After reading Kim's post about Kawawa Ramen. I decided to give it a go. However, I must've forgotten something because I didn't remember that they operated 2 separate restaurants in Metropolis. One being Kawawa Ramen and the other Kawawa Japanese Restaurant. I dragged the whole family out to try the ramen and ended up eating at the other place instead. It didn't even occur to me to look one store over. When I got there, I thought to myself, I don't see any ramen and what's with the All-You-Can-Eat??? Whatever, I reluctantly decided to try the AYCE here. This used to be Taisho, which was a crappy AYCE. We had to wait for around 10 minutes for our table and for the life of me, I don't know why I didn't look around for the ramen! Serious brain cramp. I'm not even sure why we had to wait since there were plenty of empty tables at the time. The only thing I could think of was that we were a bit early and they were short-staffed. Anyways, I was impressed with our hostess though. She did not even consider charging the kiddies for their meals since she noticed how small they were. Unlike Sui Sha Ya who was going to charge my 2 year old daughter!
Everything started off quite pleasant, we were seated and the server was prompt with the tea and even wiped down a booster seat for my son. They were indeed short-staffed; but they did their best to be friendly and efficient. Looking at the order sheet, I noticed that there was a pretty good selection of items for $19.95. It's definitely one of the lower priced AYCE Japanese in the GVRD. Upon further inspection of the menu, Viv spotted an error on the menu. At the bottom it said that "Aji Taro reserves the right to...". That's right, it's the same menu as Aji Taro in Richmond except for the header. They apparently forgot to change the footer before they reprinted these menus. Whatever the case, I decided to order a whole bunch of things quickly since I had a hockey game later. Note to self, do not eat AYCE anything before a hockey game ever again.
The first items to arrive were the Miso Soup, Ebi Sunomono and Green Salad. Pretty standard fare, alright so far... The next plate to arrive was the Sashimi and this is where it began to fall apart. Yes, you heard me, right at the start of the meal, it had already begun to go downhill. The tuna sashimi was plain gross. If they wanted to serve me something with the texture of mashed potatoes, then I'd rather grab a box of Betty Crocker and make it myself. The only good thing about the sashimi was that the salmon and tai were not as bad. That's not saying much though. Alright, exhibit B (yes, it feels like a crime scene because of the atrocities committed against Japanese cuisine here) is the Nigiri. Look at it! WTH is up with the rice? It was not only a bit gummy, it was practically falling apart when I picked it up! When did they start allowing children to make the sushi?
The Beef Tataki was just plain disgusting. Not only was it flavourless (the sauce was bland), but there was this weird discolouration on the outside of the meat. Freezer burn? Unfresh meat? Leftovers from Taisho? Whatever the case, it was terrible and it was tough to chew as well. On the topic of difficult to chew, look at the BBQ Corn. Look at it! WTF? If that is BBQ corn, then they need to get their grill checked out. It resembled more like a half-hearted attempt to make corn nuts rather than BBQ corn. It was dry, hard and absolutely horrid. Why did they even serve this? How do you expect someone to eat that??? Well, after trying to pick out hard corn niblets out of my teeth, I had to endure the Tonkatsu or how Viv put it "Ton-Can't-Chew". The poor piece of pork was so overcooked, it would look at home on the bottom of some Florsheims. I actually hurt my teeth trying to chew the darn thing. Again, WTF? At this point, I took the re-order sheet and crumpled it up. That's right folks, I didn't want anymore food! Please stop this torture! Let me go to ABC, Knight & Day or *gasp* Sui Sha Ya!!! Anything but this, please... please... I beg you, what did I do to deserve this??!?!?!
But wait, we were only half way through our
initial order. I had to eat more of this crap! And yes, the Ebi Tempura was crappy. Not only was it stone cold, the batter was gooey. I wasn't aware that plaster of Paris could double as tempura batter. If I hadn't rearranged the ebi tempura to make it look nice on the plate, you'd see a picture of randomly placed food which was half falling off the plate. The same could be said about the Chicken Karaage. They were served upside down and scattered all around on the plate. Did they put a 2 year-old in charge of plating? Because it sure looked like it! Again, the chicken wings were not hot and they were seriously over-fried. Plus, did they think unseasoned chicken would actually taste good? It was so bland that I had to put soy sauce on it. Furthermore, the slight dusting of raw flour as a garnish on the plate was a nice touch. It's nice to see creativity at work.
While the chicken wings were bland, at least they were room temperature. The Gyoza were chewy, cold and devoid of any flavour. The outer wrapper on these things were hard and the filling lacked seasoning. It's like they never actually cooked them. At this point, Viv and I were
wondering why everything was so cold. Obviously, they were precooking many items to expedite service. However, it wasn't like all the food came that fast either. Some items arrived much later and they were still cold. One of those items were the Mussels. Yes, they were cold and yes, they were very tough to chew. How can you possibly butcher New Zealand mussels??? They come pre-cooked! Viv had to give up on it because she could not even break it down. What are they trying to do? Kill us???
OMG! I have never and I mean NEVER had a meal as disgusting as this one. I realize that Japanese AYCE is not really the best venue to experience good food; but c'mon! This was ridiculous! At least serve food that can actually be chewed and swallowed. I can officially say that this is THE worst Japanese AYCE I've ever been to and that includes Nordel Sushi. I already didn't like Taisho and they replace it with this?
- It's cheaper than other Japanese AYCE
- The service was actually friendly, if not sparse
The Really Ugly:
- Food was cold, poor quality and bland
- To heck with food presentation, let's just toss things on a plate and see how it ends up
- They should be ashamed to call it Japanese food
- If you can't even deep-fry things correctly, you have a big problem
- I would rather eat at 7-11