Aoki Sushi is a Japanese restaurant on West Broadway.
I've only ordered take-out from here a few times, and every time I do, I am never disappointed. My absolute fave is the Pink Godzilla roll. The portion was huge and very well priced at around $7. The fruit/chicken/tuna combination was really unique and quite tasty. The person who said this was awful just doesn't know what "good" tastes like.
Okay, this a long-overdue review, I can't believe I had not written anything about this place yet!
As an avid sushi-eater...I am always on the hunt for sushi joints offering good, innovative/fancy/creative/specialty rolls...I think it is quite the "fad" now.
Ordered a bunch of things - everything was either mediocre or not good/fresh/yucky, esp. the "Pink Godzilla" roll...others may oppose to this, but I thought that this roll was disgusting! FIrst of all, it was MASSIVE and non-appealing. It had basically a chicken teri roll, deep fried, with kiwi and strawberries on top, drizzles with mayo, hot sauce and balsamic vinegarette (?). Although each ingredient may sound/look appealing its own sense, it was a horrible idea to pool all these together. 'Twas definitely a disappointment and will never return.
My boyfriend and I go there almost every week for sushi and we adore it. We feel like we are stepping right into a little local Tokyo sushi joint.
Food rating >>> First, I love the fact that they give you an appetizer every time with your tea and menu. I have always loved everything I've ordered, from the classic Cali rolls and miso soup, to their super super fresh and delicious assorted sashimi served in cool ice dishes, to their ebi gyoza and beautiful caterpillar rolls.
Service >>> We always eat in, although you can also order and pick up. It has always been exceptional. The staff is all japanese, which I really like and I believe also family based (there is nothing that bugs me more than going into a sushi joint run by chinese people...) Mr. Aoki is awesome, he remembers most of his "usual" customers and always makes a point of thanking everyone in japanese when they leave. At Christmas he even personally made me a special green tea desert free of charge without us even asking, just 'cause he's so awesome!
Value >>> I find the prices to be fair and that you get a great amount of sushi for the money you spend. My boyfriend and I usually spend around 35$ and leave totally stuffed and usually with a doggy bag with 4 or 5 rolls that we couldn't manage to finish (they even include extra wasabi, ginger, soya sauce and chop sticks in their doggy bags!!). The fact that they keep the place low key and not "chic" and pretentious allows them to keep their prices down. And that brings me to
Ambiance >>> The only reason I give it only 2 stars is because I realize that it doesn't "look" pretty, although I personally love the real authentic japanese feel to it!
We ordered an appetizer and some sushi rolls.
Agedashi-tofu was good and I was happy with the portion too.
Highly recommend their Negitoro-roll (Chopped tuna and onions).
Overall, portions are big and good cost performance.
Shop people are very friendly and super nice. Won’t ruin your mood like other places.
We love that the owners are Japanese. This is quite rare in the city, to have sushi made my Japanese chefs.
Prices are incredibly reasonable, and although the ambience isn't that great, the place is always clean and tidy!
The sockeye sashimi is always fresh, and the rolls are delicious. Other favorites include yaki udon and ton katsu.
I tried this one out yesterday with high expectations but I came out a bit disappointed.
While the price is very reasonable the quality and taste left much to be desired. The hamachi sashimi looked very reasonable at 12 bucks and they even served it in an ice or iced serving tray. But the fish itself was too cold and some parts were slightly frozen. The bowl of rice I had really disappointed me - it wasn't even Japanese rice and not even good rice. I had much better rice eating this morning at my favorite Chinese fastfood joint in Oakridge mall. The simmered halibut and the soft-shell crab were OK but the ebi gyoza was not good at all, together with the negitoro roll.
Aoki opened up a couple years ago and quickly has become a favorite in the office. From Hokkaido, Aoki-san makes authentic sushi using the freshest of ingredients. The pricing is a little higher than the suhi-roll-factory places which abound on Broadway but the food makes up for it in flavor & presentation. Its in a different class.
You've got to try their chilled Barley tea (complimentary) in the summertime, so refreshing, one wonders how people can drink steaming hot regular japanese tea when its 25C+ outside. Aoki has many unique dishes that it makes it worthwhile to try them all!
