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renoirVictoriaSince October 28, 200911 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.2)
  • Food3.5 (3.3)
  • Service3.5 (3.4)
  • Value3 (3.2)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews Found
Sakura Sushi & Japanese Cafe1213 Quadra Street, Victoria
Authentic Japanese Meals at Good Prices
Submitted Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 11:31pm [Dine in]

This little unassuming Japanese cafe and grocery store next to Mkt. on Yates serves very good Japanese take-out and eat in meals at low prices. The food in general is better made than Fujiya, (which I would rate as solid, thus the "outstanding" rating) but the selection is smaller. This Japanese establishment has great rich miso soup, free tea, good sushi with well seasoned rice and several types of bentos. I like the curry rice, which is only around 7$. I find the flavor rich and tasty. I didn't care for the udon but everything else I've had there is very good and I often stop in to pick up some sushi from the cooler, or eat a inexpensive well made bento. It is hard to rate the ambiance, as it is part of a Japanese grocery store. The service is fine; polite and prompt.

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Kuma Noodle Japan1551 Cedar Hll Cross Road, #215, Victoria
Finally REAL RAMEN in Victoria!
Submitted Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 3:52pm [Dine in]

I know ramen. I travel to Japan frequently and eat the very best ramen Japan has to offer including くるり (Kururi Ramen) in Ichigaya which was named the best ramen in Tokyo in 2008. In Japan, ramen is very serious business, with food geeks on the prowl, web sites devoted just to ramen, long lines at the newly discovered spots, secret recipes, serious chefs and very serious diners who are willing to wait in the rain for hours just for a bowl. That said, the one thing that was missing from the food scene in Victoria was a REAL dedicated ramen Restaurant and I am over joyed that Kuma Noodle Japan is here as it saves me a trip to either Vancouver or Tokyo to satisfy my craving. Yes it is Real Traditional Japanese Ramen with noodles imported from Japan and a delicious complex broth that tastes like it has been simmering for hours, which I'm sure it has. Sorry disgruntled vegetarians...the meat used is the heart and soul of a traditional Japanese Ramen broth). The restaurant offers 4 kinds of ramen (if you are unfamiliar with ramen order the first one, the soya also known as "shoyu") all come topped with a half boiled egg, some thinly sliced pork (order the BBQ for more meat), and a few other traditional toppings. Prices start at around 7.50 which following Japanese tradition, includes the tax. The gyoza is a good deal at 6 for 3.50 and I usually share one with my husband. For some reason, the gyoza usually comes long after the ramen is served. There are other things on the limited menu as well such as curry rice, chahan (fried rice), and tonkatsu (breaded pork) which was good (but in this case, not the type you would find often in Japan). Like most ramen restaurants, it is small and simple, one orders and tips at the counter. It situated in a small mall around the corner from Fujiya, above the Purple Garden Restaurant and is closed Sundays. I eat here around once a week and hope after this review is posted that I don't end up waiting in a long line in the rain, but if I do, it'll be worth it.

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Closed
India Curry House506 Fort St, #102, Victoria
Finally a Good, Well Priced Indian Lunch Buffet
Submitted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 4:53pm [Dine in]

Forget the previous reviews. This place in now under new ownership and there wasn't a frozen pea is sight.
Obviously when my friend suggested this place for lunch, I was reluctant, but he assured me that it was really good now and that the awful reviews must be really old (they were) and that he thought it was now the best Indian food in town for the price. So I went with him for the 12$ lunch buffet, available daily until 2pm.

The buffet was not huge, consisting of 6 main dishes and a soup plus good rice and nan, but everything was well made and delicious. The buffet today offered dhal, chana masala, a delicious fish masala, a chicken curry, and a fresh eggplant dish and a vegetable and potato dish. There were no lamb or meat dishes which was fine with me and there was an appropriate degree of heat in the spicy dishes. The cream soup was really incredible, rich and buttery flavored. There was a small salad bar, but really it offered just cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and those killer little green peppers and there wasn't any desert offered other than one item which I passed on. I'm fine with not having a more elaborate salad and desert bar if it means keeping the price at 12$.

The cliental was mainly Indian, which I always take as a good sign of authentic cooking. The service was good with the waiter coming often to refill our glasses of water and I will definitely be back.

