Here is another hidden spot, that is very popular with locals. The cafeteria inside the Nikkei center, a Japanese care home, serves probably the best lunch deal in South Burnaby. Japanese food is produced with excellent quality, attention to flavour and detail, combined with generous portions at a low price, making Hi Genki a place to visit again and again every week.
Take for example the Chicken Karagee, a dish that often fills that last square in a lunch box, but here takes the center stage. This is definitely not the fried chicken they serve at KFC. There is somehow not a trace of grease on these nuggets and although the crispy outer shell is dry, the inside is moist and juicy. They are served brushed with sweet sauce, flecked with sesame, on a bed of salad greens which in turn sits on a bed of rice: delicious and cheap at around 6 bucks a pop.
A favorite among the residents is a huge half of a grilled mackerel served with salad, rice and miso soup. It has a rich, oily, fishy aroma that sticks around all day after the meal - for a mere 6 bucks. Or on a rainy day try their oyako don: Japanese comfort food at its best! Very flavourful, soft, moist chicken is cooked with egg, onion and a special sauce. Big eaters should try the Tendon, a huge mountain of Tempura with rice - also under 6 bucks. In addition to these classics there are daily specials.
Along with the delicious and generous portions, there are often little "extras" that are added to your order. For example, the steaming udon is accompanied by a small plate of mochi (sushi rice wrapped in seaweed), and most meals come with a free miso soup. There is something for everyone here, and this keeps the many regulars coming back for more every week.
Reviewed by: Wai-ling Ho Ching
Last reviewed: July 6, 2005