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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews29

Octopus Garden

1995 Cornwall Ave
Vancouver, BC V6J1C8
Tel: (604) 734-8971
Neighbourhood: Kitsilano
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Meals: Dinner
  • Features: Patio
  • Hours: Mon - Tue: 12PM - 9PM, Wed: Closed, Thu: 12PM - 9PM, Fri: 12PM - 9:30PM, Sat: 3PM - 9:30PM, Sun: 3PM - 9PM
  • Frequented by die-hard local Kits patrons. Silly name for a restaurant; but serious sushi. Eccentric and colorful decor.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 29 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
As it should be...
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 10:35pm [Dine in]

I feel I should be tough on this one given what it aims to be, yet I don't want to give the impression that this is a lousy place. Far from it.

Very tiny and cozy, almost feels like it could be one of those places hidden away in Japan somewhere. If you're looking for that "fine dining" feeling, this is not the place, in both the decor and service (which is friendly and much less formal feeling).

Being a rather special occasion, we sprang for the big omakase. So, what can the chef bring for all that $$$? A lot as it turns out. The variety was top, all sorts of different flavours, textures and presentations. Quantity? We were stuffed to the gills, so we cannot complain about that. The food? Well, I'm a bit torn about that. All but one of the pieces was excellent. One of the rolls came out, well, suspect. The rice seemed very dry & old, I might give it the benefit of the doubt since it was also a deep-fried roll (but it's not my first time I've had one). Either the quality or the execution fell flat on this one, and for the quality this place is aiming for, one miss is one too much.

Service and the _attitude_ (if not the actual execution) about attention to detail was absolutely superb. It's the kind of attitude I've also seen at Nobu (but unlike Octopus, they actually carry it out consistently). Of course, at a price and place like this, I would expect no less, but it doesn't make me any less satisfied.

Would I return though? Well, yes. Given how everything else was carried out, I'll give it a free pass this time. Until Tojo brings his game back, I'd probably turn here instead.

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Adorably plated creative sushi rolls!
By foodfanatic of South Vancouver (286 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - 2:31pm [Dine in]

Though the price is a little steep for the ingredients you get in the various rolls, the creative presentation of each item makes it possibly worth the cost. In addition to that, with the atmosphere & the great friendly service, it softens the blow of the final total of the bill for the eel/mango/avocado/beans/tuna/salmon (wild sockeye) in varying combination rolls.

The cooked food is superb! I'd give that a 5 rating alone except that I'd still have to include the rating for the sushi, which, in the end, no matter how aesthetically pleasing they are, and no matter that each of the rolls come in many fair sized pieces (8? 9?), the flavours & the ingredients are somewhat lacking & uneventful while they really do look gorgeous!

What I'd suggest that ppl who share my thoughts on Octopus Garden's food do is, order a variety of their deliciously cooked items & just add one single roll just so that you can admire the beautiful artwork by the chef. The Mr. Beans roll is one of the least worthwhile in value but one of the most worthwhile in terms of presentation--then there are the gorgeous Dragon Rolls and Yellow Submarines, etc. Either that or go with the omakase.

The service is flawless, and the sushi chefs seem genuinely happy preparing the exquisitely looking rolls. The servers are friendly & the room is beautifully decorated. If you are a 2-seater, the boat table in the middle of the room makes for a sweet experience.

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Possibly the best Japanese restaurant in town
By jennko of Vancouver (86 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 12:58pm [Dine in]

went here yesterday for dinner and the for of us ordered the chef's creations for the day. So the idea is the food keeps on coming until we tell them to stop or start the dessert. I forgot the order that it came in and some of the dishes but i'll write bout some of them here so u can order it if u come. I had the miso soup french onion style, meaning it's miso with baquette and melted cheese on it, I find this creative but did not really excite my taste buds. I also had horse meat, I find it a tasting just like beef with somewhat coarser grain. The meat was cooked medium rare but I still think it's not as good as beef. Foies gras sushi is wrapped with nori from top to bottom and it is: foies gras, mushroom, mango, and rice. This tasted awesome, the foies gras was cooked perfectly, soft in the center. Another one that i remember was the uni shooter, aka. Japanese viagra as the chef called it, it's actually comprised of "mountain yam", rice, uni, and quail's egg. The taste of that was just excellent, I think I would try doing it at home sometime next week w my bf. We also had rice with uni and some fish, it was great, just that I find the fish (I forgot the kind) was a little dry, the uni was excellent though. The dessert that they have was banana fritters with soy or sesame gelato. It tasted pretty good. I would definitely come back here again and I will specify to the chef that I want the uni shooter and foie gras sushi.

