Sherman's Food Adventures: Fish on Rice

Fish on Rice

Alright, I normally do not re-write an entire post; but I am going to do it in this case. I originally posted Fish on Rice back in November 2008. I used to enjoy going to Fish on Rice; in fact, I went there 3 times in 2 weeks once! However, either I'm getting my picky or possibly I was just plain wrong in my first assessment of Fish on Rice. Whatever the case, this visit proved to me once and for all that all-you-can-eat Japanese food is typically not a good choice unless you are very hungry. Well, today I was very hungry since at Greek Day, all I had to eat were desserts. We actually arrived at Fish on Rice during their happy hour ($13.95); but I really wanted more selection and went with the full dinner menu ($21.95). One positive thing I can say about Fish on Rice is that their dinner menu does have a good selection and it is less expensive than most of it's competition (for the same selection of food). Of course, we parked at the Old Orchard parking lot beside Fish on Rice. I'm sure one of these days they'll starting towing people who park there for Earl's and Fish on Rice.

Unluckily for us, we got a true table for 2 and it is not really that sufficient for AYCE. After a few dishes, our table was really full. I went ahead and ordered a bunch of food from the checklist and waited anxiously. I was super hungry! Played hockey in the morning and practically no food all day! That is probably what possessed me to return to Fish on Rice for the first time in 6 months. I'm not sure if the workers are disgruntled or they have been trained to be zombies because the service was robotic and expressionless. Even after I said out loud "thank you" to many of the servers, none of them acknowledged it. Would they have preferred plain rudeness instead??? You'd think that after all the negative reviews of the bad service at Fish on Rice, they would actually care to do something about it? Anyways, the first couple of things we got were Miso Soup, Ebi Sunomono and Green Salad. Really nothing special about these dishes, although they were pretty small. I know it's AYCE, but I ate the Sunomono in one bite. The Beef Tataki was decent enough, meat was sliced thin, sauce was decent and it was not chewy. Tuna Tataki was alright, a bit bland since the dressing was barely there. We only decided to get Salmon Sashimi and some Surf Clam. Again, both were alright, but the salmon was sliced poorly with the belly still attached and presented on the dish all curled up. Oyster Motoyaki was actually quite decent. It was hot and there was a large oyster nestled in the baked mayo. The Beef Short Ribs, Beef Teriyaki and Tonkatsu (we didn't even order it) were pretty standard. They didn't offend; but didn't stand out either. We only ordered 3 rolls: Spider, Spicy Scallop and Spicy Salmon. The spider roll was alright; but the other 2 were awful. They tasted okay, but the rolls were messy and loose. The worst dish of all was the Prawn Tempura. First, the tempura batter was thicker than paper mache, it was truly disgusting. Second, the dipping sauce was luke warm and tasteless. Third and most importantly, the shrimp were NOT deveined. In fact, these shrimp must've been constipated because they had the largest, blackest, most disgusting veins I've ever seen. Lastly, the Black Cod was a bit bland and unevenly cooked; yet it was edible and at least I got it.

Ah yes, the black cod controversy. Before this visit, every other time (at least 15), we have either not received our order of black cod or have received it last and with half the pieces we requested. Imagine my surprise when the black cod arrived in the middle of our meal this time! However, sadly it was only half of what I ordered again. On my second round, I accidentally marked off Tuna Tataki rather than Beef Tataki. When it arrived, I told the waitress that I didn't order Tuna Tataki. The female manager comes up to me, shows me the original checklist and showed me arrogantly that I had made a mistake. Okay yes, that's true and it's my bad. However, did she need to do that? Besides, someone else for sure would order tuna tataki, give it to them. Whatever, I didn't want to argue, I just took the tataki and ate it. As I was eating it, 3 separate orders of food arrived at our table that we never ordered. So should I in turn go up to the same female manager and show her the checklist and point to the fact I didn't order those 3 dishes??? Not to mention, we got a tonkatsu that I never ordered either!

So on this most recent visit, I have to sadly say that I was horribly mistakened to even say I actually liked this place. With the combination of awful service, mediocre food and questionable business practices, I will not be coming back. With that being said, Fish on Rice is still better than some of the other AYCE Japanese joints out there. That statement alone is an indication of how sad some of these AYCE places really are. If you must go to an AYCE place, then I think Ninkazu is probably the best of the bunch. Of course AYCE has a place and time, especially for big groups of big eaters; but really, if you want good Japanese food (assuming you are not starving), go to a non-AYCE place. You will probably end up spending the same amount or even less for much higher quality food.

The Good:
- Good selection
- A bit cheaper than most the competition for the same selection
- There's sashimi on the lunch menu (albeit limited to 6pcs per person)

The Bad:
- Service is god awful, they don't seem to care that you are spending $22.00 for this
- Some of the food is not very good
- Restaurant needs a cleaning

Fish on Rice (Burnaby) on Urbanspoon


KimHo said...

I think this is a side effect of food blogging: when you started, it did not really matter if you "liked" it or now. As you kept on writing, you are becoming more and more critical! HAHAHAHAHA!

No, really, I haven't been to any sushi AYCE in a long while. The last one I remember was Kingsway Sushi, not that far from Fish on Rice. Not in a hurry to go to any one of these again... (Which is funny because I went to an Indian buffet which was blogged last week...)

Sherman Chan said...

Yah, you're right, probably becoming a bit more critical. Somehow the food at Fish on Rice didn't seem to appeal to me anymore...

Anonymous said...

I've stopped going to AYCE sushi shortly after highschool.

Wonder why? haha.

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