The Clubhouse is a Japanese restaurant with a sports theme. Cheap and varied menu quite different from most Sushi joints. Owner, Masu, is a friendly guy.
I decided to try this place for an early dinner the other night. The place was pretty quiet at around 5:30. First thing I noticed was that the restaurant looked nothing like a Japanese restaurant with its somewhat tacky interior and large booths. They were playing some sort of dance music which seemed to fit the space.
Anyways, I was by myself and I ordered a bunch of different dishes including pork gyoza, spicy tuna cone, dynamite roll, tuna nigiri and some miso. Everything was good and price was what you'd expect. Overall, I would return when I am looking to have a few drinks or maybe with a larger group because they definitely have the space to accommodate. It seems more like a place suited to drink and have some Japanese snacks.
Craving sushi again, we chanced another spot frequented by some of our friends. From the outside in the flavours of a sportsbar are everywhere, from the multitudes of tvs to the reminders of Canuck game night specials on the walls. I still don't know what to think of the overall look of this place but I'd lean towards the end of dislike.
Despite the lukewarm welcome, the menu is typical but what we thought would be predicable dishes turned out otherwise. The dynamite and salmon avocado cream cheese rolls are the same as you'd get in any other non-traditional sushi restaurant as was the agedashi tofu. The gyozas, surprisingly was probably the best dish of the night. The chicken karaage was a turnoff using a battered crust that was mostly soggy while the chikuwa cheese ended up being some sort of fish cake tubes douced in shredded cheese. It was actually a little gross. The overly greasy okonomiyaki pancake was mediocre at best despite being fairly loaded with ingredients.
Service was tepid but sufficient but kitchen speed seemed slow altogether. It seemed a bit strange that the 2 greasiest dishes came out last and it was one of the rare times we had to doggybag leftovers.
With a line drawn between above average and below average sushi restaurants, this one stays below the line.
Went here during the weekday and it was pretty busy for a restaurant in the middle of an office/industrial area, for now. The place is needs a reno but perhaps it has been put off due to redevelopment potential. Decor is old and a bit dark inside. Food is your basic sushi with the addition of the Japapnese pancake dish. I've had this is Japan so when it came out, I was a bit dissappointed. It should be relatively flat but when it came out it was 6 inches high. Stuffed with veggies, noodles and some seafood - just OK. Sushi ordered and it was very basic and a bit on the rough side, not much thought put into presentation. Prices are just OK for the quality you get. Service was good but a bit slow.
Stepping in here feels to me like I've been taken back to a 70's diner. Definitely not what you'd expect for a Japanese restaurant. However, it seems the look is very deliberate. Yes, right down to the period high chair for babies.
Sure, it might not have been a busy night, but still, service was very attentive & friendly.
The menu? Well, it's a bit unique. A little bit sushi, a bit izakaya, a bit good ol' comfort food (Japanese style). There's some pretty interesting stuff, such as a baked avocado (much better than it sounds). The okonomiyaki, large, was really large. Good enough to feed 3-4 I think. Too bad it doesn't fit on a plate, so they just chop it in a few pieces and pile it into a giant mound. Tasty though.
Overall I give it a thumbs up. Good place to hang out, eat and maybe even push back a few drinks. They even have a couple of unique things to make a trip of it.
FOOD >>> It was all excellent, we ordered so much that I can't remember all the dishes, but it was all very very good.
SERVICE >>> The waitress that served us was outstanding. She was friendly and seved us really quickly.
VALUE >>> I honestly found it to be pricey, so I'm not sure that I will return for that reason; there are so many places to try that I would rather eat at a new restaurant.
AMBIANCE >>> Loved the decor, really fun and original. So much to look at!
With an excellent menu selection, good pricing, and a nice atmosphere, Clubhouse should be one of the Lower Mainland's most popular restaurants. And yet it's not.
Why? Let's start with the inconsistency of the food. I've had burnt gyozas which were sent out by the owner Masa himself. Also, the okonomiyaki isn't served up in the true Japanese tradition, with mayo/fishflakes, etc.
I will continue to go to Clubhouse because I like the laid-back atmosphere and home-style Japanese cooking. However, like the last reviewer said, this place is very touch-and-go in terms of the kitchen, wait staff and just about everything else.
With all of that being said, I most certainly would go back.
I haven't been to clubhouse for a while now. Our favorite waitress has left. She worked there for about 3 years I'm guessing. She was always smiling, and her service was always superb. She was probably the only Japanese worker there who's english was perfect. (she might have been Japanese/Canadian.) She would always take the time to explain the food in detail to our guests from out-of-town happily with a smile. We usually order simmilar things every time we go and our waitress would remember! Excellent.
Anyways fast forward to present time clubhouse. The food was still great but the prices have gone up. We noticed a few of our favorite rolls have been taken off the menu. The tuna-steak pozu is still excellent. Up-grades to the place have been made. Looks a lot cleaner than I remember it looking.
One thing I did not like was our server who I think is the owner. She was happy to seat us and take our orders ( a little too quickly as we just had sat down-might i add) We finally ordered and our server disappeared. We had made a special request and she had said "ok" but when our food was brought to our table (by another waitress) it had not been done. We tried explaining it to the server (who brought our food) but she didn't seem to understand. We never saw our waitress for the rest of our stay and never really got the food how we wanted it. Not very professional for an owner i'd say.
