I checked out Juno’s online menu yesterday and confirmed that they had chirashi on their menu. I then relayed this information to my wife. We quickly agreed to designate our lunch today as a “healthy lunch” and drove down to Juno for our CHIRASHI ATTACK! As expected, the restaurant was small. What I did not expect was for the restaurant to be completely empty at 12:00 P.M.
We came here for the chirashi and the restaurant offered two versions on their menu: the $10 regular chirashi (which was on special) and the $16 deluxe chirashi. Since we wanted to sample the best they had to offer, both my wife and I ordered the deluxe. We also opted for the brown rice over white rice for one extra dollar. The chirashi came with a bowl of miso soup.
I’ll start with the good. The brown rice was nicely seasoned with vinegar and it was cooked to the right, not-too-firm texture. Every single slice of raw fish had flavours that were extremely fresh and textures that were correctly firm. The wild salmon was lean yet flavorful. The albacore was slightly fatty and unctuous. The other piece of fish (hamachi) was even more enjoyably unctuous than the albacore. The salmon eggs were some of the least fishy-tasting salmon eggs I’ve had in a while.
Now that I’m done with the good, I’ll dive right into the average and not-so-good. The cooked shrimp was not as juicy and plump as it could be. The cooked octopus was a little chewy. The surf clam felt like every other surf clam served at every other Japanese or non-Japanese restaurant – meaning it was one of those pre-packaged and pre-frozen versions that’s at your local supermarket. The tamago tasted fishy; it felt like the tamago had inappropriate contact with raw fish on its front, back, and two sides. There were also fewer slices of fish in this $16 chirashi than in the $12 chirashi from Sushi Mart. Every single slice here was about half the size of those from Sushi Mart.
To both my wife and I, the negatives of the deluxe chirashi from Juno outweigh the positives. We were not impressed with the portion size of their deluxe chirashi. The steak lunch we ordered for our son was equally lacking in terms of portion size.
My son was still hungry after finishing all of the rice and beef on his plate. I was so unimpressed by the fifth of one piece of beef I had that I was surprised my son was able to finish it. The beef was overcooked. It was so overcooked that it exhibited the flavours of well-done beef liver. I have to confess that it was my fault for exposing the unpleasant, liver-like flavours of the overcooked “steak”. The steak was intended to be drizzled with sauce but I asked them to serve the sauce separate because my son likes his steak/beef plain. I’m sure that the sauce would’ve covered the unpleasant beef flavours right up.
The overarching feeling my wife, son, and I got after eating at Juno was that of HUNGER. We felt hungry before we arrived at the restaurant, and we felt hungry after leaving the restaurant. Juno should really consider adjusting the portion sizes of their lunch offerings – especially the chirashi, or they could consider lowering their prices (I would suggest by $6 for the deluxe chirashi).