Mango cali rolls are to die for. Best chicken karaage in town. Always interesting and authentic sushi and kitchen specials. Great selection of good sake. Don't think previous post knows what they are talking about..owner Taka "Ted" Kawakame is from Hanshin, Japan (This is why their is so much Hanshin Tigers baseball memorabilia on the walls) There is also his 10 year sushi chef "journeyman" papers on the wall behind the bar as well. Some of the waitresses could be more attentive. However, sit at the bar if you can, and try Ted's food and sake recommendations- most authentic Japanese experience in Richmond.
I would fly to Japan for authentic Japanese - but Torarenbo is close enough....fresh food, good service. I would suggest you try their sushi and sashimi. Price is reasonable. I would definitely visit again when I crave for sushi. The waitress is amazing. She can explain and also recommend different types of dishes (specials for the day) and also drinks.
Our work group has been coming here for lunch once a week for the last couple of years. The food is very good and the lunch combos are an exceptional value at $7.95, 4 or 5 to choose from. Staff is very friendly. Sometimes it takes a few minutes longer than normal to get your food, it is a busy restaurant. (Try the spicy sashimi. It is a favorite of mine.)
I've written a review of their food and service before, however I would like to make a slight change on their service and a FYI for all you readers planning to visit this place.
1. make a reservation
2. go in an hour before they close
My friends and I waited for a table for 30 mins when the manager said it would only take 10. When we saw servers setting up a table for 5 we assumed it was our table. When one of the servers took us toward that table, the manager screamed across the dining room and said "THAT TABLE IS RESERVED!".
In this case, why did the manager tell us it was a 10 min wait? Why didn't he tell us "walk-in customers" have the lowest priority and that they will have to wait until ALL the reservation tables are given until we get a seating? I mean honestly, owners/managers cannot be greedy and want to take in ALL the customers that come in when they aren't able to serve at an efficient rate.
Can anyone say I'm wrong?
I don't think I'll be returning to this place anytime soon. Service is important in a food industry, and the experience I had Wednesday night was not impressive.
We are so lucky to have Torarenbo in Richmond - this restaurant is so much better than regular Japanese restaurants in downtown. We've been there a few times and always left very impressed. Maki Rolls are innovative and very tasteful. I'm in love with their Chicken Karaage. Appetizers are served in good portion. What's so good about this place is that everything tastes so fresh, and the prices are so low! We were stuffed with dinner and the bill came under $50 - including beer and wine. MUST TRY!
My co-workers and I have lunch here at least once a week. The bento boxes are a pretty good price for lunch for a full meal (teri chix or beef, salad, fruit, miso soup, rice, 2 pieces shrimp tempura, 3 pieces veggie tempura), the sushi is good - try the dragon roll - and the service is fast. However, that's on the good days when the restaurant is busy but not packed. If its packed, food quality goes down. Today it was packed at lunch: three of us had beef teri, which was rare to raw. It took a long time to get a waitress to notice us, and then to get the order recooked; the manager came by and profusely apologized and we got larger orders but the overall wait time was about 25 minutes. So go when busy but not too busy!
Consistency is the key to a successful restaurant, and Torarenbo does it well. The rating above is pretty well the same each time we go, and we've going once a month for the past 12 months.
Best value: mango California roll. Consistently good. Never made ahead of time (despite being one of the most popular items). At less than $7, value is excellent as other places charge $10+.
Other items to recommend include chicken karaage, prawn tempura, and negitoro temaki.
I dined at Torarenbo on two separate occasions; both times I left unsatisfied and disappointed. It's unlikely that I will be back for more.
Food - 2 - We tried a few rolls and they were average at best, and their cooked items didn't fare better. We also gave their sashimi a try and they ranged from good (sockeye salmon) to just okay (amaebi) to downright awful (uni). In fact, the uni that we tried was the worst that I've had in my life, and believe me, I've had my fair share of both good and bad uni or any sashimi. Not only was it not fresh, but it also tasted of freezer stink and rotten fish. We had to return it as it wasn't anywhere near edible. Minutes later the manager brought over a new plate of uni for us to try, and again, the same result. By this point we felt embarrassed for the restaurant and wondered if they even tasted their own food.
