Sherman's Food Adventures: Kawawa Japanese

Kawawa Japanese

In general, I try to be pretty fair and reasonable when I share my thoughts about my dining experiences.  So if many of my posts seem rather wishy-washy and/or too "kind", it is intentional.  Restaurants, much like any other business, is there to make a profit to pay its employees and if it is family-owned, to put bread on the table.  Hence, I do not believe in completely tearing a restaurant apart unless it is truly warranted.  One of my earliest experiences that led to such a tirade was Kawawa Japanese.  The all-u-can-eat there was so darn awful, we could barely get it down.  Around 2 years ago, I did a return visit but decided not to blog about it (since it was only marginally better).  Now with a 3rd visit, it is only fair to report if anything has changed since my nightmarish meal 7 years ago.

One thing that was completely the same as in all 3 visits was that the food came out extraordinarily fast.  That was not a good sign as most, if not, all of the items were not served hot.  Of course the Ebi Sunomono was supposed to be cold and it was okay being a little on the sweeter side.  We weren't really enjoying the Gyoza as they were lukewarm while sporting nary a sear.  Hence, the dumpling skin was soft and somewhat chewy in spots.  Yep, even the Yam Tempura was not served hot.  Naturally, it was marginally crispy while being rather dense due to the temperature.  Next set of dishes were not any better with the Fried Squid being stone cold and not crispy.  On the other hand, the Tonkatsu was acceptable with a noted crunch while the meat wasn't that dry.  Interestingly and ironically (well, not really as it is not an authentic Japanese restaurant anyways), the Lemon Chicken was the best thing so far being crunchy and succulent (but still not hot).

Okay, so it was pretty obvious that they weren't going to serve us anything made-to-order (thus stuff was cold), except for the sushi (as least we hoped so).  Despite being relatively thin, the Nigiri at least appeared to be decent.  Well, in terms of the fish quality, it was average (that is an achievement really!).  The fact that the rice was rather dry and bland wasn't a surprise though.  Onto a selection of maki rolls, we had the California, Dynamite, House, Salmon and BC Rolls.  Okay, as evidenced in the picture, they weren't the prettiest things, but to be honest, our expectations were reasonable considering the venue and that it was all-you-can-eat.  So overlooking the same crappy rice, the rolls were actually serviceable.  They could've overloaded them with excess rice, but they didn't, so I'll give them kudos for that at least.

Fortunately for us, the Chicken Karaage was decently warm so the exterior was crunchy.  However, they must've fried them too long and/or didn't marinate them properly as the meat inside was dry and rather unappealing.  Furthermore, they were not very flavourful either.  Also lukewarm, the Beef and Chicken Teriyaki were typical to AYCE meals.  The thinly sliced beef was tender enough while not doused in too much sweet sauce.  The chicken wasn't dry per se, but it was far from succulent. It was fairly bland and we actually could've used more sauce in this case.  Now there were a few more items we had tried, but I won't even bother talking about them.  Although this experience was better than my first visit, it appears nothing drastic has changed.  That means the AYCE menu still sucks at Kawawa due to things not being served hot and also the general lack of finesse.  Maybe their regular menu is better?

The Good:
- I guess conveniently located in the mall
- Service was actually acceptable

The Bad:
- Hot food not served hot
- Sub par in general     


Hungry said...

Fun fact: "kawawa" in Filipino (Tagalog) means "pity"

Raymond Zeng said...

Oh Sherman, why would you subject yourself to the AYCE at Kawawa not once, twice, but three times??

Sherman Chan said...

@Raymond Well, not really what we planned on doing. It was a matter of circumstance. But really, now I can definitively say that it sucks due to repeated crappiness...

Raymond Zeng said...

Should you ever have to dine at Kawawa again, perhaps give their non-AYCE menu a try. I wouldn't say that it's stellar, but it's significantly less crappy than the AYCE. (Personally, I would just walk over to Sekai Udon Bar, which is many leagues better.)