We're on the fence about whether we will be visiting Clubhouse again. This is not the first time we've had a problem (with the same waitress-owner). It's a shame because this used to be our favorite place!
Unless this place changed (review below says JUST sushi???) this is a great place for unique, filling, comforting Japanese kitchen dishes... Love their pizza and mixed seafood tempura bowl... sooo good.
Love their beers and specials... deep fried potato thing... and umai tofu salad - lots peanut buttery gomae and crisp iceberg lettuce iwth tofu and some other veggies...
I have to go back and make sure it is the same... I would be upset to hear if the owner Karen moved on somewhere else..
INteresting place with a strange take on japanese classics and some of the tastiest okonomiyaki in the city. The servers are a bit wacky but the sure throw the hustle into their step and never act like you owe them a tip like some of the restaurants in this city.
The beef karubi is delicious, their squid karaage and even their sushi is very very good. This place is run by the original, Japanese owner of the Eatery on broadway so it's pretty damn delicious(which is one place to avoid at all costs)
The maki sushi and rolls were decent and filling, but the okonomiyaki was soggy and it didn't have the traditional garnishes. What turned me off the most was that the service was horrible -- the servers kept passing by our table, never responding to our polite request for more tea and water, never asking how our food was, nor if we needed anything else. In addition, I got a dirty plate, which our server was sceptical of replacing.
If I have to go here again, I'd get the good sushi for take away.
I love Mas Clubhouse, I come here about once a week. It's Japanese food but it feels more like a pub/hangout than a traditional Japanese restaurant. The decor is warm, red, and dark. The music is fun (Gwen Stefani, hip hop, pop.) The tables are scratched up wooden benches, casual but cozy. No tablecloths here, so you can be a sloppy eater/drinker to your heart's content.
In one night you will find parents with toddlers, groups of college students doing sake bombs, people sitting alone reading the paper, and couples on dates.
The place is also swarming with cops (it's right across the street from the cop shop) so don't come here if you're running from the law. On the other hand, if you're looking for a safe place to grab dinner, this is probably the one place in Metro Vancouver you're NOT going to get caught in the crossfire of gang shootings.
I highly recommend the "salmon in foil", it is addictive. The gyoza is quite delicious, although a little greasy. And make sure you try the cream cheese sushi.
I have been here several times and at times the service has been hit and miss. It was a little better the last time I was there, but they always seem to have big tables and this causes them to be overwhelmed. It's a bit of a learning curve I guess, as it appears most of the wait staff are students (there is a lot of turnover in this place).
Foodwise, some of the food is quite good. I would definitely recommend the marinated salmon and tuna. This place also makes one of the better chicken curry katsu's as well. The Tuna Steak Ponzu was a favorite, but the consistency of it's preparation sometimes makes it just average. One item that definitely needs work on is the Sunomono. The flavour is kind of bland and they may need to use a different mirin in it.
I guess the only reason we go here is the affordable food and the inventive selections. The food for the most part is good, but you do have to be patient with the service.
The food is interesting compared to a regular japanese place having a mix of Korean dishes, unique japanese Tapas like Kimpira Gobo (Burdock Root), Sukiyaki Beef Noodles, and their specialty is Okonomiyaki (a japanese style omlette made of cabbage, egg, and a meat like chicken, seafood, beef etc.). For the hungry sort you can order Okonomiyaki on a bed of yakisoba! But these Okonomiyaki's are HUGE to begin with so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're sharing. Be warned tho that Okonomiyaki takes 30 minutes to make so order some appetizers (small ones) and order right up front with the drink order if you're hungry. The price is really good there and the sushi is offbeat in terms of flavors and style.
The place is kind like an old log cabin, with wooden benches/and booths that can accomodate some pretty large parties. Its decorated with various golf/sports deco. Its got a cozy feel.
Now the service really is hit and miss and its been more on the miss lately. From long food wait times, to "hard to flag a server" -- this is the main reason I don't go there anymore. Waiting for 20 minutes before anyone even talked to us one time -- we just walked out. Hadn't gone there in a year -- went there tonight for takeout, and they gave me 1/2 of the normal portion of my order -- and after the server pointed it to Masu, he said it was "okay". Well... $12 and i got a tiny meal. Was not happy. If this place wasn't the only source of good okonomiyaki in this town, I would skip it for the service issues.
Please don't waste your money and time eating here. My husband and I went to eat here last night. It toook 45 min for our first dish to arrive, with no apology from the waitress. The restaurant didn't seem too busy. I am sure it does NOT take 45 min to make a spicy salmon roll and there were only a few tables in the restaurant. In general the service really sucks. There are usually 4-5 waitresses "working" however, only 1 of the waitresses seems do be actually doing anything. The okonomiyaki was definitely disappointing with too much batter and undercooked so it tastes like eating raw dough, you can get better okonomiyaki at the night market. the chicken karaage was average. the holy maki california roll was ok, but the sauce it comes with needs work. we used to come here all the time for the reasonably priced food, but there are way better jap places out there so don't waste your time & money eating here.
