Nan Chuu is a Japanese Izakaya restaurant serving tapas style dishes. Brought to you by the same people who own Gyoza King.
People raved about this place eons ago so after driving around undecided on what to eat tapas seemed a righteous choice.
A small, narrow space with a subdued vibe it's more of an after work hangout rather than a party place. Even the dining patrons aren't quite as lively here.
No single dish stoodout, rather a medley of modest tasting offerings with too much sizzle than steak. The Shabu Shabu salad was a nice starting point but the thinly sliced pork was bland and boring. The ebi mayo was doused in mayo deteriorating the crispy tempura batter while the beef tongue was a poorer showing, the cut tasting and resembling that of brisket. The salmon sashimi was six thick slices of unfresh Atlantic with a disappointing marinade. The best dish was the chicken kabob and runny egg rice bowl but was at best average.
Service was slow despite the polite staff though I did like how they introduced each dish as they came.
Compared to all the other (Japanese/asian) tapas places, this one ranks below average.
Food: Really tasty, the only thing being disappointing was the salmon sashimi which was quite plain/normal - the same thing you could get at any all you can eat place. Ebi mayo, lamb, chicken skewers with mayo, seafood rolls, tiramisu, rice omelette and edamame were all good.
Service: the servers were friendly and attentive but it was the slow food service that was a little irritating. Could have been finished our meal quite a bit sooner but items were taking a long time to come out of the kitchen. More cooks needed perhaps?
Ambiance: I loved the seating, the music and the general look of the place. Dark enough to give a good vibe but bright enough to still see what you were doing. The music was quite interesting as well - reggae, pop, japanese music.... quite an electic mix I thought was pretty neat.
It's easy to pass by this place, wedged in between a million other restaurants but it really shouldn't be missed. Would def. return to try other dishes.
It's the usual dark oak/wood decor. Nicely layout of tables without ever feeling crowded--no elbow bumping with neighbouring tables and you needn't feel as if you're sharing your conversion with strangers. Service is friendly and attentive. Food--fish and meat--all seem relatively fresh. Nice menu with plenty of small plate selections. Prices are reasonable/standard--bill came to $112.xx after tax, before tip (includes 1 virgin, 3 alcoholic.... beverages).
The yakiudon and various other grilled items were brought to the table just barely luke warmed. Though the bbq onigiri came steamy hot inside, the outter parts of the riceball was chewy and burnt on various parts. It's a far cry from the bbq onigiri I LOVE so much from Zakkushi (where the black parts just has a nice crisp taste to it) while Nan Chuu's just tastes like the ashes of burnt food one experiences from overcooking on a pan. The steam/smoke coming from the hot insides of the riceball just smelled burnt and left a similar aftertaste. The grilled fish was fine--better than everything else. Don't even attempt the black sesame pudding dessert.... Maybe it was an off-night on a Sat., though the kitchen didn't seem "swamped" it was still mostly a fullhouse.
This gets a "solid" rating from me since the service is great; the food is fresh--just not very stimulating. May give it another shot when I'm in the area and want to look for Japanese izakaya since there aren't many of those around the more bustling part of Richmond.
This is one of the best places for me to get izakaya food. Not only is this away from the dreadful Downtown hub, parking is a total breeze! Great and clean decor - think japanese oak, square and rectangular shapes, tradition, cool lighting, and booths. The interior is unlike all of the other izakayas I've been to. I am a regular here and recommend a good sake to go with the tuna yukke (tuna tartare), braised pork belly, green salad, and their daily specials. Staff are always polite in the Japanese manner.
I was pretty impressed with Nan Chuu after my first visit last night. The decor is really nice, ambiance is fantastic. Food is prepared delicately and is delicious. Service was quick. I will definately be returning.
Be sure to sample the Gyu Tataki!
Preamble: weeknight dinner for 5
Food: very delicately prepared. battered shrimp could've been smeared with a little less sauce but tuna sashimi, cod rice, beef tongue, monkfish liver were all done excellently. somebody ordered a yakiudon at the end that was somewhat soggy, however.
Service: excellent, probably helped by the fact that it wasn't a terribly busy night. refilled tea multiple times, friendly, got in a discussion about Japanese beers to beet with the waitress.
Value: probably could benefit from a 10% discount or so. as said before in previous reviews, the pricing is on par or even more expensive than downtown places.
Ambiance: comfortable, on the dark side
If you really hate driving to Guu, Hapa, Kingyo, Zakkushi etc then Naan Chu is an ok Substitute.
Food wise I would say Manzo is better, but Decor and Service is better here. We had good service, food was decent, but it was a bit pricey. Basically a meal here costs more than it would at any of the downtown places, and the food is not as good (its not bad, just not as good). For instance, I ate at Kingyo on the weekend for $35 a person, with drinks...I ate here for $35 a person as well, but no drinks, and was still hungry.
