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2.5
  • Food2
  • Service2.5
  • Value2
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews32

Kawawa Japanese Restaurant

4700 Kingsway, #E15
Burnaby, BC V5H4M1
Tel: (604) 435-8577
Neighbourhood: Metrotown
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Service: Takeout
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Buffet
  • Hours: Mon - Sat: 11:30AM - 11PM, Sun: 11:30AM - 9PM
  • Kawawa is located in Metrotown Mall and offers a menu of Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner including an all you can eat option. It is the sister restaurant to the ramen house of the same name next door.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 32 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
The Worst AYCE Yet
By cherrybomb143 of Surrey, bc (218 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 10:38pm [Dine in]

I admit it. I was checking on this restaurant every time I was in Metrotown to see whether it had opened yet. With such a convenient location, I was really hoping it would be better than its predecessor. Sadly, the food quality was so low (even for AYCE) there's no way I'd go back. Here's why:

-Hokkaigai still had sand in it
-Yakitori was raw in the middle pieces
-Short ribs were still bloody around the bone area
-Hot foods were barely warm at best
-Edamame was frozen. Literally.
-All tempura (ebi and veggie) was mush.. like it was frozen and heated in the oven, since it was cold and there was not even a drop of oil on it at all?
-BBQ Corn was basted with reused oil from the deep fryer as we can taste the gyoza, meat and whatever other fried food that was in the oil
-Beef sashimi sliced rather thickly, and too chewy, no sauce

It may not sound believable that almost all of the items on the menu were bad (only good dishes was the teriyaki chicken and salmon sashimi), but I draw the line at food safety as a good indication.

Service and ambiance was fairly good as drinks were refilled on time and the restaurant is newly renovated. It's a shame the food can't even be at par.

Will never recommend.

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Not really that great
By eating good food of Vancouver (130 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 11:58pm [Dine in]

A few of my friends and I went to the movies at Tinsel Town, but for some reason decided to come to Metro Town after the movie. We came and hung around the mall and were trying to decide what to eat. We finally decided on this place.

We were seated immediately (no problem) another friend came to the restaurant to join us. I was thinking of doing AYCE, but most actually didn't want to do AYCE, so I was ok with A La Carte. Anyways, for my meal, I ordered a dynamite roll and two California rolls. I had asked the waitress to bring some mayonnaise. I had to flag her and a couple other waitresses in order to get my mayonnaise (and it came in a bowl with minimal amount (are you serious?) again, I had to flag down a couple of waitresses to get mayonnaise.

Anyhow, the rest of the food wasn't really all that great , I mean it was barely passable, but can't say that I really liked it all that much. Another friend of mine was complaining about something, but I wasn't paying much attention to that.

I don't really see myself coming back here anytime soon

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Not the best or the worst...
By vancouverpiggie of burnaby (54 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 8:28pm [Dine in]

I think this place is owned by aji taro, the restaurant in richmond. anyways i'll split the review into two sections - normal and all you can eat menu

the normal menu items look like your average japanese restaurant variety - made by non-japanese chefs

overall, the normal menu items felt like they were made fresh, with nice big portions. the freshness of the ingredients are about 80%.

nothing much can be said about the normal menu, except that taste-wise, it was mediocre nothing incredible.

for the normal menu, we ordered the kimchi teriyaki beef roll, soft-shell crab, seaweed salad, teriyaki chicken don and spicy agedashi tofu for lunch.

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now onto the ayce stuff...

#1 - not fresh

most of the stuff are pre-made and heated by microwaves or ovens.

the cold foods such as the sunomonos are taken out of the refrigerators so therefore they are also pre-made...which makes the vermicelli hard and brittle.

#2 - poor quality of cooking

the salmon head was burnt and the chicken teriyaki full of fatty skin. the sushi's fall apart and the raw tuna and salmon are not fresh

one upside to the cooking is that this place is not as salty as most of the other ayce places. the sauces are not salty or smothering. thumbs up for this part.