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White Heather Tea Room1885 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria
A Very Good Tea
Submitted Monday, November 8, 2010 - 8:48pm [Dine in]

I thought I would be the last person who would like a traditional English tea, as I'm not terribly fond of sandwiches, or pastries, but I love the White Heather nonetheless. Under new ownership with beginning tea prices now increased to 14.75, it is more of a culinary experience than a meal. It is the perfect afternoon with friends and I always go with at least one other person so we can order "The Big Muckle for 2" at 43.95. It comes on a 3 tiered platter that is visually arresting. I feel like a child in a candy store, gazing at the goodies, while sipping tea (the selection is excellent) and sharing conversation. Everything in the Big Muckle was excellent. I never could imagine a cucumber sandwich tasting like that! Their "baking" is well known, so I will not elaborate further other than to say the accolades are well deserved. Perhaps where they excel the most is in the service; friendly but professional. They describe everything in great detail and with enthusiasm. Even calling them for the reservation is a nice experience

The tea room is nothing special decor wise. A rather plain homely room with worn furniture on Oak Bay Avenue, but one hardly notices once the food arrives.

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Senzushi1619 Store Street, Victoria
Great Sushi !
Submitted Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 12:37am [Dine in]

Senzushi is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Victoria.

The restaurant looks both inside and out like it just landed from Japan, where I lived for over a decade. It is Japanese owned and run which is very important if you want really good, authentic Japanese cuisine. In Japan, with the exception of "Denny's" or Denny type restaurants" you do not mix different dishes in one restaurant. If you want really good tempura, you eat at a restaurant that does just tempura and nothing else. The same goes for ramen, in ramen only places, sushi in sushi only places ,etc. The Japanese understand that to do a certain dish really well, you must work on perfecting only that dish...sometimes for generations. Here, for the most part, one finds the All In One Japanese Restaurant which is unfortunate as there will always be some unevenness even in good Japanese restaurants like Senzushi.

So my list of Great, Very Good, Fair and Bad would be : GREAT sashimi and sushi prepared by their Japanese ita-mae (sushi chef) and his assistants; expertly sliced and presented, on a good quality sushi rice that is properly seasoned and the age-dashi tofu which has a particularly good broth. VERY GOOD: the tempura ( a good value when ordered as a dinner), the unagi, and the three large combination dinners which are also a good value for those with large appetites, and the sunomono salads. FAIR: any of the cooked fish. The portions are small and often over or under cooked. BAD: the tonkatsu (breaded pork) that was thin, tough and overcooked. The cooked white rice which accompanies many meals could be better. I believe it is of a lower grade than the sushi rice and is also sometimes on the dry side, as though it needed more soaking prior to cooking, or they lifted the lid too soon. The miso soup is also a little thin.

I have never ordered any of the noodle dishes because I know better than to think that one can eat good soba or ramen in any Japanese restaurant other than one dedicated exclusively to that dish. Vancouver has several dedicated ramen restaurants (Kintaro, Benkei, Motomachi, etc.) Why Victoria has 0 ramen restaurants with a Japanese student population this high is something of a mystery.

Despite some shortcomings on a few dishes, which I feel are caused by too large a menu (and the impossibility of doing all to an equally high standard ), Senzushi is far, far better than many of the so called Japanese restaurants in Victoria. It is also a fairly good value for the money and has good service. I usually order the chirashi sushi which is enormous, and filled with expertly cut, high quality fish and traditional Japanese toppings which are also well executed. The only drawback here, is that I wish they would offer a smaller size chirashi, as it is a bit too large for me to finish. Such a shame as I want to finish every last bite.

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Kissako Green Tea Cafe2027 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria
Almost as Good as a Trip to Japan
Submitted Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 7:31pm [Dine in]

My husband and I go to Japan nearly every year primarily to eat real Japanese food, as alas,the vast majority of "Japanese" restaurants in Victoria and in much of the NW are mediocre at best. I've concluded that the reason why they can stay in business at all is because the majority of diners simply don't know good Japanese from bad Japanese food, which is perfectly understandable if you have never lived there.

We had pretty much resigned ourselves to eating poor quality rice, and bentos from hell until our next trip back. Then we wandered into this tiny cafe on Oak Bay Ave and finally found what we didn't think existed here; authentic, beautifully made Japanese food.

The reason we didn't make this happy discovery earlier perhaps was because of its name. It doesn't claim to be a Japanese restaurant, but a green tea cafe and the limited menu includes non-Japanese items such as sandwiches and quiche that you order at the counter. True to its name. "Kissako Green Tea Cafe" offers several kinds of green tea, but most people expect free tea in Japanese restaurants and don't want to pay extra for it. I just asked for water.

My husband and I finally decided to give Kissako a try when we noticed a chicken bento for I believe 10.75 scrawled on the chalk board in front of the shop.
My husband was interested in that and I was more curious to try a couple of maki (rolled) sushi. We became hopeful almost at once when we entered and heard Japanese being spoken behind the counter (my husband is fluent in Japanese) as this was an excellent sign that the food would not be the pseudo Japanese cuisine found elsewhere.
And we were right. The minute his bento hit the table, we knew it was real just by how it looked; artistic for lack of a better word. A bento is a box of several compartments, each containing different food. The largest section contained the chicken, which consisted of small cubes of chicken and vegetables, in a light sauce. The other compartments contained some beautifully made Japanese "tapas" consisting of 2 slices of stuffed rolled egg omelette pinwheels (in Japan, much attention is paid to how well this type of omelette is executed) and a gyoza type dumpling, another compartment contained the rice, which interestingly was not white, but brown or "genmai" style rice which has become popular recently in Tokyo. I ordered 2 maki rolls and they were very good, primarily because the rice was of a higher quality than the norm, cooked perfectly, and seasoned just right. In real Japanese cuisine, it's all about rice done right!

