Like many, there was a time that I would dine on AYCE Japanese as much as I could stomach. Hey, my appetite was large and AYCE did the trick, despite the questionable quality of the food. Fast-forward to the present and my visits to AYCE Japanese have been as frequent as proper driving etiquette in Vancouver. But for some reason or another, while we were strolling around Granville Island one afternoon, I decided that we should go reminisce at the nearby Tomokazu.
Okay, I realize that AYCE means you can order as much as you want as long as you do not violate the time restriction and/or waste food. However, those were some of the smallest slices of Sashimi I've ever seen. Barely large enough to chew, it was as if there was a competition among the sushi chefs as to who could slice the smallest pieces. Good size for my daughter, but for textural purposes, it didn't work. At the very least, the fish was acceptable. Moving onto the Nigiri, they were decently constructed where each piece stayed intact without being overly tight. But the rice was a little dry and underseasoned.
The Ebi Tempura was a little disappointing as the batter was laid on real thick and didn't fully crisp up all the way through. Hence, beyond the somewhat crispy exterior, it got doughy and wet. Inside, the ebi was texturally too soft. It was neither buttery nor meaty. Although somewhat chewy, the Grilled Beef Short Ribs were not bad. They were tenderized enough where the meat was somewhat buttery while still maintaining a natural chew. By the same token, the ribs were over-marinaded where they were sweet like candy. In reality, that only hid the fact they were quite salty as well.
Onto a random array of dishes, the next picture represents the Deep Fried Gyoza, Chicken Karaage, Oyster Motoyaki and Tonkatsu. Of the 4, we thought the tonkatsu was pretty decent with a crispy panko coating and moist pork inside. The karaage was okay as well exhibiting similar qualities. We didn't like the "gyoza" as they were more like crisps. The next 2 dishes were the Chicken Teriyaki and New York Steak. Completely crunchy and rendered, the skin gave way to succulent chicken meat. However, it was rather greasy. Tough and dry, the New York steak was nothing like its namesake.
Okay, there are not a whole lot of things I have come across and find it hard to stomach. Well, you're looking at 2 of them on the same plate in the Tuna and Beef Tataki. Even thought the tuna was cut into little itty bitty pieces, it was super dense and bland. The slices of beef were worse as I could barely chew through them. Even the sauce underneath was weak. We all know that Raw Oysters are banned at the moment, but when I had the ones at Tomokazu, they were actually okay. They were not very sweet, but at the very least, they were fresh. On the right, the Salmon Kama was fairly overcooked being dry and flavourless. This pretty much summed up our return visit here where the food was "meh" and sometimes poor. There were other items that we had that I didn't even have the motivation to blog about.
- Lot of choice
- Fairly spacious seating
- Food quality has gone downhill
- Service was okay, but rather absent