The only downside is the restaurant ambience... its an odd layout and I'm sure it was hard to work with... so seating capacity is small. The family-run operation has super-friendly staff that always look after you with the finest respect and attention and a smile! Aoki-san is eager to chat and talk about anything in his cute engrish. He quickly knows your favorites and chastizes you when you haven't come in for a while. Ooops...I'd better head over there!
New owners, big fail. Now, the fish isn't fresh, the food has lost its delicate authentic nature, service is quite slow, and I'm starting to feel nauseous after the meal. Unfortunately I pre-bought 2 meal coupons deals, might just toss the second one though because I really don't want to return.
The old family owned place used to be my favourite Japanese restaurant in the city... it's a MAJOR loss that it has changed so drastically.
The food here is always consistently good. I recommend the sashimi as it is generously sized. They have some really neat dishes like the Caterpiller Roll and all the sushi classics. We go here often and find the service always prompt and friendly. One of the better sushi places in Vancouver.
We frequented this restaurant several times a year and this past week's experience was a total disappointment. The previous owner/chef has always impressed us with fresh ingredients, creative plating and good service. This time around everything went from an A+ to a poor C. The salmon sashimi came out like a loaf of bread - just sliced and placed on top of a piece of lettuce and not even fanned out. The portion size was like two thirds of what we had before and the worst part was it wasn't even fresh. The rolls came out falling apart and the avocado was not ripe. So from a creamy dreamy texture to hard and tasteless...The chicken teriyaki was again tasteless and just slapped on the plate. There were 6 of us and we ordered quite a bit of food. The dirty dishes started to pile up on top of each other, our teacups were empty, and there wasn't any service at all. Our udon came out missing the egg and chicken and it took a while before the waitress realized the mistake (I kept asking where's the egg and chicken?). If this new owner think he can bank on old repeated customers with poor food and service then he better start thinking hard. We definitely will not go back.
I have come to the conclusion that there are only two types of sushi restaurants in vancouver: either really expensive or quite expensive but with excellent quality like Tojo's or Miku on the one hand, and low quality sushi like all-you-can-eat on the other. It is pretty much impossible to find something in between.
I was hoping to find a mid-range sushi place, ie. not stellar, but decent quality sushi at not cheap but still affordable prices, and decided to give Sushi Aoki a try tonight. Let's just say that it was a sorely disappointed experience. Here is why:
The paramount benchmark for any sushi restaurant is the quality of the fish. (It's not whether the chef and staff are japanese, like some of the commenters here like to think. Even though it is nice if they were. By the way, Aoki-san is actually not japanese, for those who seem to be obsessed with a japanese sushi chef.) And on this count, Sushi Aoki failed miserably. One of the commenters said that he used to live near Tsukiji in Tokyo and gave a glowing review of Aoki's fish quality. Well, I can only say that may be he came on a good day or I came on a bad day, but the fish was simply not up to standard.
I only ate nigiri. (If you would like to eat Japanese sushi, try nigiri. However, considering the low quality of most sushi restaurants in vancouver it might be better to just stick with North American sushi, i.e. rolls.) Salmon was probably the only fish that was okay. Tuna, hamachi - my favourite, and tai were not fresh at all. And the worst was saba. It completely destroyed my appetite!
That said, there was a bright spot. At least the rice was warm. Now, to those who think that sushi rice should be cold, think again. Warm rice means that it has recently been mixed and stored properly. Cold rice means it is stale and has been sitting around or in the fridge for a while. Why on earth do you want to eat stale rice?!
In terms of service and decor, nothing spectacular but nothing to really complain about either, hence the neutral 3 star rating.
In conclusion, considering how much i paid, i would have rather paid a bit more and go to Miku or pay less and expect less and go to an all you can eat place. And that is exactly what i plan to do from now on. Good bye, Aoki!
We live in Kits on closer to the water so there are many sushi places on W. 4th that compete for our sushi dollars, but Aoki has got to be the best all around!
It is a further walk for us but way worth it in terms of the food. We ordered the S+T Combo - 4 salmon and 4 tuna nigiri which were delicious, the salmon nigiri were definitly a highlight of the meal - bright, fresh and delicous.
We also ordered an appetizer Tempura, Spicy Tuna roll and a Catepillar roll.
The tempura was good, catepillar roll was nice as well (big roll) but the spicy tuna roll was unreal! Another highlight.
Lastly the service in this place is so nice, the women working are so friendly, true japanese service. You have to love the free appetizer you get as soon as you sit down as well.