Went to eat at The Clubhouse with my boyfriend last week. The ambiance has no japanese decor. We ordered some rolls and it wasn't the greatest but their other dishes was better. Will come back again to try their other dishes and drinks!
I heard that Mas is not the owner anymore from someone. So, I went to eat there tonight to check it and I am 100% sure that Mas is no longer the owner. If he was, he would never let the business go down like that. It was horrible. The service was awful but more than that, the food was worse. The okonomiyaki was almost UNcooked and it was pure batter and mush. The size was about 1/2 what it used to be....The sushi was just bad and all I can hear from my seat were people yelling in Chinese at the top of thier lungs and it certainly wasnt a place to relax and unwind, it was not a fun gathering place. If I wanted to eat Chinese food, I would go to a Chinese restaurant. (I dont need comments about being Chinese racist etc...Im Chinese myself). Anyways, the girls looked so unhappy working there and I was one unhappy customer. I dont wish this on anyone.
Used to be a favourite because they had out of the ordinary Japanese pub style food, the sushi was always okay but it was the tuna steak ponzu and okonomiyakis that made the place. Service was always slow but friendly. Stayed away for a while after the original owner sold because a few friends said it had definitely deteriorated and got sick after eating here.
So, after about a year, tried again. The food is alright but not great. The BC Roll has bbq salmon that looks like what I feed my cat, it definitely tasted like bullseye bbq sauce, not the elegant grilled salmon skin and caviar I like. The California roll was fine, nothing outstanding. The steak tataki, which should be steak, quickly seared, thinkly sliced with a picante ginger sauce was anything but. Once I scraped the topping (?) off, I discovered thoroughly cooked beef chunks. The topping did have ginger and green onions but I’m not sure what else. It did, however, comprise 80% of the dish, certainly NOT worth the $8 I spent on it.
Kinda like the Earls or Cactus club of Japanese food. Alright with a big pitcher of beer or sake.
I think you need to understand the history of the Clubhouse to truly appreciate it. The owner of the Clubhouse started the Eatery on W. Broadway as his first venture many years ago. His vision was a true original in Vancouver at the time. Take eclectic decor of various pop american and japanese icons and pair it with even more eclectic japanese food. Here was born cream cheese maki rolls, potato skin nachos japanese style, and various other totally unique japanese fusion fare. The eatery became a success and was sold. The original owner, Mas ended up started another eccentric joint called the Clubhouse. Completely displaced from any shopping areas or high foot traffick, Clubhouse seemed to survive all its own. It's kitchy gof inspired decor is welcoming yet weird. I always wondered what restaurant was originally housed here. In the years that followed, I think Mas lost touch with the restaurant. The quality and uniqueness of the restaurant seemed to lose its lustre. And in 2007, he likely sold the restaurant to a staff member. From this point onwards, I think the food quality has improved drastically and some heart and soul has been reignited in this little hideaway diner. Karen (who I believe is one of the owners now) has hired a real sushi chef. The sushi is more delicate and tasty now. Food is fresh and service is always prompt. Our regular dishes include the Nabayaki (hot and tasty), various rolls, the mushroom okonomiyaki, tuna tataki, miso soup, marinated salmon (they only use wild salmon!), and chicken katsu curry.
I'd like to think that the Clubhouse is an institution in Vancouver. It's something just totally obscure in the city, yet it's character is born out of something truly unique. If you're looking for fine japanese dining, then the Clubhouse will sure disappoint. But if you're looking for good honest Japanese food with a twist, then Clubhouse will surprise. It's affordable, no fuss food!
I liked this place. it was recommended by friends. Almost like sushi in Japan so i can say this is the most authentic.
It is only a sushi restaurant so you must know that you can only get sushi. Very small, but good for the money you will pay. It is hard to find but once you are there, you will go back.
I've been going to Clubhouse for years and can attest that they are the original funky Izakaya house.
The menu is an oxymoron - you find the most authentic Japanese item (kimpira gobo - traditional home cooking) next to the Western cross Japanese dishes that are actually quite tasty (Cream cheese with asparagus sushi roll? Who would have thought!)
The menu itself is quite confusing and unorganized - from the "daily special" paper menu, to the regular menu to the "today's special" (different from daily special). It's quite daunting to the first timer or even a regular like me. It seems to me that they have over 300 items to please all tastebuds.
I give service a solid 3 - I only go on weekdays when it might be a little slower. The food comes out quite fast and I've only had a problem once with really slow service.
It had more of an energy before - I miss the days when owner Mas would greet you and then sit down and have a piece of your edamame claiming it was for quality control. Clubhouse is still a great quirky place to go and relax or to to meet up with friends and have some great sushi and okonomiyaki.
Tuna Tataki - best in town! Thick slices of seared tuna with daikon oroshi and special sauce is to die for!
Umai Tofu Salad - large portions - the dressing is so fresh
Cheese Chikuwa - great appy! Very Japanese with a twist.
Lastly, even with the new owners I feel the quality of the food is the same- as long as they don't change up the tuna tataki, I'm good to go!