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.