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Watch: One of Vancouver's best new restaurants is a haven for sushi lovers

Sushi lovers, take note: This spot is a must-try in Vancouver. 🍣

I can't think of any Vancouver restaurants opening in the last year that yielded the same across-the-board love from locals as the modest, refined Sushi Hil did - and deservedly so.

The venture of sushi master Hilary Nguy - known as "Chef Hil" - the indie Mount Pleasant spot marks a new chapter for the chef, whose talents may be most familiar to Vancouver diners by way of his beloved sushi creations for locally-based chain powerhouse Cactus Club. Chef Hil, however, also grew a bit of a cult following behind the sushi bar at Temaki.

Now you'll find Chef Hil calling the shots at his eponymous Main Street restaurant which is a true ode to the beauty and simplicity of meticulously sourced, prepared, and presented sushi.

The small restaurant has just a few sushi bar seats in addition to tables, and reservations are highly-sought for both lunch and dinner service. Just after opening one recent Saturday, every seat was full. Sushi Hil has an a la carte menu of nigiri, maki (rolls), and sashimi, including in combos, as well as small plates, like oyster motoyaki, sunomono, and seafood okayu (rice porridge).    

Sushi Hil also offers an omakase option, which is where the chef creates a progressive plate-by-plate menu of their choosing, showcasing phenomenal technique and top-quality ingredients. At lunch, Sushi Hil's omakase runs $125 per person and dinner is $150 (you'll have a few more bites come evening).

Omakase tasting menu at Sushi Hil

I recently visited Sushi Hil to try an omakase lunch and enjoyed 16 courses, including dessert. The pace was perfect as was the progression of dishes, starting with a beautiful miso soup with torched whitefish and then a cold salad of jellyfish strands in a sesame dressing. 

The omakase menu allows for tastes of premium ingredients at their peak, like the piece of Dungeness crab with fresh local uni and a shiso leaf. Hokkaido uni appeared a little later atop a Sunseeker oyster, and a dab of briny Osetra caviar balanced the creamy fattiness of a perfect cube of Bluefin toro. Bluefin fans, take note: Sushi Hil also offers a Bluefin tasting menu on its own, in limited quantities. 

Sushi Hil's chawanmushi is a silky, melt-in-your-mouth egg custard with delicate savoury notes of dashi, and, as part of the omakase experience, is served with a small piece of rich, fatty foie gras. This was one of my favourite dishes, and surprisingly so, because I am not usually a fan of custards; the flavours, textures, and presentation at Sushi Hil are so pristine, however, that it became one of the most memorable courses.

Naturally, an omakase sushi bar meal will feature several pieces of nigiri, each one carefully sliced and composed and presented, including marinated akami (a fatty tuna), shima aji ("striped horse mackerel"), and torched pieces of King salmon toro and flounder fin, among others. The final savoury course was anago - saltwater eel - wrapped in a blanket of tamago - omelette. Dessert was a simple panna cotta with fruit and yuzu - light and refreshing.

Sushi lovers, take note: Sushi Hil is a must-try in Vancouver.

Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made via Tock.

Watch: Everything I ate at a $125 omakase sushi lunch in Vancouver

@forkingawesomevia Vancouver restaurants: Where to have an incredible omakase #sushi meal. 🍣🍣 #forkingawesome #vancouverbc #japanesefood 🎙️@LindsayWR ♬ Aesthetic Sounds - vatto Lofi

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