It's not in the most prominent location, but this one is definitely worth a go. Although it looks like any other Japanese restaurant in Richmond, run by Chinese, the chef is actually Japanese with years of experience and it shows.
The menu and creations definitely have a different spin/flavour than the other places. Quality is very good, I would say pretty good innovative design too. There are many dishes that you won't see elsewhere. The sushi looks pretty fresh, but you should really try some of the rolls and other creations.
I think the service is a bit hit and miss, maybe because it's so busy or they're a little disorganized, but they try. At least they're not rude.
This one is definitely worth a trip to try it, and a return too! It's pretty reasonably priced. It might be pretty packed though, so be sure to make a reservation if it isn't a weeknight.
Came here on a weeknight and parking is pretty bad in this strip mall due to the chinese grocery store. Ordered the toro - very good, cali roll - standard, chopped scallop roll - standard and chicken karage - bad (over cooked and tough). Overall the sushi was pretty standard, the type you find in many japanese restaurants. The service was decent with no hiccups. The restaurant needs a bit of a reno as it's a bit dingy. Prices were on the high side. Rather go to Seto as an alternative.
I had an early dinner here tonight and was promptly seated in a near empty restaurant, as they had just opened. My friend and I ordered the mango california roll, salmon roll and a deep fried smoked salmon and cream cheese roll. We also tried their tempura and cold noodle dish as well as grilled black cod which was one of their specials.
Their rolls were above average. The mango roll had quite a lot of mango on it, and the salmon in the salmon roll tasted quite fresh. Their tempura was crispy and light, and their noodle dish was well done. The highlight of the night was their black cod special. It was one of the best tasting black cod dishes I have ever eaten. Would definitely go back for that if nothing else.
Service was a little hit and miss. All the servers seem very friendly, but don't seem to want to do anything unless asked. I had a glass of water empty and had at least 3-4 waitresses look around to see if anyone wanted anything within a 10 minute time span. When I did ask for a refill it was very promptly dealt with.
Would go back to try out their set menu which looked like a good value, as well as their black cod.
Mrs. C and I decided to take some visiting relatives for an informal dinner here based on the good reviews on this site. We were not disappointed. The restaurant itself is rather plain and could use an update. Surprisingly, the w/c was new and was very clean. The restaurant was really crowded for a Tuesday night, so I figured it must be either really good or really cheap.
The manager seated us and a very helpful server was at our table in an instant with menus. Various servers returned often to make sure our tea pot was full and to do quality checks.
We had a set dinner with a couple of add-on items. Basically it was sushi, sashimi, tempura, chicken karaage and oyster motoyaki. All were fantastic, and the nigiri sushi and the karaage were particularly good.
It was a satisfying meal. In other words, good and almost cheap.
Food: Came here for dinner once and ordered a combo that I shared with my friend and it was quite good since it came with a plateful of sushi, salad, miso soup and ice cream at the end. The second time I came here for lunch, we both ordered separate combos and it was quite disappointing. Had the deep fried pork cutlet which was tasty but the rest of the combo was quite average (the salad was also quite tasteless). Also ordered the deep-fried squid which was disappointing since it came in slices rather than rings, which made it difficult to eat, the batter kept coming off and it was really really bland.
Service: We were seated promptly but that's where the service ended. Our food came ridiculously slow as other patrons who arrived after us received their food much sooner than we did. No one came to check up on us and waters/tea were never re-filled. I ended up stacking the empty dishes myself since there was no one there to help us. It was even difficult to flag someone down to get the check. What happened to the service in the span of two months??
Ambiance: Nice cosy place with roomy tables. I really like the tableware they use, esp. the tea kettles and cups. Feels like a real Japanese restaurant.
It's hard to say whether I'd come back. The meals aren't overly cheap and the food/service has been so inconsistent that I fear what I'll receive when I come back. I may make a return trip if I see more positive and recent reviews of this place.
