Japanese fusion restaurant and lounge located inside International Village (Tinseltown) on the second floor beside the food court. Spacious, floor to ceiling windows, beautiful decor and huge bar. Occasional live entertainment. A la carte and buffet menus available.
we went on the recommendation that this would be a "great fusion restaurant" but were seriously disappointed.
the hostess and servers were unable to answer any questions we had regarding the potential entertainment that we were told about when we booked our reservation. everyone we asked said that they werent sure what we were referring to.
regarding the food, i'm not sure what is fusing the Chinese and Japanese cuisine. the buffet had blatant Chinese and Japanese items but nothing that was a true fusion experience, you're better off at other Japanese owned izakaya for that. the sushi was quite obviously old as the rice has gone hard/crunchy in parts and the "great sashimi" that we were told about when booking our reservation didnt make an appearance at all. one of the servers told us that unless we were there for a "private party bringing in lots of guests" the chances of seeing sashimi were slim to none. looks like this place doesnt mind participating in a bit of false advertising.
when we went up to the buffet a second time, the servers were too busy talking to each other to clear away our plates. we had to ask them to come over to clear them away.
if you're 18-20 and you're just looking to eat to get full and dont care about spending over $20 then you'll be satisfied.
When I first walked into this eatery for a quick lunch, I was surprised to see a large ballroom that could seat upwards of 200 people. It was nicely designed and I was promptly seated by the operations manager, Kingsley.
Kentizen of course offers an a la carte menu - but the buffet is a fairly decent size, with copious amounts of tuna/salmon sashimi along with plenty of different kinds of sushi in the middle of the buffet. Arriving at their opening time of 11:30, the sushi tasted very fresh. I also enjoyed the seaweed salad on the side, and the many dishes of Chinese servings scattered on the borders of the buffet. What was especially good was the lemon and General Tao chickens, which allowed you to customise your taste.
I will need to drop by for dinner (or get invited to private parties, which Kentizen does take bookings for) to get a better feel for this eatery. For only $12, and several hours free parking in cramped Chinatown, this is a great place for lunch (or quite possibly dinner) – the experience feels quite different from what I have experienced before.
Indeed a fusion lounge; fusion of lousy Chinese and mediocre Japanese food. At $22 dinner buffet, food is not worth it. Lots of other restaurants in Chinatown or downtown which serves better food. The only consolation is the nice ambiance, presentable atmosphere, and the duo performers (pianist and singer) who amazingly was able to play a lot of customers music request. Worth a return trip probably just to listen to the live duo music and enjoy the cozy atmosphere, but the food, well... hmm.
We held a large private family function (70 people) recently and were extremely satisfied with the service from the time we booked until the end of our function. The value for money was excellent.
The food was very fresh and plentiful as requested and our plates were changed frequently. By the end of lunch, several friends took down the restaurant's number in order to book for their parties as well.
The restaurant itself is quite beautiful and great for kids as there is lots of space between tables.
I would definitely consider this venue to book another large function as it really was well done.
First off, the restaurant sign itself classifies itself as "fusion". When they say fusion, they really mean just serving badly made Chinese and Japanese food existing on the same menu.. not the fusion of two cultures in a dish. There was nothing fusion about these dishes on the menu nor buffet. Cold sweet and sour pork, gai-lan, sushi with hard rice, and ice-cold tempura which is colder than the seaweed salad (most of the serving trays for the hot food weren't even heated) hardly is my idea of fusion. I would actually put the food at this place below most Asian fast-food/take-out places. I honestly felt like I was served leftover food that just came out of my fridge and microwaved for about 15 seconds.. for both the hot and the cold dishes.
The buffet will seem like a deal because the a-la-carte menu is not particularly cheap. At their prices, I could actually go to a GOOD Japanese restaurant for some well made sushi. At this place, you're paying to have the choice of bad Chinese and/or bad Japanese food.
But the bad overpriced food is hardly the only problem. Words that can describe the ambiance: AWKWARD and CONFUSING.
The restaurant itself is actually very grand feeling and large like a ballroom. It has high ceilings, a dance floor and a bar. They try to make it feel classy and modern but do pretty much EVERYTHING wrong. I was there in the early evening in the summer when the sun was still out and not even starting to set (around 6) and the drapes were totally closed over the large windows but you can see the sunlight creeping in through the sides. We thought they might've been trying to cover up a bad view but there actually was nothing wrong with the view. They were trying to darken the room for a more classy ambiance.. but failed horribly as the result was the room became dark due to bad lighting and with sun creeping in through the sides of the drapes.
Next the background music through the speakers was totally not fitting not to mention halfway through the meal, they had someone play some live flamenco music or something with a Spanish beat... hardly the type of music that would go into an ASIAN FUSION restaurant.
The only thing salvaging the place is that the service was actually OK. They were attentive and courteous but nothing outstanding.
In conclusion, the only thing "fusion" about this restaurant is the combination of cold Chinese fast food (which is a disappointment as Tinseltown is right near Chinatown) with questionable Japanese food, a confusing ambiance of bad lighting, music for a Spanish nightclub, in a nice large ballroom, topped off by semi-decent service.
Within a dead mall with no real anchor, and possibly one of the worst Asian food dining experiences in Vancouver, I can confidently (but sadly) say that this restaurant will not be around for long if they keep this up.