, which was still bubbling when it came to our table. It was served from a broth that was very flavourful it had a little tang and sour taste to it. It went very well with our big clams.
Michael and I also shared the beef grill ($12). Michael thought it was going to be one of our DYI projects on the table since the picture showed some raw beef with veggies, but he was really disappointed when the beef came out cooked. Nonetheless we both agreed that the beef was served very moist and tender. It was very easy to chew as if it was just going to melt in your mouth. Underneath, it came with buttered onions and mushroom.
Overall Michael and I think Charcoal isn't very special and doesn't stand out in Richmond's restaurant industry. It's not somewhere that we would go out of our way for their food. Their menu isn't special or unique to make us want to come back.
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