#3 - for $12 lunch ayce, i thought the only thing that was worthwhile was the fresh fruit as they were the freshest of them all - freshly cut oranges.

this ayce is not something i wouldn't return to...i would come again perhaps for a late night meal with friends after a movie or something where i am not in my very critical state of commenting and observing.

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Bad japanese food.
By pc7999 of Burnaby (48 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 12:46pm [Dine in]

Had dinner there the other night. Used to go to the old restaurant that was in there. Walked in and was asked if wanted regular menu or all you can eat. Opted for the regular menu. Service was friendly and tea came pretty quickly. Ordered chicken teriyaki and some rolls.

Chicken teriyaki doesn't have enough sauce on it therefor not much taste to it. Just plain old chicken. Had to put soya sauce on it to make my own chicken dish lol. Rolls were so so. This poor rating was given because it's just not acceptable for a store front restaurant to have worst food then what you can get in T&T or even the food court.

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Bad Service by one of the waitresses
By J.S. of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 11:00am [Dine in]

Bad service by one of the waitresses. Went here last night late night dinner with a friend. I ordered TUNA TATAKI sashimi. When I received it, they said I got Tuna Tataki SALAD. I said I didn't order that. The waitress ARGUED with me that that was what I said. The point is she didn't clearly repeated my order if she didn't understood me in the first place. She claims it is already been cooked. I said I didn't order it and I will not pay for something I didn't order and I said to just cancel it out. The waitress was not happy and talked to her manager (in Chinese, which she didn't realize that we can hear her and she called us "[email protected]#$% [email protected]#$%%". The manager came to our table and apologized for the confusion. After we left and went outside for smoke, she came downstairs as she was off and getting picked up, looked and stared at us and gave us the Finger! The thing is this wouldn't have happened if she just made it clear with me what I ordered before she put it in the system. At least she could've repeated my order first if she didn't understand... Overall I liked the food that I got (too bad for the tuna tataki though), but I would not recommend the service.

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Perfect for Metrotown Movie Date
By millar of New Westminster, Vancouver (77 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 1:26pm [Dine in]

I'm surprised at the previous poor reviews. Maybe things have improved or maybe we had a good night, but our food was fine. We ordered from the menu rather than the AYCE. All the food was good and service was attentive.

If you are going to a movie at Silvercity Metrotown and want to eat before the show this restaurant is perfect. It is one floor below the Theatres, just down from Winners. Service is fast so you can have dinner in 45 minutes - 1 hour. They also serve beer, wine and sake. The house Dragon sushi rolls are huge and come on a long platter, definately a meal. The menu is very extensive with all the tradiltional Japanese favourtes.

The restaurant is all booths, so that makes it a little more intimate for a mall restaurant and cuts down on the noise. Prices are reasonable.

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Disaster AYCE Sushi
By wwasn of Vancouver (27 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 11:51pm [Dine in]

I usually never go to for AYCE sushi, but that day was a group decision, so I had to sit through some suffering. I just can't believe how much business they get with the food they offer. I mean, do people not have taste buds?? Just because it's located in a mall, and you're shopping there doesn't mean you've to put yourself through bad food!

Food:

Having had bad experiences with AYCE places, after we checked off the order sheet, I quickly took a snap shot of the slip before giving it to the waiter. Long and behold, 3 things that we ordered didn't come, but 2 things that we didn't order came to our table. Do they just hope you'll forget what you've ordered??

The oyster motoyaki was served in a tin egg tart tray and the oyster was probably blanched and frozen in the freezer previously. It was dry and rubbery. The other cooked foods were lacking in flavour, most of them were just baked and drizzled with tons of sickly sweet teriyaki sauce. The deep fried foods were always cold, probably because they deep fry it before service and just put it in the oven to reheat it quickly before bringing it out to the table.

The nigiri sushis were too chewy, the rice was dry and not definitely not made by a skilled sushi chef. It was like a 5 year old grabbing tight to a fist of rice to shape the ball. Completely dense packed rice.

