Mak, the owner of Woodvillage Cafe in Vancouver, recommended that we visit his friend’s sushi restaurant in Victoria. We trust Mak’s sushi recommendations since he was born and raised in Japan and has pretty great taste.
Located on Cadboro Bay Road in Oak Bay, Mutsuki-An is a family-run Japanese restaurant that’s been in business since 1998. A popular local spot, Mutsuki-An focuses on healthy items. Therefore, deep-fried food is not on the menu — yes that means no tempura!
Water is served with sliced lemon, which is always a nice touch. A sign at each table reads “Thank you for not using your cell phone”. This is a helpful, friendly reminder not to disrupt the calming zen-like atmosphere this restaurant exudes.
Miso Soup ($3.50) – This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill miso soup; it was special. Served on a platter and presented in a wooden bowl, the broth contained plenty of chunks of soft tofu, seaweed, freshly chopped green onion, white onion, and tofu puffs. It was delicious.
Crab Roll ($8.25) – This sushi roll contained real crab meat, creamy ripe avocado, and crisp cucumber. To enhance their high-grade super premium rice, they mix a Mutsuki-An special blend rice vinegar with Japanese sea salt containing essential minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium). The rice was very flavourful and was cooked perfectly. It was also a thin layer of rice so no one ingredient in the sushi roll overpowered the other – it was a harmonious blend of flavours. In terms of textures, the toasted sesame seeds added a lovely crunch to the sushi, while the nori was not chewy at all.
Mutsuki-An’s seafood selection is small, but carefully selected. They serve high quality wild tuna and Sockeye salmon, and their scallops come from Hokkaido, Japan. We decided to order one of their chirashizushi bowls: Sashimi Chirashi ($15.50) – Thinly sliced tuna and salmon, prawn, plenty of tobiko, ripe avocado, and julienned cucumber served on a bed of their delicious sushi rice. This dish was fresh and tasty, but we would have loved a slightly larger portion of sashimi.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Mutsuki-An. It definitely serves healthy dishes and its ambiance was calm and relaxing. Prices are on the steeper side, but you pay for freshness and quality. The restaurant’s a good bet when you’re in the mood for Japanese food in Oak Bay.