*Restaurant is now closed*
Boy, we haven't done AYCE Japanese for the longest time. I guess it is for the best since it is generally not the best way to experience the cuisine. At the same time, it does serve a purpose and as long as expectations are reasonable, it can be okay. Well, the purpose this time was Kaiser Soze's birthday. After Sunday hockey, we decided to treat him for lunch. In this case, he could eat as much as he liked while our costs were controlled. LOL... We're cheap! The nearest one we could think of was Ji Sushi out on Broadway at Cambie. Located in the former Rasputin, Ji Sushi doesn't really have a "lunch" AYCE. Rather, it is referred to as "Happy Hour". For $11.95, the AYCE menu is pretty limited, yet okay considering everything.
Milhouse, JuJu and I arrived before Kaiser Soze and Beebs, but that didn't stop us from ordering food. Poor etiquette yes. 3 hungry men after hockey = no etiquette. Now things didn't get off to a great start. Something as simple as Miso Soup should be at the very least be decent. Not this one. It was cold. The Gomae was okay though. The spinach had a nice texture while the addition of sesame seeds was welcomed. The dreaded "sauce" was pretty sweet though. Again, something as simple as a Green Salad should be minimally edible. Well, the lettuce was fine but the significant pool of water at the bottom not only washed out the flavours, it just looked plain wrong. The Ebi Sunomono was a bit sweet, yet otherwise okay.
Moving onto the Beef Teriyaki, it was clumpy and dry. There wasn't too much sauce which didn't help things texturally, but at the very least, it wasn't too sweet nor salty. The Chicken Teriyaki was tender and fried crispy on the outside. Pretty typical AYCE version of the dish. Next up were the Chicken Katsu and Tonkatsu which seemingly looked the same and tasted like it had the same sauce (which didn't resemble Tonkatsu sauce in any way). Both were overcooked, yet very crunchy. On the topic of crunchy, the Chicken Karaage was crisp while juicy inside. They were well-seasoned too. As for the Gyoza, they were decent. The dumpling skin was not too thick and was fried up nicely. The meat was a bit loose though. The Fried "Scallops" (pollack), were good for what they were, yet the Fried Gyoza were essentially fried wontons without much filling.
The Nigiri, Cones and Maki Sushi were pretty average with bland rice (which had a decent texture though) and thinly cut fish. I guess the best description would be "passable". The Tempura was thickly battered and overcooked. Not sure why Gordo ordered the Beef Udon, but it was alright, but the soup was tasteless. Yet, at the end of the day, it was an AYCE Japanese lunch and we should not expect too much. At the same time, there are acceptable AYCEs and not-so-good AYCEs. This would fall into the latter.
- Service is okay
- Food is below-average