Service:
The waiters there all seem to be overworked. They don't greet you or smile. When food comes to the table, they just drop it at the edge and quickly runs off to the next table. I know it's not their fault, given the amount of customers, but the owner should have been more aware of the dining experience, not just about feeding people. We have to flag down multiple waiters through our meal, and can't really pinpoint who is responsible for our table.

Value:
For the AYCE, I say it's definitely not worth the value. Maybe if you ordered from the regular menu, then the food would have been better. Alas, I don't think I'll go back again given the service was so awkward.

Ambiance:
Given that they're such a busy restaurant, the noise level was really loud. There wasn't any special decor or interesting centre piece to the restaurant either. The dishes used to serve food were either plastic with peeling paint or chipped clay dishes. It just brings the entire ambiance down.

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Not much better than Taisho
By nyoung of Vancouver (22 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 9:11pm [Dine in]

We went here hoping things improved after replacing Taisho, but we were disappointed. AYCE is 10.95 weekdays, 12.95 weekends. We got AYCE since we thought it would be cheaper than ordering a la carte which was avg - expensive prices.

Food: Gross. Just not very good at all. Beef & Chicken teriyaki both extremely fatty. Seafood fried rice extremely dry. Gyozas (reg & deep fried) came with sauce on TOP instead of separate, both soggy. Takoyaki nothing like what you get at Night Market, just a regular frozen octopus ball deep fried. Chicken "karaage" was deep fried chicken wing that tasted awful! No idea you could screw up chicken wings. Yaki soba was mushy. And so on...

Service: Very quick, even though it was lunch time. However, their menu states there is ice cream (it's in Chinese) but all they had was fresh fruit - oranges.

Value: Poor value because the food isn't good.

Ambiance: Nicely renovated.

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Poor Selection, AYCE not really AYCE and poor value ruins Kawawa
By gyrobot of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 8:50pm [Dine in]

The restaurant used to belong to be Daimasu before Aji Taro Restaurant group acquired it several months ago and removed the signature conveyor belt sushi which it was famous for and with it came more as a tourist trap than as a legitimate Japanese restaurant. Between the Sui Sha Ya and Kawawa, both are pretty low on the list of Japanese restaurants. But then again most mall restaurants are below average.

The sushi at the restaurant is pretty limited in quality and selection, consisting of the usual Salmon, Tuna and Shrimp sushi and very simplistic rolls. The place simply does not provide a very high standard in regards to sushi. But the pricing must be considered as AYCE here costs about 13 bucks. That said, there is a order limit of two times. So you can order as much as you like but make sure you order a lot since once the two sections are gone, that's it for AYCE.

Overrall, the Sushi places across the street are much better in taste and value, if you want something after the movie. Kawawa Japanese may be an option but there are much better options out there

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The Waitress horror.
By VancouverFoodLover2 of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, June 29, 2012 - 9:59am [Dine in]

Do not eat here. My fiance and I went for all you can eat here, and the waitresses they dip their fingers into dirty dishes and food while cleaning, and without washing their hands I witnessed them dipping their fingers into my tempura sauce and dragging my noodles on the tables. I realize that all you can eat can become very busy however, I was once a sushi waitress as well, and I found it very disgusting and unsanitary that they handle the food that adults eat that way. I was so very offended and I am never going back here. I hope other people re-think their visit here if they are planning to eat there tonight.

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Greasy food, utterly uncaring service
By brat72 of Burnaby B.C (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 15, 2012 - 11:08am [Dine in]

We dealt with three staff people here last night (June 14, 2012) and they were all equally uninterested and uncaring. We had to ask repeatedly for water, then they only brought one glass to our table of three. They brought out a dish, put it on our table for a few minutes, then took it away because it was the "wrong one" (they didn't bother to ask if we had touched it yet, so luckily for the customers they brought it to instead, we hadn't.) The maki was ok, but the tempura was the soggiest and greasiest I've ever seen. We couldn't finish it even though we were all ravenous. The teriyaki chicken was fatty and the bean sprouts side dish, like the tempura, were drenched in oil. This was my second time eating here and I won't be back because they are consistently uninterested in their customers.

