Gem Sushi is a small neighborhood Japanese restaurant.
I wanted this place to be good. I'm at the Como Lake Village all the time and thought it would be great to be able to stop in for sushi.
Place has average looks and we were seated promptly. We were brought water and green tea. So far so good. Then we ordered and the food came. The rolls were all those big ones that are11/2 to 2" across - very difficult to eat. Even the California roll. The California roll itself was rather fishy - it had surimi mix and a whole piece of surimi in it. The yam tempura roll was super mushy and the dynamite roll was not very good - the batter on the prawn was cold, dry and odd tasting like it was old or something. The miso soup was very good.
The food was cheap, but you get what you pay for.
We were in the neighbourhood on a Saturday afternoon and were planning to give the restaurant next door a try. As sushi buffs, we saw the sushi sign and had to give it a try.
We were cheerily greeted by the server and quickly seated. The place is small, but has about 8 tables that seat 2-4.
The restaurant was clean, but nothing was particularly interesting about the ambiance. Just the run of the mill Chinese run Japanese restaurant. The place was not packed, but reasonably busy for a Saturday afternoon.
We looked over the menu and ended up ordering a couple combos to try. One combo E (no. 1 roll, 2 salmon nigiri, 2 tuna nigiri, 2 ebi nigiri) and one combo G (california roll, dynamite roll, Tuna maki). Both came with miso soup.
The miso soup was nice and hot and tasted great. The rolls arrived quickly and were well rolled (tight enough they didn't fall apart when eating). The california roll was pretty generic, nothing special. The dynamite roll was a little different, with green leaf lettuce, 2 tempura prawns and some sweet soya sauce. The No. 1 roll was 2 tempura prawns and cream cheese which was interesting. The tempura in both those rolls was mediocre as the battery was a bit on the hard side and not light and crispy. The salmon nigiri was reasonably fresh, but nothing special. The tuna nigiri was not as fresh though, and was a little on the slimy side (i.e. been out a bit too long). The ebi nigiri was terrible as the shrimp was mushy and tasteless meaning it was definitely not fresh.
The service was attentive and polite. The servers English was quite good, but we did get better responses when speaking in Mandarin.
Price wise, the food is quite cheap for what you get. The total bill including tips and tax for 2 combos was under $20 for the 2 of us.
Overall a mediocre experience. Good service, lower than average prices, but not so fresh food. We may give them a second chance next time we're in the area to see if we caught them on an off day.
Well...what can you say. It is a small fast food place. The food is mediocre and the portions have shrunk over time. We went after lunch to ensure that it was not busy. The staff decided to have their lunch break a few tables away. They were very loud and it became an annoyance. Besides that, one word describes Gem...mediocre. Not back soon.