Overall I wouldn't repeat, but I would reccomend a try...only here and Manzo are worth a try in richmond in terms of izakaya...all the other places are a joke.
First visit after the Night Market. Busy. More or less obliged to take a counter seat. Reasonable ohitashi and interesting tasty eel on rice in broth. Closes at 1am. Will return when not just needing a prophylactic for the dreaded night starvation.
Very authentic Japanese atmosphere and food. Their menu is layed out with colorful pictures and detailed description. We ordered a tan tan ramen, takoyaki, gyoza. First thing's first, the tan tan ramen was orgasmic. I have never tasted ramen THIS good before. The portion is very large, very flavorful and just melts in your mouth. Food is incredible.
Service was incredible as well. They greet you loudly as you enter and leave the restaurant. Very polite and welcoming, always smiling.
I know dinehere says price ranges from $30-$45 but each dish is usually a bit under $10. Not bad for the portions they give you. Good value.
Ambiance is incredible because it makes you feel as though you're in Japan. I've been to Guu and it just doesn't have that Japanesesy feeling. My gf's been to Japan and she felt as though she was in Japan when we were at the restaurant.
Will definitely be back for more! I can't wait.
Well there's an izakaya style restaurant couple of doors down and another wannabe izakaya 5 minutes away. So why choose this one over the others? Well because it's actually Japanese behind the counter. From the irasshaimase to the thank you, it feels welcoming and sincere. Lately, the server quality has gone down.. hopefully these kids will learn sooner than later.. Otherwise the food is fairly good and the atmosphere is nice. I might not suggest it for dinner or if you are really hungry because the bill could run $40-$50 for 2 people. Depends on you budget I suppose. This is an izakaya afterall so it's best suited for drinking and getting a handful of side dishes. Solid Overall.
They don't just serve typical Japanese food that we're probably used to...namely sushi. They serve Japanese food that has an unexpected, but very pleasing twist.
I had some sort of udon which was very good, but ended up feeling sick after eating it...I don't know if it was the food or something else. But still. My friend also had some sort of Japanese rice with some sort of broth/soup and eel. It looked pretty cool but apparently didn't taste that awesome.
My other friend had rare beef tongue ...which is the first i've seen so that was pretty cool. And the waitresses were very patient and considerate when they helped my friend find something filling and tasty. So the service was pretty darn good
I would definitely recommend people to here to eat unique japanese food :)
I visit Nan Chuu regularly so I have tried a lot of the dishes. I know a lot of people prefer Guu or Hapa, but I find the Guu environment to be rather obnoxious and Hapa is a bit pretentious. Nan Chuu offers an intimate and relaxed environment where you don't have to yell just so your friend can hear you.
My favourite dish is the fried rice in clay hot pot with pork broth. The first time I went to Nan Chuu my friend ordered everything and I was reluctant to try the rice as I don't like wet rice (you pour the broth over the rice), but it was damn delicious. The rice is what brings me back over and over.
I also enjoy the kobe beef skewers, miso glazed black cod, tofu samosa and bbq corn. The miso glazed back cod made soon take over the fried rice as my favourite dish. It is very moist, tender, and flavourful. They used to have a beef tenderloin that came on a sizzling plate that the server would poor a garlic soy sauce over and it was very tasty, but unfortantely they no longer offer it. The octopus karrage, ebi mayo, and tomato with cheese are good as well.
The lamb chops used to be really good, but during my last few visits they weren't as juicy. We even had to send them back once as they were overcooked. The kitchen staff has changed slightly so the quality isn't as great as it once was, but I still enjoy the food.
Out of the many dishes I've tried (I haven't listed them all) the only one I would not recommend is the duck breast as it was quite dull. I'm indifferent about the chicken skin. I ordered the chicken skin thinking "I like chicken skin when I eat chicken". However, eating only skin without any chicken meat is very different from eating just skin on a stick.
The only negative thing I have to say about Nan Chuu is that your bill can really add up as you order lots of little dishes. For two people the bill is usually over $50 before tip just for food; we don't drink alcohol.
When I walked in I thought this was going to be great. They sat me, poured my beer gave me time to peruse the menu. Things looked good. The menu was, to say the least odd. I ordered an uni dish that came with a dime sized piece of uni and a bowl of tofu. Uggh. Then I waited close to 30 minutes for 3 little over cooked prawns on a stick. 15 agonizing minutes later the clams cooked in sake were over boiled in water and hard as rubber. They ignored me, as if they didn't care if I was there or not. It was awful. I will never go back. It looked so nice, odd japanese I guess. If you go be aware its expensive and dicey.
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