Sushi in Merritt, what the....I'd say it's a safe to guess that Red Top Restaurant may be the only game in town as far as Japanese food is concerned, but I really don't know. I'm not often in Merrit and the last time I was there, I was going up to Kelowna for a car show and my car broke down (numerous times)....one of my stops landed me up overnighting in Merritt. On the way back, my group decided to make a pit stop in Merritt for food and we pulled into Red Top Restaurant. From the outside, there was no indication it served Asian food, let alone Japanese/Sushi.
When we pulled in, our group of 1st generation Honda Civics grabbed a lot of attention from the locals. Once we got inside, we discovered that though it was a Japanese/sushi restaurant, our cars were pretty much the only things in town that were made in Japan.
I didn't try my standard guage for a good sushi restaurant (Chirashi don) this time because I didn't think it was worthwhile. How fresh could seafood possibly be this far inland? But still, I was craving some sushi, so I just settled on a bento box. It came with a decent assortment of sushi that was recently defrosted (so that's about as fresh as you're going to get), some tempura, a green salad of some sort, some deep-fried gyoza (very un-Japanese), and miso soup.
Some of my friends stuck with the safer items like California rolls, tempura, salad and deep fried gyoza. Kill it with hot oil.
My meal was pretty filliing actually, and I didn't get sick after eating it so the seafood must have been recently defrosted and probably stored well. I was surprised to get ika (squid) as part of the nigiri sushi assortment, but it was a nice surprise. The salad was pretty basic, and the batter for the tempura was slightly undercooked. Deep-fried gyoza.......sigh. Only in Chinese and Korean restaurants. The miso soup was pretty standard. Anyway, it wasn't too expensive overall, so yeah, I'd probably go back if we stopped through Merritt again.
One thing that kind of irked me was that they didn't have Korean food on the menu. Why Korean? Because half-way through our meal, a busload of Korean tourists entered the restaurant and filled the place up. The little steel rice bowls came pouring out of the kitchen, along with the little steel chopsticks, all the side dishes (sweet potato, bean sprouts, KIM CHI, etc). WTF? If I knew there was Korean food available, I would have ordered that! It's not that I have a preference for Korean food over Japanese, but the Korean food served to the tour group looked pretty damn good....Oh well, next time I'm there, I'll see if I can get some Gahl Bee and a steel bowl of rice.