As part of my birthday week this year, I decided to throw a home sushi party catered by local private sushi chef Vinh Tran!
I first heard of Vinh Tran and his home sushi parties a couple years ago on Instagram (@vinhsushi).
Currently Vinh is a sushi chef at Mt. Fuji (which – fun fact – happens to be the restaurant Mike and I went to on our very first date together.)
For the last few years, Vinh has been doing private sushi catering in addition to his Mt. Fuji gig, but as his private catering has been going so well over the last few years, starting September 2016 he’s going full-time private chef!
Vinh offers a 10-course home sushi party package for a minimum of 10 people (maximum of 20).
The party (+ set-up and clean-up) lasts about 4-5 hours and he gets booked up fast (so if you’re interested, I’d recommend getting in touch to check his schedule at least a month in advance, that’s what I did!)
Vinh comes up with the creations mostly on his own but if you have allergies or dietary restrictions, you can let him know in advance and he is super accommodating about that.
If you peruse his Instagram feed and see certain dishes you really want at your party, you can also let him know and he can include that.
For my birthday sushi party, I requested a couple of dishes from his Instagram feed but then left the rest up to him! Chef’s choice is always fun!
For my dinner, Vinh made:
- Spicy tuna cones
- Toro bites (tuna belly with seaweed tempura/sesame sauce)
- Beef tataki
- Kimchi tuna tots
- Lychee chop chop
- Jalapeno red snapper sashimi
- Tuna tataki
- Salmon sashimi
- Mango shrimp rolls
- Black sesame, mango, and green tea waffle ice cream cones drizzled with condensed milk
Check out some of the sushi food porn below:
The spicy tuna cones were the best cones I’ve ever had (normally I’m not a cone fan because the protein to rice ratio is often not great).
I could have hooked myself up to a conveyer belt and just eaten endless amounts of Toro tuna belly bites.
(I’ve also never had seaweed tempura before so that was fun to try!)
The other stand-out dish of the night was the lychee chop chop, which was a really nice blend of sweet and savoury.
The jalapeno red snapper sashimi and the salmon sashimi were both excellent – and had a great, fresh quality to them.
You can never go wrong with beef tataki and ponzu sauce (yum!) and honestly, everything else was fantastic too – not only in taste, but they were very beautiful dishes.
The cost for the home sushi party was $60/per person (pay by cash, cheque, or e-transfer) not including tip, which – broken down into 10 beautiful, delicious courses, in the comfort of my own home, where someone else is doing all the set-up and clean-up? Is a great deal.
When Vinh goes full-time catering in September, he is raising the price to $65/per person.
I still think that’s great for what you’re getting!
We had a few different dinners as part of my birthday week and this sushi one was *not* the most expensive but it *was* the most comfortable and unique.
Vinh also has a portable karaoke system he offers out if guests are interested (we definitely were) so that also provided 4 hours of singing fun for Mike and his band (friends lol).
At the end of the night after clean-up, Vinh even joined in for the karaoke singing! It really was a blast.
Here are some other notes on my home sushi party experience:
- Make sure you pre-clean your kitchen, make room in your fridge and clear off your counters before Vinh arrives
- If you have pets, unfortunately they need to be put in a different room so they’re not in the way of all the sushi making
- Vinh is super serious about cleanliness, sanitation, clean work space, etc. (which are obviously great things) but I was sad my furbabies couldn’t be around for the party because of this lol (Thor especially, got kicked off the table fast lol)
- He does bring some of his own dishes but he also relies on some plates or bowls you have handy too – just be aware of that (they wash everything when they’re done so you literally don’t need to do any cleaning after the party though, just make sure you have some plates handy pre-party)
- Depending on how hot it gets in your house (or how hot it is outside, or your air conditioning capabilities) it’s best to eat everything quickly or else the quality will degrade (leaving raw fish in hot heat? no no). Our quality was fantastic but we were mindful to take our pictures quickly to get to the actual eating part faster
- Take lots of photos! The food is so beautiful – don’t be afraid to ask if Vinh can set the food down so you can get a nice picture (I think he got this sense shortly after the first few courses – initially he was holding out the dish for us to eat but we were so keen on taking photos that later courses he just set down on the table to let us photograph)
- YOU WILL BE FULL!! One of the worst things that can happen when you’re eating is to feel like you’ve paid too much and are still left hungry. That is NOT the case here. There was so much food – we were all so happily stuffed, you will leave this home sushi party feeling full!
- E-transfer was our preferred method of payment – it was easy and quick. And don’t forget to tip (we tipped in cash separately)!
Overall, I would highly recommend Vinh Sushi and his catered home sushi parties.
The food tasted fantastic and looked so beautiful – I had also tried dishes here that I’d never tried before, which I love doing!
I also loved how it all took place in my home and the pressure to create and clean was not on me!
Take your dinner parties up a notch with Vinh Sushi.
Admittedly, $60/per person did prove to be a hard sell for some of my friends but I did manage to wrangle in to meet the minimum requirement of 10.
My sister-in-law is now interested in doing a home sushi party too so I’m excited to go to another one and I can definitely see myself asking Vinh back for Round 2 down the road.
So, have you done a home sushi party before? Would you?!