Sherman's Food Adventures: Yokohama


Let's see, all-u-can-eat Japanese buffet in Surrey... Only one I've seen up until now is Nordel Sushi. AAAAAHHHH!!!! Run!!!! I'd rather go to Sui Sha Ya instead of subjecting myself to substandard Japanese food at ridiculous prices. Now, I'm not a great connoisseur of AYCE, it's just that sometimes I'm curious, with a group or just plain stupid (see Kawawa). Today, it was out of pure curiosity. I had passed by Yokohama on my way to Golden Pizza and Sandwich and noticed the AYCE banner. For $12.95, I thought it was a pretty reasonable price for AYCE, especially out here in Surrey. So I convinced Sexi Mexi to join me on this food adventure into the heart of Whalley.

Normally, I like to be seated in a corner or near a window. This time, we were seated right in front of the sushi bar. There goes the chance at being discreet about my picture-taking! I'm very glad I had a dining partner, it always looks less creepy that way. Looking over the menu, the selection for the lunch AYCE seemed to be quite decent. Not only did it contain the usual dishes, there was sashimi (albeit with a limit). I decided to max out the limit not knowing that Sexi Mexi was not going to eat any. Doh! Well, she doesn't really like sashimi, so I ate it all. It was actually not bad. Despite the salmon being cut in an odd manner, it was fresh. Not exactly bad, I really didn't care for the tuna, it as just "alright" (being not too mushy).

We also got one each of the California Roll and Yam Roll. Again, not offensive while not being that inspiring as well. I guess I'm just a bit biased towards these rolls in general. I found the rice actually pretty decent with a bit of chewiness. However, I didn't detect much vinegar taste. The Vegetable Tempura was pretty decent with a light batter and served somewhat hot. You'll understand why I emphasize the temperature later... When it first arrived, the Tonkatsu looked a bit odd and frankly, quite scary. The colour of the sauce appeared more like caramel than anything. This could've passed as a dessert at the PNE. However, it tasted much more savory than it looked. Despite fried up nicely, the tonkatsu itself was served lukewarm. The same could be said about both the Beef and Chicken Teriyaki. In terms of taste and texture, they were pretty average. Nothing I would particularly order on its own; but for AYCE, it's acceptable. Again, it's a shame they were not very hot either. I know they're trying to be efficient and all; yet serving cold food is not very appetizing.

Sorry for sounding like a broken record; but the Agedashi Tofu was not really hot as well. If it were hot, I'm sure it would have been a whole lot better since the tofu itself was quite good. On the flip side, the Chicken Karaage came out piping hot. Too bad they fried it until it resembled Magda from There's Something About Mary. Dark, dry and hard, these wings were a complete disaster. It could give "Ton-
Can't-Chew" a run for its money. It's a bit ironic that the one hot item turned out to be the worst.

Well, my second Surrey Japanese AYCE adventure was not really all that good. However, it was better than Nordel Sushi (but that is not saying a whole lot). I guess for the price and the location, it fills a void. If the food was served hot, it might've made a difference; however, the food was not really that good, even for AYCE.

The Good:
- Price is pretty decent for the selection you get (especially out in Surrey)
- Service is friendly
- Food comes out lightning quick (well, not really good in this case)

The Bad:
- Most of the food is pre-made and cold
- Overall food execution is average at best

Yokohama on Urbanspoon


trisha said...

i noticed a police car parked out front in the first picture. funny thing about cops... they usually signal good coffee and donuts but TERRIBLE japanese food. i have no idea why this is. the lukewarm things makes me crazy too... tempura and agadashi tofu just don't taste right unless they're hot!

Anson said...

I'll never come out to Surrey, but was there actually Japanese people behind the sushi counter?

Sherman Chan said...

Haha, yah, I was thinking the same thing when exiting the restaurant! Yup, nothing worse than cold fried food. Unacceptable.

Anson, it appeared to be Japanese; but honestly, I'm not sure. Yah, Surrey is not exactly the hotbed of Japanese food...

Anonymous said...

This is a Korean owned place. I actually like the wings, I do find they deep fry it longer than other places do though, not sure why. The miso soup is decent, as is the sunomono and green salad. Avoid the tuna sashimi sometimes its not fresh, the salmon is decent. They are mean mean people and will not substitute all salmon sashimi for the tuna slices. For next time order a half order of california roll it just tastes better. I like their salmon and tuna maki rolls. Their nigiri slices sometimes offer very tiny slices of fish depends on who the sushi chef is I guess. At least their sushi is freshly prepared and not pre-made. Their oyako don is good but has far too much rice. The chicken terriyaki is very much hit and miss sometimes they will serve dry leftover chicken terriyaki, other times it will be freshly prepared. It is AYCE but like you I do wish they'd serve food at the proper temperatures. This isn't the greatest AYCE Japanese food but for the area it's decent. The food here tends to be very salty as well. I see you tactfully avoided mentioning the service, it's not the greatest and they demands tips.

Chris said...

Cold and Fried just sound a bit odd together, I imagine the outside texture deteriorates pretty fast.

Once I went to a sushi joint with a friend who said 'oh yeah, I like sushi' only to realize that didn't mean everything was like a California roll. Then, like you, I ended up eating a large portion of sashimi. At least it was good.

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks for the info! Yes, you're pretty much bang on with the stuff I ate. Well, the service did it's job but nothing more than the basic.

Chris, yah, I guess we have to specify if it's sushi or sashimi! LOL

Anonymous said...

There is one more AYCE Japanese in Surrey (it also has a couple items Korean BBQ) at 152 & Fraser Hwy called Il Uk Jo. Be interesting to hear your review

Sherman Chan said...

Yup, I'm fully aware of Il Uk Jo. I have almost eaten there on 3 occasions but the rumors of bad service have kept me away so far. Someday I'll do it!

Anonymous said...

I've been to Yokohama twice now (never for AYCE)and I noticed that the servers are all speaking Japanese to each other. I was under the impression that this was a Korean owned place...??

-Doesn't Like Mushy Tuna

Sherman Chan said...

I'm not sure who runs the place. I just don't like the AYCE very much...

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