Have I hit a new low? Resorting to having not only AYCE Japanese; but AYCE Japanese at Sui Sha Ya! Not sure if you can even call it Japanese food to tell you the truth. There was one point in time that Sui Sha Ya was one of the few places that offered AYCE "Japanese" food. Thus, I have to admit, I did do the occasional meal there during my University days. With those days way in the rear view mirror, I have graduated to much more quality Japanese food. Besides, I can't get my money's worth at an AYCE anymore.
Remember how I mentioned that I'd rather eat at Sui Sha Ya during the nightmare otherwise known as Kawawa Japanese? Well, since we were at Metrotown getting Santa photos for the kiddies, this was probably the best time to test the that theory. Let's just call this meal a research project. A research project with little to no expectations since my past experiences have not been very favourable. So with camera in one hand and barf bag in the other, I ventured where no foodie would normally go. In fact, I should not consider myself a foodie at all for eating at Sui Sha Ya in general. Please forgive me...
I'm happy to report that the whole experience started off on the right foot since they only charged both of my kids only $3.00 each. Not bad considering that BC Sushi wanted $16.00 for a 4-year old! All Sui Sha Ya locations went through extensive renovations a few years back and they're fairly clean and modern. In all honestly, I only wished that they updated their food too (but I'm getting ahead of myself here). So we checked off quite a few items and prepared to wait. Within 2 minutes, we got practically all of the food we ordered. Instead of Fists of Fury, it was Food of Fury as the plates started to crowd our small table. I couldn't even keep up with the picture taking. This is particularly disturbing since sushi and fried food should not come out that fast. Conclusion - most of the food is sitting around ready to be served. If it isn't bad enough to butcher Japanese food, they need to make sure they serve it at the wrong temperature as well.
We tried the roll sushi first. There were 2 pieces each of Futomaki, Chopped Scallop and Unagi. Looking much like the sushi you'd find on a cruise ship buffet, the rolls looked practically alike except for the filling. Viv made a face immediately after one bite. "It's cold and hard!" Uh... what? Oh right, the sushi (mind was in the gutter for a minute)... That's right folks, what we have here is a case of the pre-rolled sushi. Thus, the poorly prepared rice was not only mushy; it was cold and mushy. On the subject of mushy, the Tuna Sashimi was mushy and quite cold. The Salmon Sashimi was actually decent tasting. However, instead of the nice shiny flesh of fresh fish; what we got was more like a matte finish. I can only hypothesize why that is. Left out too long that it began to dry out?
Once again, another WTF moment was when we looked at the Oyster Motoyaki. The sauce was prepared so poorly that it completely separated. Thus, the oyster sat in a pool of oil among clumps of mayo. Resembling a scene from 'There's Something About Mary", this is probably one of the most unappetizing attempts at motoyaki I've ever seen. Consisting of cold mushy sushi rice with little vinegar taste, the Nigiri Sushi was terrible. Add insult to injury, the slices of Tai and Tuna were super thin. Served stone cold and looking like it had been violated in ways it shouldn't have been, the Gyoza were horrible. Imagine someone taking veggies and grinding them into a paste, much like those infomercials on food processors, sticking it into a dumpling wrapper and calling it gyoza. I'd rather eat a Balut than these gyozas. At least the Balut has texture (well, from the beak). Wait, scratch that, after seeing Chris eat it, I'm not so sure.
OMFG, the House Ramen was the most feeble attempt I've ever seen. With noodles resembling Chinese "Haw Gee Mein", this was no more a ramen than Tiger is faithful. The broth was even more hilarious, it was flavourless except for some spiciness. Nissan instant ramen noodles have better soup base than this one. The "Char Sui" was pretty much Chinese char sui without the food colouring. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, after all the restaurant is Chinese operated. Incredibly, the Chicken Karaage was decent. It was actually hot, crispy and well-seasoned. We were probably lucky where the kitchen was preparing a large batch at that time. However, how hard is it to fry chicken wings? On the other hand, I'm not even sure why they bothered to call what we had "Beef Teriyaki". To me, it looked and tasted more like Jimmy's Beef Jerky. Extremely thin, marinated with some salty sauce and overcooked, it was a damn fine beef jerky on a bed of sprouts. So I guess we shouldn't have been surprised that the Tempura was lukewarm. Hey, it's a step up from stone cold; but again I'm really dumb-downing my expectations here! The batter was actually quite light; so it wasn't horrible. I didn't mind eating it. We also didn't mind eating the Chicken Teriyaki. It wasn't half bad. The actual chicken itself was juicy and tender and it was relatively hot. It's a shame that it was drenched in too much sweet teriyaki sauce. Chalk this up to being a Chinese rendition of teriyaki chicken.
With great anticipation, we dug into the Tonkatsu. Why? Well, at Kawawa, it was more like "Ton-Can't-Chew", so we were not expecting too much. You know what? It wasn't half bad. No joke! It was tender inside and crispy outside. Too bad the tonkatsu sauce was a bit bland. But at least we could chew it. That is always a plus. As you can see, my expectations were quite basic here. We finally got dessert in the form of oranges and gelatin. The oranges were fantastic! The best part of the meal really. That says it all.
- Decent pricing
- Food comes out quick (not really a good thing either)
- Well, most of the food is awful
- Too many pre-made items
- This is authentic as products from the Richmond Night Market