Asahi-Ya is a Japanese restaurant on Robson.
I went to this joint with some friends because my beloved had a good lunch there a couple of weeks back. Maybe the lunch is good, but dinner was a letdown.
We sat in a cramped booth on a hard bench and immediately our posteriors began to protest. The server ignored us for a while and then came over and deposited menus. I ordered a variety of things including the wild salmon teriyaki which was on special.
The food took a half hour to arrive. It wasn't like there was a crowd of people and 1/2 of the order was sushi, which is quick to prepare.
Finally the food began to appear, a little at a time. We had various kinds of sushi, all of which ranged from mediocre to okay. We also tried the salmon teriyaki which was quite nice looking but a little bland. Then came the eel tempura. That was actually quite tasty.
The server didn't bother to refill our tea cups until we shouted at her and gestured wildly, and when she finally gave us tea, she suddenly decided we couldn't keep our menu in case we wanted more food. She seemed nice enough, but obviously her mind was elsewhere.
The ambience was not great, and the w/c was not the cleanest. With so many other choices in the area, why waste your time here?
After the fireworks on Saturday, my friend and I went for a late dinner. We decided to give this place a try since we had some time to kill waiting for some other friends. We got a table right away and placed our order after waiting about 10 minutes. My friend ordered a bunch of mini eats and I ordered a shoyu sapporo ramen. I don't know if the wait seemed longer because we were so hungry, but we waited a while before my friend got her gomae and small sashimi and sunomuno. She ate and finished. Nothing spectacular to comment on. Then we waited and waited. She felt hungry again and ordered a squid karaage.
By this time, I was seriously starting to wonder how long it takes them to pour soup over noodles and frozen corn. After, kid you not, about 35 minutes, we received my ramen and motoyaki. The taste of ramen was just ehhh. Didn't justify the long wait. I finished the noodles of my ramen and we again waited for the karaage. After a few minutes (about 20 min after we ordered it), it arrived glistening with oil. We had to pack it to go because 1) we were both finished with our meal, 2) it was way too hot, if it came with our meal, at least we could munch on other things waiting for it to cool. and 3) our other friends had finally arrived and there was no where for them to sit except on our laps.
Had a bite of the karaage after and it was not very good. Ended up throwing it away.
Terrible value for the food that was served. Here's a breakdown of our order:
- Asahi beer: Fine. $10.75 for a large bottle (500 ml)
- Salmon and tuna sashimi: Three pieces of salmon and only two pieces of tuna for $9. All-you-can-eat quality.
- Negitoro cone: Decent, had filling all the way to the bottom of the cone.
- Chopped scallop cone: Had a large piece of avocado in it so they could skimp on the amount of scallop. The menu did not mention any avocado, and it did not enhance the taste of the cone in any way.
- Miso Black Cod: Two small slabs for $10. Definitely not worth it.
- Prawn and Yam tempura: Prawns were skinny and short. Yams were the yellow/cheap kind, not the orange or purple type. Batter was too greasy and thick. Disappointing.
- Asahi Nigiri Sushi Special: This one really annoyed me. They have a regular assorted nigiri platter that's cheaper with a decent selection of nigiri sushi. The server said that the special platter would have the chef's selection for the day, and for $18, I thought it would contain some rarer items not available on the regular platter. But nope, it just had half of the regular selection with four pieces of BC roll tacked on. Seriously, a ROLL on a NIGIRI platter! The sushi rice grains were hard and fell apart as soon as you pick the sushi up with the chopsticks. Very poor.
The final bill was $80. For that price, I could have had much better sushi with with better ambiance. I can appreciate that the owners and staff work hard and their young kids were still hanging around after 10pm, but the food is simply overpriced and lacking in quality. They have permanently lost our business.
Asahi-Ya is my local. I've been here maybe fifty times in the last three years, and I'll be happy if I go another fifty times in the next three years.
When I first moved to Vancouver a few years ago, my fiancée took me to Asahi-Ya to introduce me to Japanese food. I was hooked immediately, though having tried a few other Japanese outlets on the Downtown peninsula and then being a little underwhelmed by Asahi-Ya, we didn't go much for the next year or so.
Then we gave it another go and it was as if the chefs had all been put through rigorous chefayaki banzai karate training; the food just seemed fresher and tastier and the waiting was happier.
For sushi, I don't know of a better Japanese restaurant down town. It's very fresh, very flavourful, nicely prepared and the portions are sizeable. I like the more exotic rolls and nigiri, and Asahi-Ya does not disappoint. The asari miso soup (a miso soup with two clams) is to die for, and sometimes so much so that I would suggest the asari miso hot pot, which is basically a huge asari miso soup with ten clams in it! I'm also a big fan of their excellent curry.
The service is decent. I'm a shy chap so the reserved nature of the service suits me. They don't sit on you like they do at the Keg and they don't ask you personal questions like they do at Earls. Sometimes there's a bit of an English-as-a-second-language issue, but that's okay; I don't go there for a debate.