The menu, including the sushi offerings are quite limited. This is a tiny green tea cafe not a full Japanese restaurant and it is not open in the evenings. Still, it is a very rare gem and I cannot wait to go back.

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Yoshi Sushi771 Vernon Ave., 601, Victoria
Terrible Pseudo Japanese Meal
Submitted Monday, October 4, 2010 - 12:09am [Dine in]

My husband and I dined here because we love sushi and Japanese food. We ordered very simple, easy to prepare dishes; the age dashi tofu for an appetizer, the medium sushi plate ( for my husband) and the small chirashi sushi for myself.

The age dashi tofu, which is a common tofu dish in Japanese restaurants, came with virtually no broth or garnish. Cubes of deep fried tofu were stacked high and very dry in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of what looked like an undiluted bottled noodle broth at the bottom. As a result, it was completely tasteless and dry.

My chirashi sushi wasn't any better. The texture of the rice was really off, like it had been either soaked too long causing the grains to break down, or cooked for too short a period of time and then reheated. It seemed both undercooked and overly wet and sticky at the same time. The seasoning of the sushi rice was equally off, tasting weak or watery, and the skimpy assortment of raw fish on top, looked like it had been hacked with a butter knife, with no thought to presentation. The non-fish toppings were the strangest I have ever seen on a chirashi sushi; a cooked chikuwa covered with a sweet brown sauce for instance. The sushi plate that my husband ordered for 18.95 , was very small in size and suffered from the same badly made and seasoned sushi rice and poorly cut fish.

We went away hungry and disappointed and we will never ever be back.

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Shine Cafe1548 Fort St, Victoria
Bland Bennys
Submitted Friday, February 19, 2010 - 1:17am [Dine in]

My florentine benny was very disappointing. I mean frozen, chopped spinach ? When I pay that much money, I would expect at least fresh spinach and preferably whole leaf, baby, spinach. Perhaps I would have found this acceptable if I were at a cheap breakfast type diner, but the prices here are really quite high for breakfast. I just kept over salting it because it tasted like nothing, as even the sauce was bland. The potatoes were far tastier, but it didn't make up for the tasteless benny made with mediocre ingredients. The service and ambiance were fine, but I won't be back.

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J & J Wonton Noodle House1012 Fort St., Victoria
Good Chinese and Not Much More
Submitted Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 12:41am [Dine in]

J &J has better than average Chinese food and I have eaten there several times. However there is no ambiance to speak of and the dining room looks like an old kitchen. Seating is cramped. The portions are smaller than most Chinese restaurants as well. They seem fairly popular nonetheless, so the quality of the food must be the draw.

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Shiki Sushi1113 Blanshard Street, Victoria
Not Authentic Japanese
Submitted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 6:03pm [Dine in]

This "Japanese" restaurant serves very peculiar Japanese food. . No Japanese would think of putting brown tepid gravy on white rice but that is how they served it to me in a tempura bento box and it was not the kind of sauce one would find in "curry rice". It was terrible and made the rice inedible. I have lived and worked in Tokyo for years and have eaten in Japanese restaurants throughout the world and this meal was hands down the strangest "Japanese" bento I have ever had in my life. The tempura was decent but I will not be back and this experience has made me far more careful about dining in so called Japanese restaurants in Victoria.

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Lully's Sandwich Bar732 Broughton Street, Victoria
Not Real Montreal Smoked Meat
Submitted Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 7:01pm [Dine in]

My husband and I, both Montreal natives, went to Lully's based on a newspaper review that said they served Montreal smoked meat sandwiches made with with real smoked meat from Schwartz's, the most famous smoke meat restaurant in Montreal and a place we know very well. The 9$ smoke meat sandwich we were served, well not actually served, as it was handed to us in a foil wrap, was not even close to a Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich, which left us dismayed and disappointed. It didn't look, taste or smell like any Montreal smoked meat sandwich we've ever had. It was just an average sandwich on the small side that didn't taste like anything particularly special and came with absolutely nothing; no fries, chips, cold slaw, or garnish. You don't even get a plate or glass of water. When I asked for water, I had to pay for bottled. It is really over priced at 9$ and to add insult to injury, there is a sign reminding you to tip generously! For what I don't know as there was not even a waiter/waitress.

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