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Bad service, No quality food and Bad service again
By george08 of Burnaby BC, Canada (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 5:04pm [Dine in]

Me and my wife went to metro town to celebrate mom's day, we had planned to eat at a Japanese resto since she was craving for shrimp tempura. We have always been dining to Daimasu ( which is a very good place ) whenever we wanted japanese food but since we are already tired we opt to dine at Kawawa Japanese resto. and going to Kawawa was the worst restaurant we had eaten as far as i can remember.

We ordered Tempura Boat and Salmon teriyaki. Salmon teriyaki came out first and we have to wait for another 20 minutes for our second order to come.since we don't want to eat one at a time we waited for the next order to come out of the kitchen.it was not at all busy but the food came out so long. The food has no taste at all and the tempura seems like old.

Worst is that the server nor the manager didn't check us out after they delivered the food,never refill tea or water. NO SERVICE AT ALL.

On our check out our server was cutting orange wedges on the front of the house and didn't even thank us after we pay the bill. All she wants to know is if we had give tips on my visa. The host left the counter after she handed us the credit card machine and didn't bother to check if the payment was approved or not since she never came back to check.

NEVER EVER COME ON THIS PLACE, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

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Not as good
By mushyman64 of Langley City (6 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 1, 2011 - 7:34pm [Dine in]

I went for 1st time since it move wow what a let down you do not have as many choices as you used to at least at lunch I miss what u used to be able to get before I see why the other reports are true I think I try some other place in metrotown next time might not be a AYGE but it can not be any worse no maybe at dinner the more to pick I see

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Solid $20 All You Can Eat @ Metrotown
By stephan1316 of Vancouver, B. C. (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 2:46pm [Dine in]

For a $20 Japanese AYCE, Metrotown's Kawawa Restaurant is definitely a solid choice for lunch or dinner. The highlights from the menu are salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, and prawn tempura. The menu has a large variety unlike the "other" Japanese AYCE restaurant at Metrotown.

The ambiance gives a "Posh" feel (dim lighting and urban feeling) which is nice for dates or groups of friends.

The only downside is the service. The restaurant has employed enough servers, but sometimes they can be "occupied" or have other things to do. When you have their full attention, they are always respectful and helpful in serving food.

I find that smaller groups (4-6) tend to under-serve large orders, so I suggest start small and be reasonable with your orders - once ordered 36 pieces of salmon sashimi only to get 20.

All in all, this AYCE is a definite improvement from the "old" low standard restaurant before.

Definitely suggest this AYCE.

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Ramen Noodles or AYCE?
By super_kario of Burnaby and Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 4:28pm [Dine in]

My sister and I heard about this great Ramen place at Metropolis and decided to check it out...we walked in and saw all the sushi so we thought, "great, there's sushi and ramen!" but it wasn't til we sat down and asked our server that we found out the ramen is a separate section of the restaurant and has it's own entrance. A little confusing if you didn't look carefully and if you haven't been to Metropolis in a while. The renovations were great though and it had a very nice ambiance.

Now for the food...we were very disappointed. We've tried many AYCE places and this was the worst. We sat down at about 12:20pm, ordered and didn't receive our first dish until 1:00pm. This would be acceptable if it wasn't AYCE because it was lunch hour and there are a variety of orders. This was the first time I became full from waiting for the food to arrive. We put in a second order and the food slowly trickled in, but again, it was another good 20 minutes before the food arrived.

The food: Gyozas tasted like they were pre-made and microwaved...and it was warm to the touch; Agedashi Tofu has luke-warm and soggy and had a firm texture rather than a soft texture; the chicken in the chicken udon looked questionable - like it was boiled; the salmon and dynamite rolls were small but edible.

As for the menu, there was very little selection and you had to pay $3 more per person for Sashimi.

We asked for the bill at around 1:40pm and our order still wasn't completed. Again, I found this to be unacceptable especially when they state there is a time limit of 1.5 hours from the time you place your order.

