In search of a place to grab a quick bite in Kits, and having a hankering for sushi, my searches showed that a restaurant called Hitoe was a good bet. Okay, said I, and drove to the address specified. I saw no sign that there was a restaurant there, so I circled around and drove by again. Nothing. I parked and walked down the block, and only then did I see this improvised “sushi” sign that wouldn’t look out of place in the hood. And I don’t mean the cheery clean oh-so-Vancouver hood that is Kits.
Hitoe Sushi is a small restaurant with a homey feel, with Japanese-speaking staff that “irrashaimase!” you when you walk in. The slightly grimy look of the sign outside didn’t carry over at all to the interior of the restaurant: it was clean and tidy, if a little basic. The slightly cramped space along with the koi kites and other straight-from-Japan decorations made me feel like I was in a small neighbourhood restaurant in a suburb of Osaka.
I ordered Hitoe’s chirashi, which came with the standard salmon and tuna sashimi, ebi (prawn) and tamago (egg). The fish was some of the freshest I remember having as part of chirashi. The price wasn’t even any higher than normal, so I was impressed with the quality of the fish here. There were also some unique features to Hitoe’s chirashi that deserve to be remarked upon. First of all, more attention was paid to the presentation of the dish than usual. Aside from the decorative leaves, the fish was separated from the rice by a half clam shell. Secondly, there was a piece of uni (sea urchin). Now, I’m not a huge fan of this type of sashimi, but I know some hardcore uni lovers, and they’d be all over this place. In all my experience ordering chirashi at sushi restaurants, I’ve never seen one that included uni before. Finally, there were little berries along with the fish. At first I thought they were cranberries, but they tasted more like grapes. Looked like no grapes I’d ever seen though.
Definitely visit Hitoe Sushi if you’re in the Kits/Point Grey area and looking for sushi. Maybe you’re on the way to or from UBC, or heading to Chip Wilson’s house on Point Grey Road. Either way, can’t go wrong with this little restaurant. It may look hood from the outside, but I wish it were in my hood. Did I mention they also give you a package of Pocky when they bring your bill?