Manzo specializes in skillfully prepared authentic robata items. Great quality sashimi and other izakaya-style plates available as well in this quaint but nostalgic eatery. Sushi is generally not served at this establishment.
Dropped by the place late night. The place was almost full.
We were there for the skewers: chicken liver, beef short ribs, chicken skin, smelt, scallop, chicken cartilage and bacon asparagus. Quite disappoined actually. I would say half the items were deep-fried, instead of grilled.
For sashimi, we ordered wild sockeye / kampachi combo and salmon / tuna belly combo. Surprisingly, there were very fresh.
However, I was there for the robata, not sashimi, thus the "decent" food rating.
Ambiance and service were pretty good. Typical izakaya setup.
Return? Unlikely. I would rather drive 25 min to Zakkushi for robata on charcoal grill.
I didn't really have any expectations prior to going to Manzo. But after the meal I felt very satisfied. In many ways it depends on which dishes you order. The bottles of sake / nihonshu were a bit expensive. We ordered a small bottle which costed over 30 bucks! Good though, just like how I had it during my days in Japan :)
Overall, food was fresh and service was attentive. I'll certainly go back when there is enough money in the wallet.
I've been here many times. Not particularly for the food, but more to have a fun time with friends. It's generally quite busy, and gets quite loud due to all the drunk people.
Decor seems to have more of a traditional Japanese feel. Lots of Japanese art on the walls. It has kind of an upbeat, fast paced kind of feel to it.
Food generally is quite good. I've gotten a severe case of food poisoning once, but I still go back, but weary of the raw stuff now. Prices are still somewhat up there which is quite standard for most izakaya's it seems. Portion sizes are decent. Not huge, but decent. So if you're looking for a cheap quick fix of Japanese food....this is NOT your place. I'd say expect to spend about $25+/person to be content. Of course if you order the specialty items expect to pay like $40+/person.
Service is always hit or miss. The long term staff are great. They'll change your dishes, make sure you have enough tea, make sure you have enough booze, etc etc.
If you get a newbie, service can kind of suck. You'll have to ask for everything from chopsticks, to tea, even DISHES sometimes. They're never rude though.
They serve alcohol, and they're open until 2am on most nights. So if you're a bit of a night owl, live nearby then this might be a good place to hang out with friends.
I went there on a tuesday evening just past 6pm. I was maybe on of 4 tables... pretty empty there. I order beer first... I got the 2L bottle of Asahi. Good stuff... not like most other places that have the 750ml that is made in China. This one is made in Japan.Taste cleaner... Then our first dish of the chopped clam came. There's a shell that came on the plate but it's only that. The chopped cooked clam is bought from some place...not made on the spot for sure. They taste exactly same as all typical all-you-can eat fake abalone sushi. The second dish is udon with tobiko. Honestly it's only that... anyone can make it at home. The grilled squid was good.. but taste cold. I think it was made ahead of time but just put on the stove just making it warm enough to serve because it's cold inside. Also the chopped scallop salmon sushi came. The chopped scallop is good but tiny portion. Salmon is good. I think it's the same size as the picture in the menu. Rice is under cooked. The last was the wagu beef. The beef was pretty good. But nothing you can't get anywhere else. Best of the night was the beer. Very disappointing. I wish i went to Guu. This place cost double of Guu yet not even 1/2 as good as guu. Atmosphere is lacking as it is ran by chinese there's no real izakaya atmosphere. Try the real stuff at Guu or Goyza king.
My main gripe is the food does not justify the prices at all. 1. Their yakitori (skewer) dishes were subpar at best. Go to Zakkushi for authentic Japanese yakitori. 2. Their izakaya type dishes were also subpar. Go to Guu for izakaya dishes. 3. Their sashimi wasn't very fresh. (ie. I ordred the Toro sashimi. It tastes like the quality I get from Samurai. For the price I expected better) Service was fine. Ambiance was nothing to write about. However, the price was expensive. For a dinner for two I spent $80, got like a couple of different skewers, 3 or four normal dishes, and a sashimi dish. For $40, I could really go to town at Guu or Hapa.
