Healthy Eats at Shizen Ya

Is sushi healthy? Well, it can be but you have to be concious of what you’re eating. Sashimi is the only sure fire thing that you can count on to be low in fat and salt. Salt and fat are very prevalent in North American style sushi, especially special rolls. Shizen Ya takes Japanese cuisine and gives it health concious makeover with brown rice, low salt content with no MSG, no additives, organic greens and lots of vegetarian options. At this point you’re probably asking yourselves “why the hell was Scott eating at this place?!” Like I said we’re trying to branch out a little at WFLBC. Car reviews, healthy food… It’s crazy days around the office.┬áTurns out that Shizen Ya is really good. The fact that it’s a healthier option is a bonus.


I ordered the chicken udon lunch special that comes with a salad, a 3pc dynamite roll and a 3pc salmon roll. The salad was just like a traditional green salad you’d get at any other sushi joint except the organic greens are way more interesting that iceberg lettuce and the miso dressing is less oily and less salty than the norm.


I was pretty sceptical about the rolls, brown rice sushi has always seemed a little off to me. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the fact that the rice plays a bigger part in the flavour of the roll but I’ve never been a fan. These rolls manage to maintain the texture of a regular non brown rice roll and the rice didn’t affect the flavour as much as I’m used to. The dynamite roll was actually small enough to eat in one bite without looking like an idiot and the salmon rolls were super fresh and tasty. These are the best brown rice rolls I’ve had, period.


The chicken udon is the least oily, least salty soup I’ve ever had at a restaurant. You may think that’s a bad thing but it actually means you can taste things other than the broth. The chicken breast is also unseasoned and very lean. the udon noodles are fat and perfectly cooked and there’s some gomae on top for and extra hit of healthy. It all sounds really bland but they bring a small shaker of seasoning for you to add to your soup that has some heat and let’s you control your own sodium intake. It all works and for under $10 this is a very filling lunch.

Shizen Ya is a great healthy alternative to traditional sushi. They have two locations, one on West Broadway at Spruce and another at Hornby and Nelson.

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