Mmmmm with the weather warming up I can't wait to go for a walk up to Aoki for another Spicy Tuna roll and Salmon nigiri....Love it!
Went to this place and it was great. Let's get serious: this place is not a Tojo's where the decor is great. It's ok.
However, the food was wonderful. Had the Pink Godzilla and the Caterpillar role. Wow. Most creative rolls I've ever had. Also ordered the Salmon/Tuna nigiri. Pieces were big and fresh.
This is the best Japanese run place that I've come across in terms of value. I'm a fan. Service was a bit slow and my buddy didn't get his roll until we were ready to go. Oh well... I'll still come here. See you soon, Mr. Aoki!
PS: The Chef, Mr. Aoki, was wearing a Pikachu mask tonight for Halloween. Love it!
I was hungry and I would never go to Posh alone so I stopped by this tiny little Japanese place. The outer look of the place looked a bit aged so set my standards low. I walked in and was greeted by a Japanese voice machine and all the staff. Oh and the place was BUSY. I was seated immediately and was given a menu. Waited 2 minutes and they took my order; BC Roll and Chicken Yakisoba.
A small wait later, my BC Roll was served. First reaction, HOLY GEEZ thats huge! They're about twice as big as your average sushi place and they never skimped on the salmon. While I was at it, ordered some Salmon Sashimi. Yakisoba arrived and was amazed again, just right and not too salty, very close to the best. Salmon sashimi was fresh, and they only serve sockeye salmon, not the cheezy Atlantic.
Overall, one of my Favourite Japanese places. I come from Richmond every now and just to eat there. I always see the sushi chef with the little Pikachu mask, oh did I mention its REAL AUTHENTIC JAPANESE? You can hear them speaking Japanese, not Chinese or Korean. Be a little paitent if you eat though, I can take some time because they're so busy.
We had their Aoki, house, and Alaskan roll. Personally I am not a very good judge between good and really good sushi, so all I have to say is it was good value.
The selection was huge compared to most other sushi places.
The restaurant was rather tiny, but very cosy. As far as I can tell the staff was Japanese and they even had a crazy Japanese phone to go with it. It had a very strange ring, but it added to the ambiance
Seems like lots of people who are critical of the ambiance of this place don't understand that this place is authentically japanese. This is what sushi places and many restaurants are like in Japan.
When you enter, an automatic, prerecorded "irashaimasse (welcome!)" greets you. The chef and staff also yell it to you. You're sat down, and given a free appy - last time i was in it was some baked salmon with Japanese pickles (tsukemono).
Make your choice from the illustrated menu (just like in Japan). The authentic Japanese sushi chef (not Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese...) will prepare you sushi fresh, with a smile and a joke. He wears a funny mask on his head!
As you leave, the staff and chef you thank you, and shout goodbye.
Try this place out! This is what many restaurants are like in Japan!
I first came here on a recommendation by a friend. Since then we've been back many times because it's so good.
The service is very good for a sushi place, and the prices are reasonable. You can find cheaper places, but the portions are generous and always taste fresh.
My favourite is the simple avocado roll. LOADED with slices of ripe avocado, so delicious.
GODZILLA IS HERE... and he is delicious. Chicken teriyaki in fried sushi, topped with strawberry and kiwi and drizzled with hot sauce and mayo. Went with family last night and had never seen authentic traditional sushi alongside of such innovative sushi combinations/display. My younger sister loved the caterpillar roll, which was covered with a layer of thinly sliced avocado, and had antennae. Sushi was fresh with lots of people hopping in and leaving with large orders of take out as well, which made sense as seating capacity was only about 30 in the small restaurant.
Sushi Aoki is a small, cozy, friendly sushi restaurant. The sushi chef and staff are all very friendly and seem genuinely glad to serve you. Sushi is always fresh and the rest of the menu is extensive. Spinach gomae is delicious; yakisoba is some of the best in the city. Service touches like the complimentary salmon taster to get your mouth watering and a slice of fruit at the end of the meal just add to the friendly atmosphere. Highly recommended.
As I just did I went the restaurant without any expectation about interior only for food. But when I entered the restaurant I was impressed by the design of inside. Because even they made interior renovation they didn't change anything exterior. Before sushi aoki was just for good food but now it became even good place for meeting place.
Food is still really good and fresh as before and ambiance became very good. This restaurant became one of the best places for dinner in Vancouver.