Food is delicious. Ordered smoked salmon and cream cheese roll, mango roll, beef sashimi, and oysters. All of them were very very good! But be warned...it IS expensive. Rolls range from $4-20. But it is so worth it! Service was pretty good too. Nothing to complain about :)
i wish i could eat here every night!
I've been a handful of times the food is extraordinary. their dishes are very unique and nicely display. as well they have a great menu with pictures for every dish which makes it very convient for ordering. the only downside really is that it's very pricey as well it's only open only in the evening.
First thing, if you want to try this izakaya then you must make a reservation. Even then you have to wait. It is ridiculous. The food is alright; not something that will wow you but it is well done and decent-sized portions. Other than that... this place has nothing going for it. Their servers are slow and rude, the place is poorly ventilated, and the price you pay for the food is totally not worth it. Poor dining experience.
Sadly, this is the izakaya that we go to when we want to stop our izakaya-itch when in Richmond. What does that say about the rest?!
We ordered the salmon pizza, takoyaki, hanpen, motsu, potato balls, oyster motoyaki, kimchi fried rice and beef sashimi. Aside from the beef sashimi, the other items were great. The beef sashimi had a great sauce but when i bit into it, i could tell that it was not defrosted completely. One thing to beware of is the sauce they give you at the beginning before the meal begins. It has a large ball of crushed garlic and if you mix it all in, it leaves a horrible taste in your mouth till the next morning. So what i normally do is only mix in only half of the garlic.
It is better to go to Manzo with a group of friends(5-7 people), otherwise with only 2 or 3 people, you can't really taste a lot of the good food on the menu.
The Grape Calpico is a really good drink, they also have a drink that has Calpico and Pineapple juice in it, also another one of my favorites. Drinks are priced relatively high and their glasses are not very big.
I would come back again.
I really wanna vent about my experience at the restaurant. And I have to tell you why I rated it that low:
We've ordered a Sazae (conch) sashimi, what they gave us is cooked & frozen then thawed and mince cut baby snail size conch meat pretended to be Sazae. Next we ordered a special sashimi which was recommend by the waitress (or manager or owner), telling us they are small little fishies as long as a finger. Then it came out to be sayori sashimi, which is not something we really wanted to have. Their chicken skin skewers were not crispy yet when served.
Food is slow, the waitress has very poor description for their food, and when ask her why the food turned out not something described by her or the menu, she just simply said "hmmm... I don't know I need to ask the kitchen" then ran way! The table next to me want to order a udon in soup but then it turned out to be a fried one, that same waitress denied that she had the wrong order but saying that it's the customer who ordered the wrong thing and tell them they don't have udon in soup on the menu. But note that they do have nabeyaki udon which is a highlight item on the menu! Of course she tried to pursuade the customer to take the fried noodle instead of taking it back to the kitchen.
The atmospehere is ok but it's too loud we couldn't stand and had to leave as soon as possible.
Won't go back again, and beware of the waitress in mid 30 wearing glasses!
Ate here twice and wasn't disappointed. The food came quickly and it was delicious. The portions were ok, wished there was a little bit more. Drinks were good as well. I like their look of their menu, its nice and colourful with pictures =) Would come back again.
There a lot of positives to this place: good location away from all the other chaotic Asian hotspots in Richmond, ample parking, clean and modern decor, vast menu, and good quality sushi. The staff were also very friendly and attentive. They refilled my green tea at least 4 times. A wee bit on the pricey side, but worth it for the quality of food, service, and atmosphere. I will definitely be coming back here and would recommend it to others. The ambiance and service sets this place above other Japanese restaurants.
Didn't come to this place for 1-2 years already, I was so surprised that around 7 on a weekend, there was only 2-3 tables. Service was extremely slow. I could see that there was only 2 people working in the kitchen, no wonder I had to wait for 20 minutes for my first dish to come.
Food was still ok, I like their kimchi fried rice a lot, but other stuff, like the skewers, were just so so.
The place is small but with warm and cozy decoration, it's just like a typical japanese after-work drinking, snacking bar. Been there few times within last couple of years, the food is always decent in taste, the service is always quick and friendly. This place is not good when you are hungry because the quantity of their dishes are usually small, but it's a perfect place for a couple of drinks and snacks with good friends after you had dinner elsewhere.
We will go back for sure.