"Late-nite AYCE sushi". Wow, that is a phrase we haven't used in awhile. As much as we've been spoiled by some pretty good Japanese food in the past few years, there are times we go back to the well. Admittedly, in years past (a long time ago), we would do AYCE sushi regularly. We understood the risks - mediocre food, but lots of it! So with that in mind, we headed to Kaneda (former Vancouver location of Fish on Rice) after Friday night hockey.
As we arrived, we were impressed at the warm greeting and relatively attentive service throughout our meal. But then again, the place wasn't exactly full... So the first item to arrive was the Oyster Motoyaki which only contained little bits of oyster. We found the motoyaki sauce was far too salty which really made it unappealing to eat. On the other hand, the Beef Short Ribs were pretty good being nicely charred and tender. Much like the motoyaki, there was far too much salt. Fortunately, the Teriyaki Beef and Chicken were not oversauced. They were pretty typical though with thinly shaved beef and deboned chicken thigh. Onto some fried items, the Vegetable Tempura was alright, but the batter was a touch thick. As with most AYCE versions of Agedashi Tofu, this one arrived more bare than a Superstore shelf. It was okay though being crispy and light with a particularly sweeter sauce.
Moving onto the Maki Sushi, the rolls appeared okay, but the rice was not that good. It was dry, but worst of all, it tasted salty. I'm not sure if they actually put salt into it, but it sure tasted like it. Then again, this was AYCE, so great sushi rice was not expected. Other than the rice issue, I found the fish to be somewhat underwhelming. This was further exemplified with the Sashimi. The salmon wasn't bad per se, but the tuna was subpar being really mushy (in not a good way). And to further drive the point home, the tuna atop the Nigiri was just plain wrong. The poorly presented tuna combined with its texture, it looked unappetizing. And really, with the dry rice, it wasn't very good. On the bright side, the salmon nigiri was a bit better. Suffice to say, the Sushi Cones were average as well. Moving away from sushi, I really needed to comment on the Sunomono Salad. There wasn't anything wrong with it, unless you had bad luck. We all ordered one, but Gordo's was flavourless with soggy noodles. Consistency issues anyone?
Going full tilt into the fried stuff, we had the Fried Smelt which was pretty good despite the use of too much batter. The fish was not overcooked and of course was full of eggs. The batter was crunchy and properly seasoned without being greasy. On the flipside, the Chicken Karaage was overcooked being dry and too crunchy. It was also underseasoned where the meat had really no flavour at all. The same could be said about the Tonkatsu as it was also overcooked and lacking any taste. Even the sauce on top didn't help matters. But worst of the fried items must've been the Croquette as it was dense, floury and too sweet. It was crispy on the outside though. The Ika Karaage was a bit greasy, yet still crispy and only slightly chewy. Although the Gyozas were nicely browned, they were not crispy at all. However, they were again "alright". Frankly, that is all we could come up with in general. We had some other items, but they were not inspiring enough for me to write about. No wonder we don't really do Japanese AYCE anymore...
- Food comes out fast
- Service is pretty good
- There is sashimi for late night and lunch menus
- Food is not good