A great find in Richmond where you wouldn't normally expect to find much in terms of decent sushi. The fish is fresh. The toro, though not the tastiest cut, it's more than decent. At $1.50 a pop, it's not bad at all. The uni nigiri @$2.25 is okay. Nothing really off about it. The saba ($1.50) though lacking in that creaminess I love, is alright. The cooked prawns aren't very appetizing & can be avoided in any form--whether it be in rolls, tempura, or served on rice. The spicy tuna roll ($3.25) is not the awful mushy leftover ends you get from some places. It's actually quite tasty texturally. The mango used in their house roll is about the same as everywhere else that uses mango. Probably the most fresh piece of mango I've had on my sushi recently would be from Yuji's on 4th where you can taste the freshness in every bite as if it was just sliced on the spot to make your sushi then & there. But again, the prices here are really good.
You can hear a constant flow of Japanese conversed between chefs & the customers. At least one assistant chefs, Ken-san, is fluent in both Japanese & Mandarin. The waitresses & floor manager seem to be mainly well versed in Cantonese, Mandarin, & English. Anyone can be made to feel welcome in speaking in any of the above listed languages.
The tempura batter is nice & light. The Corn Cream Corokke (3 pcs @$3.75) seems fairly reasonable. Lightly battered, tasty and creamy inside without being too heavy--goes nicely with the dipping sauce.
The soup base for the udon seems to be kept nice, light, and refreshing, pleasantly absent of additives used for enhancing flavours.
They sell out on some of their daily specials regularly, but there's always something else you can try as their menu provides a good variety.
The room is kept simple/bare but very typical of Richmond & that plaza it's located in. It's kept clean & functional.
The usual credit cards & interac are accepted.
We were in Richmond and felt like eating Japanese. We've been to Le Nakamura twice this past month, and wanted some place different. We settled on Torarenbo after remembering reading some favorable reviews here.
When we looked at the menu, we were disappointed that there were no bento boxes and set meals. However, generally, the food is cheaper than most other Japanese restaurants.
The first thing that struck me was the number of appetisers. They have a very large selection of appetisers. Then, when I saw the Robata section, I was smiling.
We ordered mainly from the appy and robata section, and only 1 sashimi (Kampachi).
The appetisers were generally very very good. The only complain was that the Chawan Mushi was over cooked.
The robata was hit and miss. The eel and beef short ribs were excellent. The Salmon Cheek and Salmon Belly were bad. Both salmon dishes were over cooked. Most AYCE places do a better job. That's why I only gave 3 stars for the food.
The Kampachi was very fresh. Probably the freshest cut of sashimi I have ever had.
Service was quite good for a Richmond restaurant.
Ambiance was like any other run of the mill Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. Nothing to shout about.
The dishes were all quite cheap. The portion was a lot bigger than we expected for the price listed, resulting in a bag full of food for tomorrow's lunch, and a hefty bill at the end of the meal. The bill after tax came to $110 for 2 adults and 2 grade schoolers. We all drank tea.
Return? Very likely. But I will not be ordering the salmon.
We took our out of town guest to this place based on the good reviews and proximity to the Vancouver airport. We ordered the regular items like chopped scallop rolls, dynamite rolls, spicy tuna rolls, california rolls and also try out their exotic rolls like tiger eye rolls, mango california dan papaya california rolls. Nothing specials with the regular sushi rolls...just average. The rice is not authentic, well what can you expect, the owner is not Japanese. My biggest complaint is the portion...too small for the price. Their best rolls are also the most expensive one on the menu, mango, papaya california rolls and tiger rolls. So if you want to try them out...order those 3 only...don't order their sashimis or anything else...you'll be mad at their small portions. I feel very bad for sushi lover in Richmond...they should go to Burnaby or Coquitlam for the best sushi value and taste at Sushi Garden (pretty good) and Sushi California at North Rd/Austin (best).