Prices at Asahi-Ya do seem to have that extra 10% added to them compared with other Japanese restaurants in the area. For me, Asahi-Ya is well worth it. I often eat here by myself with a book, and if I pay $44 instead of $40 for getting stuffed on sushi and a little slurry on sake, I don't mind provided I leave satisfied, and my satisfaction is as good as guaranteed at Asahi-Ya. Three stars here means "solid" while four means "outstanding", so I'd like to give 3½ for value. I suppose it's closer to solid than outstanding.
I like the place. It's a very basically designed room. That's fine for me - I'm not at a castle, a museum or an art gallery - though the bench seats are wooden and quite hard! If you suffer from haemorrhoids you'd certainly be better off sitting on one of the chairs!
Taking the other comments into account - and noting that the negative ones are old - I recommend Asahi-Ya to anyone in or visiting Vancouver.
Our server was great. Quirky girl with great personality. The food? I've had better for a little cheaper but the location on Robson was good. The nori on my tobiko sushi tasted kinda stale. Not disappointing but don't expect anything really amazing.
My recent experience at Asahi-Ya was not pleasant. Yes, the food is inexpensive, but the quality was definitely POOR. I ordered a bento-box and my friend ordered a ramen. The bento box was fair, nothing spectacular about it. It was indeed leaning towards the greasy side. The salmon sushi in the bento box was normal, but the tuna sushi was not fresh. As for the ramen, it was really POOR! It wasnt hot enough, and plus you can still see the shape of the noodles in a packet, if you know what I mean. I bet a pack of instant noodles is way better than that ramen. And plus, why would you put sauteed green peppers and onions in the ramen anyway? I swear I'll never return to that restaurant. NEVER!
I went to this restaurant last week with a couple of friends and thought this was a pretty decent Japanese place. It was pretty busy that night and seeing that there were only two waitresses running the entire place, the service was releatively great: quick, polite and friendly. The food was good but not amazing, however better than a few other places I've been on Robson. The chicken teriyaki which was served on a hot plate was delicious and the salmon sashimi I had was very fresh.
Seeing the furnishing of this restaurant(wooden seats, wooden booths...etc.), it is obvious it isn't a fancy diner for customers to sit for hours, but rather a place for a quick bite. Overall, the atmosphere was pretty good. I recommend this restaurant to everyone who's looking for a quick lunch or dinner.
Having dined there several time I am satisfied with the quality of food as well as that of service.
But the over-priced assorted sashimi is a huge letdown...Assorted A is 16.95 which comprises 3 slices of salmon, tuna, tai and tako. Assorted B is Assorted A plus 2 prawns and that costs 23.50!!!
We were walking Robson looking for some dinner and decided to try Asahi for sushi. We had a variety of rolls, cones, tempura and salads and it was all really good. The tuna and salmon was so fresh, portion size is good, value is okay, it's not the cheapest sushi out there but it is probably the best sushi I've had in quite a while. Staff were very friendly and attentive, I'll definitely return for more.
My wife and I always come here when we feel like eating Japanese food. The food is not the best and we do not come here for the ambience. We come here for the sushi. Again, it is not the greatest but it is better than some other Japanese restaurants. The amount of rice is not too much and seem fresh like the other ingredients in the sushi. The other dishes are just average at their best.
We have yet to try the other 20+ Japanese restaurants in the area but for now this serves our needs.
We've visited as Thursday family dinner.
At first, we tried Guu with Garlic because they 're reputation is good. It was too crowded and we were told we had to wait 40 minutes, we also smelled some gas. Too many young people may not fit for a family dinner. We drove to Guu and saw same amount of young people waiting from outside then came to Asahi-ya.
My family liked Sushi rolls and Kimuchi Ramen and rated outstanding. As a father and a native Japanese, I may rate solid but I respect my kids and wife's rating.
I've visited this restaurant several times and at times they can be very busy and the service/food suffers. Even when the restaurant's not busy though, servers fail to pay attention to customers needs, I had to ask them to refill my tea everytime. The wait for food seemed long. Seating is terrible by the way, the bench and table are placed way too close to each other. Food was fresh and well done, the assorted sashimi (raw fish) we had was good, the imitation wasabi used was fresh and strong.
My Co-worker and I just visited the Asahi Ya restaurant for some take out for lunch. We were excited and hungry.
We ordered sashimi and rolls. Soo very tender and tasty. The large pieces of tuna and salmon were very fresh and so tender you could break them into smaller peices with the chopstick. Very good for the price and too much for us to eat, we had to share.
The rolls, again, very fresh and tasty, did not fall apart like some. The price was good, the service great and the place was very busy.
We only waited about 10 minutes, including paying and we were ouit of there.
Great convient place for lunch on Robson, unless you are looking for luxury surroundings. It is basic as they get, but the food is good.