Sherman's Food Adventures: Kawawa Japanese

Kawawa Japanese

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?

The Good:
- 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

Kawawa Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

31 comments:

KimHo said...

Disclaimer: YOU CAN'T BLAME ME ON THIS ONE!!!!

Did you go for lunch or dinner? If you had to pay $20, I would assume it is dinner - if it was lunch, I would call it extremely expensive. Oh, if you want to do comparison on where it serves the grossest sashimi, go to Kisha Poppo (they have two locations, it does not matter which one...)

Sherman said...

Kim, trust me, I doubt you would ever eat this crap. I wish I had just left instead. Yah, I went for dinner. and yes, I've heard about Kisha Poppo. Won't be going there. BTW, I can only blame myself for eating at this place... I only hope others won't!

KimHo said...

Yes, we take the bullets so others don't have to "suffer"...

shokutsu said...

Sherman, it was painful just reading about your experience. I can't imagine how awful it was to be there in person. Another clear example of the horrific representations that are out there for this cuisine. Again, a lot of misinformation or complete lack of in preparation on the part of the folks in the kitchen or behind the so-called sushi bar are the main culprits of these kinds of poor results. As with any cuisine, with proper training and knowledge sharing (and a willingness to learn it) can rectify a great number of the most brutal errors. Let's hope the folks at Kawawa catch on...

Sherman said...

Hi shokutsu, yes it was a painful experience. When I don't want to eat something, it's pretty bad. I totally agree with you regarding the misrepresentation of Japanese cuisine. It's practically an insult!

Kim, this time it wasn't only a bullet, it was more like a bomb.

Chris said...

Painful indeed. Sorry that you took such a terrible one for the team.

I have to say that while reading your adventure was painful (I actually caught myself wincing), your sense of humor was fantastic. Anyone who can include Betty Crocker and plaster of paris in a blog post about sushi takes the writing cake! Fantastic post for all the wrongs reasons Sherman.

Sherman said...

Thanks for the kind words Chris! Yes, I can't believe what I was eating. It was a like a bad nightmare.

Joyce said...

Wow Sherman, I felt for you. It's such a painful read, so I'm sure your dining experience was just awful. Never realized that Tai Sho was no more, but I guess now I wouldn't bother giving the new one a try..

Jonnek said...

Would you go back and try the Kawawa ramen?

Sherman said...

Hi Jonnek, yes I would because that is a totally different think altogether. I'm not going in with high expectations though.

Sherman said...

Well Joyce, it was a painful experience. It's rare that eating for me is not enjoyable.

Cosmo Kramer said...

What's with the name Kawawa, anyways? Looked it up and actually I think the meaning of it is quite fitting to describe your adventure. Per the urban dictionary, Kawawa means:

Affected or characterized by sorrow or unhappiness.

Described your visit, to say the least?

Great post by the way. One of my faves.

holly said...

That was a very creative review about your worst japanese food experience ever. I don't know if I could have been as generous.

Considering how bad Taisho was, maybe they're going for the worst japanese AYCE prize as a new marketing tool? Some people are gluttons for punishment.

As for me, I'm running the other way,

Jessica604 said...

Scathing, Sherman.

I like it. :)

Sherman said...

Holly, running far away is a great idea. Run Holly run!

Jessica, yes I'm normally quite fair, this time, it was so bad I couldn't keep it in.

Raphael said...

I went there once and I will never go back!

Sherman said...

Raphael, I believe a lot of people will do the same!

lisal said...

I really feel for you there. You are so funny when you are p.o.ed. At least they gave you lots of material to write about...

Sherman said...

Thanks Lisal... Although I'm not sure if I want to experience that again, even if it was for good material! LOL...

nick said...

I too,will say this place was a disaster.
The only mildy appealing dish was the lemon chicken.(hardly japanese,I know).
After being told to "make sure you eat all the rice or you will be charged extra" twice,that was it for me. It was now a challenge.
Screw these guys.I left a piece of a rice block on my plate that fell onto the table,and was expected to eat it.
Never again,ever EVER!

Sherman said...

Well said Nick. I cannot understand why there is a continual lineup to the place. Boggles the mind.

Sam said...

My GF was like...hey this place is open. Let's see if it's any better than the AYCE place that was there before.

No it wasn't. UGH

Sherman said...

Hi Sam, trust me, many other share the same opinion.

4Slicesofcheese said...

I woulda left when I saw Aji Taro... :P I had pretty much the exact same experience probably more then 3 years ago at Aji so I doubt they will change the way things are "cooked"

Anonymous said...

Hey Sherman,
I really enjoy Sushi at Good Sushi restaraunts. I would highly recomend only two places that have the best sushi ever...
Mamo Yama in Newton (spelling may be incorrect)
and Richmond Sushi.

Fresh, good flavour, variety,price.

What Richmond Sushi lacks in presentation they make up for in quality.

Sherman said...

Yah, I've heard of Momoyama, probably going to visit it one day. However, I wouldn't say Richmond Sushi is high quality though. It's AYCE and I would say it is acceptable; but definitely miles ahead of Kawawa. For me at least, high quality would be Ajisai, Toshi and the sort.

Follow Me Foodie said...

OMG SHERMAN!!!! There was a "GOOD"!!?!?!? WHY?!?!?!?!! This place does not deserve a "good"!

ok your photos are awesome, but even you could make the food look sexy... I don't even think Kim could make the food look sexy! The food looks AWFUL!!!! I feel so bad for you! Did they notice you taking pictures? How embarrassing!

I couldn't stop laughing reading your review though... that's the "Good" to this post... your writing!

PS - Elaine posted this link on my blog b/c I recently had a shitty experience as well... not as bad as this though.

Sherman said...

Mijune... I don't think they really cared what I was doing to tell you the truth. But one thing is for sure, there is absolutely NO exaggeration about the food there. It sucks goat nads... And believe it or not, I got a comment (that I had to delete) from a reader who defended this place! He basically said that this is not fine dining and I shouldn't complain. Dude, I paid $20pp for this crap. I'm gonna complain! Can't believe some people, so if it's not expensive I should like it??? WTF???

Anonymous said...

I just came from kawawa and had their AYCE...they lied calling it ayce, they actually stopped bringing our food he second round..war a rip off! And the service is another story! To all servers, here is a "tip": tips are something you work for and earn, it is not OWED to you so don't expect it! We got ignored, never got our water and only had one refill of tea...ridiculous! And the cashie had the nerve to ask where the tip was! I should have told her it was in our pockets! Service is important too!

Sherman said...

Why this is still in business totally escapes me.

Ronald Lee "Eat Marketing" said...

I've actually found a few good Japanese AYCE in Vancouver recently... for example, Kanada at Hemlock and West Broadway for one. Tomokatzu on Broadway is hit and miss, but when it hits, its good.

This place...this location has always been a miss...in a mall...

Thanks for sharing your experience.