If you want quality sushi and variety, I would highly recommend Tomokazu on Broadway and Kingsway Sushi on Boundary.

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Almost Satisfactory
By AYCE Connoisseur of South Vancouver, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 11:00pm [Dine in]

I was shrouded in utter disappointment with this "restaurant", if you can even call it that. The horrid service has forever scarred my mind.

The first time I went, I wasn't quite sure as to what to expect. Let me tell you, it was not, by any means, a pleasant experience. Even with RESERVATIONS, we had to wait a few minutes. When we finally got seated, it took a while for the waitress to give us an order form. Mind you, there were many waitresses. Then, we gave the waitress our order form and at the same time, she preposterously attempted to pour us some tea and ended up spilling it. Now of course, this next part is to be expected: even more disappointing. We all gave each other this look that said, "huh? What happened to our food." After some complaining, we finally got our food (notice how I already used the word finally twice). The food was decent. I'll give them that much. By the time that we filled in our next order form, we already knew what to expect, so there were no surprises when our food took an eternity to be served. I also wasn't pleased with the waitress' countenance. It was a "geez, what a drag" kind of look. When the bill came, we all gave each other that "what the heck" look. Because we made reservations, we were obligated to add in the tip. Service like that indubitably did not merit a tip of any amount. Tsk tsk.

The second time I went, my friend and I had to wait 10 minutes before we just decided to leave. When they were taking down our names, my friend and I had a facepalm moment. "Jason? How do you spell Jason?" We just decided to go to Sui Sha Ya on the other side of Metrotown. There were a lot more customers there and probably the same amount of waiters and waitresses. However, at Sui Sha Ya, we were seated immediately. Unfortunately, because of the upsetting experience at Kawawa, our appetite for sushi had already diminished, so we went for Vietnamese instead.

Overall, the service was the real sore thumb in this buffet experience. The food was average, as to be expected of an operating AYCE restaurant. The service in a way ruined the overall value. Although, most of my previous comments were of a negative nature, I would have to commend them for their effort on the ambiance. On the outside and the inside, I was quite impressed by the overall appearance of the restaurant. Though, I think instead of spending money on all those flat-screen televisions, it may be more advisable to hire more and/or better waiting staff.

This restaurant is like Russian roulette in a sense, except the odds are the opposite. You will most likely have a bad experience, as many of the other reviews have stated. On the other hand, you may walk out pleased. I've only been there twice, so who knows, their service may have improved.

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Worst ayce ever
By ShellyA of vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 4:43pm [Dine in]

Went there yesterday for some late night ayce and it was just a disaster. There were 2 girls that were sitting there at 8pm waiting til 830 (b/c that's when they would start taking names down), then we were the second group. By the time it was 830, 7 other groups showed up and pretty much put their names down before we (and the other 2 girls) were even able to talk to the hostess...who clearly knew who was waiting there for 30 mins before all the other people showed up. We get to our table and they threw us the order sheet and dirty dishes. After filling out our order sheet, we had to wave and speak super loud to get the waitress' attention. By the time the food came, nothing was hot, cooked but not hot, like it was sitting at the counter for 30 mins before they brought it out. Raw fish on the nigiri was far from fresh, half of our order of beef ribs and gyozas came, and at least 3 items we asked for did not come at all. So we ordered more food but waited about 30 mins before we even got the food....and of course it was cold by the time we got it. We asked for more napkins and water, the waitresses were full of attitude and did not care to serve us at all. When we were waiting to pay for the bill, the so-called manager and waitresses were all talking and throwing people's credit cards around, throwing the bills on the floor, very unprofessional. With service like this, I can't believe this guy was a manager. I probably would've enjoyed eating fastfood at the food court even though this was only $14 plus tax. Oh and we had a group of 5 and was forced to add 10% tips onto our bill....group of 5....really?!?! With such horrible service and food, I wouldn't have given them 10%. One last bit, don't even bother going to the bathroom, it's disgusting with toilet paper and paper towels everywhere, it makes you wonder how they sanitize themselves before serving you.

