Yamagoya: Fernie, BC (640 miles from the ocean’s bounty)
Described as electric and fresh, the fare at Yamagoya is more fusion than traditional, though a simple sushi dinner is still a solid choice here. The restaurant’s small space is always packed, but service is good—the owners created an atmosphere so welcoming that most servers have stuck around since day one. When finally you get your hands on a table, post up for a moment and enjoy some Sapporos or local beers. And stick around for the creative desserts, like the sticky pie with pecans and black bean ice cream.
Sushi? In a mountain town 900 clicks from the ocean?
That was the baffled line of questioning that greeted Cam Carr when he opened Yamagoya Japanese restaurant in 2003. To prove Fernie could indeed serve up delicious raw fish, he gave away a lot of sushi in the early days. A decade later, Carr has created a town of believers — judging from the nightly lineups for a table — and also a legion of weekenders who like to say, “The best sushi in Calgary is in Fernie.” Favourites include the Fernie Roll (a yummy combo of tuna, kimchi, tempura and green onion), perfectly seared tuna tataki and a house salad with spinach, deep-fried tofu cubes and a sesame dressing.
Exhausted and hungry, we head back to town and grab a private booth at Yamagoya Japanese Cuisine – probably one of Fernie’s most popular restaurants. We enjoy a huge meal of sushi capped with a sinfully yummy chocolate mousse dessert.
After we ordered another Jumbo Dynamite roll (a crispy prawn tempura with avocado and cucumber that’s irresistible), it struck me how far Fernie has come—I wasn’t eating nachos and swilling Kokanee. Instead I’d spent an hour delicately devouring sushi that rivalled anything in Calgary, and pairing it with Sapporo. This, I thought—not wide-waist rocker skis or even the new Polar Peak chairlift—was progress.
We can’t talk about downtown Fernie without mentioning the nightlife; we’ve had many-a great night out here, and no trip is complete without visiting Yamagoya Sushi – a Japanese restaurant and popular local hangout.
If you love sushi, Yamagoya is the place for you. It’s one of the top restaurants in the area and often you have to wait for a table. However, the wait is worth it and once you get in, you will enjoy some of the best sushi found in Canada.