Get Stuffed - It takes a village 

Sushi Village still in the race despite renovations

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"The people that come and dine here like to party, the staff are great and the money’s good," summed up Leah.

So how else does Sushi Village stay ahead of its rivals?

"Twice a year I try to come up with some new dishes. We always have the same old menu for the regulars who know what they want but we keep it interesting for everyone else as well," said Miki. "Not just for the customers but for the chefs. They are happier when they get to expand people’s palettes and be more creative."

The start of fall marks the introduction of four new rolls, as yet unnamed. A nigiri, which is tuna based, two hot pots – tuna suki and tuna yosenabe – and one tuna tower of sashimi pieces with vegetables and a special sauce.

Miki was more than enthusiastic for me to try them all and I can report an A+ on every aspect, from taste to presentation to uniqueness. One of the rolls is wrapped in a shell of avocado slices filled with unagi (eel), mango and chili tempura. The perfect accompaniment is another new roll incorporating marinated red pepper and cucumber. Don’t ignore the new nigiri either – Hawaiian tuna wrapped in a yellow soya sheet. The aroma from the added shiso leaf is summer personified.

While the new menu should keep the chopsticks churning through the slow period before winter, it is still their "old faithfuls" that keep the locals coming. The albacore tuna with an ahi poke marinade or the spicy agedashi tofu with shiitake mushrooms just seem to walk out the door.

Canadians love their sushi and Whistler seems to be a particularly popular place for it thanks mostly to its healthy dining style. There are more than five sushi restaurants now within the village. You’d think Miki might be sweating about his business, but he shrugs casually: "It’s a natural thing that other Japanese restaurants are going to spring up around town," he said.

"It’s all part of the growth of Whistler and I wouldn’t expect anything less. All Japanese restaurants are very different anyway in style, atmosphere, taste so it doesn’t really bother us as we are not like the others."

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