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The worst restaurant I've been to.
By MariaVe of Kits, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 4:11pm [Dine in]

I went yesterday with my friends, everyone was hungry but we waited until 8:30 for late night buffet. Just to start, it was messy, the person wouldn't take names even when it was already 8:30, when she finally started, it wasn't in an specific order as to who was there earlier. But Ok, we got our table, we asked for water and no one offered us tea. Our dishes were dirty and stained so we gave them to the waitress and she went away and got the dishes "washed" for us, same plates but wet!
We order the food and some of the things came pretty quickly, others... never made it to our table!
The seafood (oysters) was a very small portion, the sushi wasn't fresh (thanks God we didn't pay the 3 dollars extra for the sashimi), the gyozas were COLD (the two times they arrived, with around 20 min difference even though they were on the same order!). The only decent thing was the yakitori chicken. I got upset since they offer mango pudin in the menu, but once you get the little paper where you order what you want, they crossed it out! I complain with the waitress about it and from there and on, the all experience got even worse.
So well, we didn't have an option for dessert othern then fresh fruit, what we got... plates of oranges, that's it?, we order more (because the only good thing were indeed the oranges) and they told us they didn't have more, they were sold out of oranges...
Well, after waiting again for more oyster (for about another 20min) we decided it was time to leave. Believing nothing else could go wrong, they overcharge us on the bill. We were 5 and they were charging almost a dollar extra each plus tax plus 10% tip. We let the waitress know, and she came back with the right amount (noooooo way we would leave them an extra dollar with such a bad dinner). After waiting for a while to paid with my debit card, we finally paid and I asked to speak with the manager (two of them were some sort of managers) and I let them know what an awful experience we had and that it should be something to take into account, I specially told him about our COLD food *the recently "deep fried" one* and well... he really didn't care anyways.
So my advice, no matter how hungry you are, those will be the worst 14 bucks spent in your life. DON'T go!

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I would NOT recommend this place.
By fatboy001 of Surrey (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 25, 2009 - 11:39pm [Dine in]

I thought that it would been a good idea to come here, since it was just newly opened and the restaurant itself look nice and modern.
My friend and I, got to our table and sat down. We were not given tea or water. We had to ask a waitress that walked by. We asked her for some water, she looked at us said ok and walked away. I see her pour the water in two glasses and walked away. After 5 minutes, we were wondering where our water was and we saw the same girl that we asked running around doing some other things. After 10 minutes, the girl sees me staring at her and she quickly waddles her way to get us the water. We told her that we wanted to order and tells us that she doesn't take orders. UHHH. we've been sitting here for 10 minutes and NO ONE has asked us if we wanted to order.

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Highly NOT Recommended!
By K8tie of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 5:48pm [Dine in]

Since this is a restaurant owned by the same people as Aji Toro, my boyfriend & I thought it would be about the same. Boy were we wrong! We went at about 4:45 in the afternoon and were seated immediately. There were several other tables but the restaurant was not too busy. Our server came but she only took my drink order, totally ignoring my boyfriend. We had to flag her down so my boyfriend could order his drink. We ordered our food at around 5:00; nothing unusual or elaborate, just the typical stuff like salmon and tuna sashimi, chopped scallop cone, and california roll. My boyfriend's order started arriving at about 5:15 and by the time 5:30 rolled around, all his stuff had arrived and he was pretty much done eating. All the while, my order (the sashimi & sushi combo) still hasn't shown up. At about 5:35, my food FINALLY arrived and I was not impressed to say the least. My boyfriend and I could see that the chefs kept putting up food on the bar but none of the servers picked them up as they walked by. Not only had the raw fish on my combo had gotten warm from sitting on the bar for so long, I also found a large bone in my sashimi! Plus, the entire time that we were there, not one of the servers had come up and asked how we were doing. With this type of service and food, we would definitely not be coming back to this place.

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