Ambiance, Service - 3 - The usual service one would expect from a Japanese Restaurant. Not great but not too bad either. Decor is just okay.
Value - 2 - Food is not expensive but I feel that my money could have been better spent at Hachi or Seto.
Consider yourself warned.
Live prawn was excellent..quail yolk on flying fish row very good..tempura not too greasy..service super fast..value very good..ambience equal to any..I have been to GOO this place is as good or better the staff was very freindly..we were offered free ice cream but we were soo full we had to decline
This is so far the best sushi place i have ever went to. The food is awesome the avocado roll is good and so is the beef teriyaki. I also like their shrimp and veg tempura. the food is always fresh and the staff is very friendly. sometimes they give free ice cream at the end of the meal.
We've been to many Japanese restaurants in Richmond and Vancouver. This place ranks as one of the best, in our opinion. My husband I have been to Toraenbo twice, and both times we were treated like royalty!! The food was excellent, and we didn't even have to wait long for the food. We went on a Wednesday night, and the place was full. This shows the popularity of the restaurant and we are sure to return very soon. My favorite dishes are the eggplant robata and the agadashi tofu. I wanted spicy, so they gave me a nice spicy sauce on the side. I can't tell you enough of their service. In most restaurants, you are assigned one waiter, and if your waiter is unavailable, you're out of luck. With this place, every one is there to service you. Doesn't matter who took down your order. LOVE IT!!
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.
The food here is excellent. If you want quality, freshness and good service, check out this place. The sushi is excellent. Try their sashimi, nigiri sushi, etc. All their tempuras are perfectly crisp. And their torarenbo rolls are excellent and spicy. One of the best Japanese restaurants we've been to and has become are favorite spot.
If you want excellent authentic Japanese at a reasonable price you must try Torarebo. Ted (Tadayuki), the owner, was formally trained in Japan to be a sushi chef. Yes, he endured the whole apprenticheship experience beginning with washing floors. He is the "real deal." Nigiri sushi and sashimi is always fresh and tasty. Ted often has specialty items flown in fresh from Japan.
If you are in when they have the gindara (black cod) misoyaki special i suggest you give it a try because the fish just melts in your mouth. If there is a fresh scallop special you must try it. Ted prepared me one with butter, sake and other seasoning and it was to die for. If you like maguro (tuna sashimi) I recommend the chu toro special if available. Fresh uni direct from its shell is also often available. The specialty maki sushi is also worth trying. At lunch I always like to have the yaki sakana teishoku (grilled fish, in this case mackerel lunch box) it is delicious and reasonably priced.
I am extremely choosy about my Japanese food . I have lived in Japan and I have Japanese blood flowing through me. i won't accept just any Japanese. I highly recommend that you visit Torarenbo and say hi to Ted and Bun (Boon) san behind the sushi counter. Enjoy and happy eating:)
I was bored of all that 'All you can eat' Japanese food, so my impressions for Vancouver Japanese food was bad. Until I found Toranebo, a reasonable priced, high quality Japanese food in Richmond. We had attentive service by our manager, who recommended good food and a very nice sakke. Sashimi and sushi was fresh and also the mango sushi is a must-try. It might sound weird but the mango blends well with the rice resulting in a fresh, savoury sushi.
Torarenbo is my favorite Japanese restaurant in Richmond with excellent food at a great value. I went there with my family and the 4 of us ate well for under $80.
The service isn't great, but it's not terrible either. The restaurant is small and always packed so it can be a while before you get a seat unless you get a reservation. However, in my opinion it's worth the wait.
I think this is the best Japanese restaurant in Richmond, I just wish they had bigger space, as it's almost impossible to get in on Saturday and Sunday's nights. It's packed! This alone can tell you how good this place is.
The service is absolutely exceptional; the food is excellent and always very fresh - made right before your eyes. My favourite dishes there are Seafood salad and Torarenbo roll, and also Dragon roll (well, the list goes on and on).
Highly recommend to go there, but it's a good idea to make a reservation if you plan to go on a weekend.
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