Went there for lunch with a few friends. Sushi is fresh and fried food does not taste too oily or greasy. It's definitely better than expected. The value is reasonable too. The combos have meso soup, salad, few pieces of sushi, a bowl of rice + whatever you ordered (we had tonkatsu and chicken karaage). Portions were quite generous, except that the sushi were kind of small. We were all full and it cost us less than AYCE! But then none of us girls eat a lot of begin with so yeah. The servers were quick and attentive in general. Would definitely go back again =D
Tararenbo by far is the best Japanese restaurant in Richmond & Vancouver. I've been to several restaurants in Ontario and throughout Vancouver/Richmond however this restaurant is very consistent in terms of quality. The staff are very friendly and anytime you enter, you are greeted in a friendly manner. The food is excellent and the quality is consistent every time. I've been to other good Japanese restaurants in Richmond but sometimes they are not consistent.
We usually order the karagi chicken, miso yaki fish, torarenbo spicy rolls (wow!), salmon sockeye nigiri sushi, mixed tempura, don buri beef, edamame and I tell you the food is excellent! We have been hooked to this place since moving here to BC and we never get tired of this place. I highly recommend this place. Note if you go on a weekend, I highly advise reservations otherwise you may end up waiting 20 to 40 minutes.
My boyfriend and I went to Torarenbo with a group of friends last weekend for dinner and I must say I'm impressed with this restaurant.
First the service: there were 9 of us and we asked for 6 separate bills. They were very accomodating, which was nice. Tea was refilled promptly throughout dinner, although after we paid the bill it became a little harder to find the waitress to refill tea.
The food was excellent. My boyfriend and I ordered the mango california roll, Torarenbo roll, rainbow roll, another roll that I don't remember the name of and chicken karaage. They were all very good. I love the mango on the mango california roll. The Torarenbo roll has a nice kick to it. The bill for the two of us came to about $35.
Ambiance is normal I guess for a Japanese place, nothing too fancy there.
Would definitely recommend this place.
My friend and I went here tonight after work for a bite to eat. We were craving for some sashimi. We arrived around nine fifteen and to our surprise the place was full of people and the atmosphere was buzzing. We were really not expecting many people at this time seeing that it is a Monday night. This had to be a good sign and it was proven later with the food. We ordered the sockeye salmon sashimi, rainbow roll, hotate (scallop nigiri), and grilled squid. The sockeye salmon sashimi and the rainbow row were the most noticeable part of the meal. The sashimi was thick cut and fresh so you can really enjoy the texture and flavour. The rainbow roll is a california roll with tobiko and with different slices of fish on the outside for each piece. It had salmon, sockeye salmon, hamachi, and prawn on top. The roll was amazing as the crab was prepared perfectly; not too dry and just rich enough that it enhances the flavour of the crab but doesn't over power it. The rice on it was only about two millimetres thick so you won't be overwhelmed by it. It took real precision for the sushi chef to prepare it this way. Overall great place to go after work to relax and the waiters are all extremely friendly and will help you with all your needs. I will definitely go back again.
PS. Don't be fooled by their closing time of ten o'clock, they will let you in and last call is at ten. You can still sit their and enjoy your meal and they won't rush you.
Raised in Japan, I have been telling all my friends that "there is no good Japanese restaurant in Richmond - Go to Vancouver", but not any more. Torarenbo serves not only authentic, great quality sushi & sashimi, but also flavourful, mouth-watering grilled & deep-fried dishes. Everything I tried so far is impressive. Try Toro nigiri, Ika sashimi & Chicken karaage! This place may not be as cheap as "All You Can Eat" sushi places. But compared to similar Vancouver restaurants, it is very reasonably priced. For this kind of price range, Torarenbo offers a best value. Keep up the good work!
