Sushi House used to be an old trusted favorite of mine. It isn't highend, but the food was always fresh and dependable. I've been there several dozen times over the years and have introduced it to many a friend.
Today I went there again for lunch and it was a disaster. I should have known when I walked through the door and was not greeted in Japanese, or the moment I realized everyone was speaking Mandarin behind the counter. But I didn't. I ordered and was sorely disappointed.
I am not prejudice. I am Chinese myself, but having lived in Japan and having known sushi chefs - this is not just a slab of raw fish on rice - sushi takes trainning and knowledge (not to mention fastidious cleanliness). To be fair, I believe the original owner was not Japanese either. She is Korean, but she ran a tight ship and her chefs were obviously well trainned.
My experience was highly unsatisfactory for the following reasons:
1) Although there were only two people and I was the first to arrive, I didn't get my food until about 20 minutes after I ordered - and they were't fancy rolls.
2) The rice/vinegar ratio was off.
3) There was something amiss with the texture of the rolls - something that was a wrong level of chewiness of the roe and the seaweed. I'm guessing it was a poor quality issue
4) The flavours were off. The menu has not changed and I imagine the new staff were trainned, but it just didn't match up with previous standards.
Anyone who is familiar with this restaurant will know the moment they see that there is no line-up that something has changed. I left in the middle of the lunch hour and their tables weren't even filled yet - they used to have line-ups out the door. It is the end of an era. Let's just hope the newer Richmond branch is doing alright.