THE GOOD STUFF:
Hamada is our standard go-to place for sushi in Maple Ridge. The food has always been good. We've chosen a fair variety of items including the standard miso soup (fantastic) and sunomono (almost always good, but occasionally the noodles aren't prepared properly), as well as salmon, tuna, and ebi nigiri, udon, California and Philadelphia rolls, and agadashi tofu. There's something my husband always orders as well -- chicken with teriyaki sauce on a skewer -- that he enjoys very much, but the name of which I can't recall.
We also appreciate the sample item this is brought around nearly every visit, and the oranges at the end of the meal.
THE LESS GOOD STUFF:
The prices at Hamada did increase at some point earlier this year, which is unfortunate, but expected. The prices had remained fixed for quite some time. I used to regulary order the tempura udon, because it was such a fantastic deal -- an order of assorted tempura and a full vegetable udon for only $7 or $8. This is now closer to $10 or $11, if I correctly recall.
On a slightly negative note, I would like to comment on the udon, which is meant to be made with fish stock. I have, on more than one occasion when ordering either tempura udon or vegetable udon found a piece of chicken in my order. As someone who does not eat land-dwelling creatures, this was very frustrating and was a deterred me from visiting for a while. The language barrier between myself and some of the waitstaff make it very difficult at times to address this issue, and I have not felt it necessary to bring my concerns to management.
And one last thing in the negative category is something just recently brought to my attention and that is the Fraser Health Authority's Food Inspection Report for Hamada. I've included the link so that you can search for Hamada (or other restaurants for that matter) and read for yourselves, but the pattern seems to indicate problems, which are resolved in time for the follow-up inspections, only to recur again and again. This does make my feel somewhat less confident about Hamada, but hopefully they've got themselves back on track. It would be a shame to lose Hamada, but they'll have to work to keep these health issues under control.
Food Inspection Report: http://www.healthspace.ca/Clients/FHA/FHA_Website.nsf/