First of all, let me begin by saying I have been so over Japanese food. It all tastes the same, same rolls, same sauces, same old rooster sauce on the spicy dishes. I have been eating sushi for at least 25 years and it is just so - bland and boring. Have always avoided it until absolutely necessary. Okay, the DH has a birthday coming up and I book seats at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond. Dinner beforehand of course, he loves Japanese style food and so I surprise him with a trip to Torarenbo with another couple based on the reviews here. From the outside it looks a bit questionable. The inside is decorated nicely with the exception of the wall mounted flat screen televisions which play assembly videos of Japanese infomercials, rolled sushi and other composed foods. That is the only low point. Tables are solid and well set. Service is very good and we were very well treated. We had a few of the regular items - agadashi tofu, squid tempura (best I've ever had), BC roll, tuna/salmon sashimi, etc then a few off the track dishes including the salmon cheek. Unbelievable for only $5.50. The Rainbow Roll was just so beautifully presented we did not want to eat it, but we did and it went down oh so well. Starters, world class ice cold (not frozen) sashimi, robata items, rolls, tempura and miso soups for four including endless tea, 4 large Kirin and one very small sake came to $125. They even gave us a free scoop of ice cream after our meal. Very nice, very well run establishment. I am actually beginning to appreciate the wonders of the Japanese menu again.... When we had arrived at 6 for our weekday reservation there was perhaps 4 tables occupied and when we left at 7:15 the place was full ad waiting. Best to have a reservation.
Nothing wrong with the service, friendly and attentive enough. Ambience a little dingy and parking is awful in this strip mall area.
It's just that the food is not really authentically Japanese. It all tastes the same, and does not have a freshness to it. Tried their salmon, tasted old, and the gravy a tad salty. Not impressed as we've been to many other Japanese restaurants.
Price is so-so.
I frequent this place once in a while and the food is consistently delicious. What's more, they're priced pretty well too. The nigiri and rolls are all well made, fresh and costs less than many places of comparable quality. Selection is very good, there are usually specials. The lunch combos are a great bargain. The bbq items are flavourful and seasoned right. I've never had problems with service here, efficient and professional. Recommended for people who enjoy sushi.
We were party of around 12. Sushi was decent, tempura was so-so, rolls were not bad. As for the sashimi, it really depends on personal taste. I'm not a very big fan of thick cut sashimi so the tuna is something to avoid. The items on the Special board were quite good and interesting such as the Ankimo (monk fish liver). Raw oysters were superb especially the sauce. Service really depends on how busy they are. The busier they are, service tends to slip (by a lot). The place needs renovation as mentioned by other reviewers. Parking was horrible that I paid parked on the street at a rate of $4 for 2 hours.
I first time visited this restaurant. Compared to other Japanese restaurants, this place ranks as one of the best, in Richmond. The food was excellent, due to high occupancy we waited pretty long for the food even though it was Tuesday. Including the management everybody were Asians except my wife and I. I loved squid robata will definitely try again. Their service is moderate but friendly and helpful. I'll go and try other dishes soon
Food - I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the food here. The beef tongue was great. The special sushi rolls are very tasty too. A nice mix of different ingredients. I really liked their Torarenbo Roll.
Service - The servers were very attentive to our needs. They constantly refilled our tea pot. The manager even came by at the end and offered us free ice cream! The black sesame ice cream rules. Didn't get free ice cream the second time though. But that's ok. It was still an enjoyable experience. :)
Value - Good deal for what you get. It's not an amazing deal, but not overpriced. Price is just right.
Ambiance - Again, nothing special here. It's pretty typical. No complaints about the ambiance. Solid.
I went to Torarenbo based on the reviews on dinehere.ca and I came out disappointed.
The only decent dish I ordered for the night was Mango Cali roll.
Tiger roll was nothing special.
All the nigiri sushi I ordered are not made with japan rice. How can the reviews below called this an authentic sushi when the rice were so horrible done?
The freshness were not all that great either. I would say it is ONE small step above AYCE sushi. Yes, it is that bad as I am extremely picky with my sushi. If you would like some authentic sushi, I would NOT recommend this place. If you think this place is good, please go try other authentic Japanese restaurant in Vancouver.
Finally, I left to eat in another restaurant when I was half full as I was greatly disappointed.
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