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top notch sushi!
By genki39 of burnaby (82 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 12:54am [Dine in]

Came here for a 'friends" birthday. It is a very nice and stylish place, it had that "beatles" theme, yellow submarine roll etc. The service was very friendly and professional, the food was very good, we ordered the yellow submarine, the tataki and other sushi dishes, like I said all very good. It is on the pricey side though, not a sushi joint you go to once a week, more like a special occasion place. There was 4 of us and to be honest we were still hungry when we left, but like I said the food is very good and you can tell they use quality (high grade fish etc.) ingredients and presented very nice. All in all I would reccoment Octopus Garden......but bring you wallet!

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Wasn't what I expected
By abevyforbev of Kitsilano, Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 2, 2008 - 11:21am [Dine in]

I visited this restaurant this weekend, finally catching it when it was open and not extremely busy. The place is a lot smaller than I had imagined, but cozy while very open (the chefs seem to like to socialize with every guest). The food was great - we ordered the 4 course meal with salad, miso soup, one their own signature sushi rolls, and sesame gelato for $35, which turned out to be a bit overpriced for the portions of the food, but the presentation and the taste made up for it. The service seemed to be very selective (I'm in my twenties, and the other guests seem to be quite a bit older or with families) and the chefs and the waitresses ignored us, even seemed to forget about us for a while, as we were clearly some of the youngest people there. Perhaps they have a very selective clientele and they prefer to stick to it, but my party of two was in no means obnoxious or comparatively loud, so it seemed we gave no reason to deserve the relatively and obviously prejudice treatment. Still, when we did get served by the waitresses they were extremely polite and friendly.
In all, I was highly disappointed by their service and pleasantly satisfied with their delicious meals, but I will have to give this place another shot. Or maybe not.

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Creative Sushi
By got2hot of Vancouver (46 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 28, 2007 - 3:20pm [Dine in]

The previous reviewer obviously lacks taste. This is sushi for people who like to try new things. I also had the lobster roll, and it melted in my mouth, and was absolutely spectacular.
It can be slightly pricier than other sushi places, but you are paying for quality. I guess some people would rather get cheap over great. This is definitely worth it.
The service is excellent, and yes it can get a little slow when busy, but no worse than any other sushi place.
If you are ok with spending a few extra bucks to get way better food, than this place is worth a visit, or two, or more.
If it's all about cheap, than go somewhere else.

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Great service and food
By Barcelonaguy of Yaletown (48 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 10:06am [Dine in]

Had a great time in this small Kits restaurant. Nice wine list with hard to find BC offering like Larose and Blue Mountain. King Crab sushi roll is amazing. Try the six course Omakase menu and sit at the bar. Black sesame ice cream is the best I've ever tried. Very friendly and prompt service.

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Over priced let down
By Eatfeat of Yaletown (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, June 10, 2007 - 11:03pm [Dine in]

We stumbled upon this restaurant while walking around Kits for the first time. What a gorgeous area! Octopus Garden looked intriquing and we entered famished. We were warmly greeted and after browsing the menu assumed we were in for a treat, albeit expensive. Only the latter proved true as the food turned out to be mediocre. The sashimi salad lacked in every way possible and was quite simply boring. The specialty rolls that we ordered were okay but not at that price. When we requested basic hot sake we were told that only premium sake was available at over $30 for a small 300ml bottle. In the end a very plain mediocre sushi dinner at a high price. Not worth it. The ambiance was nothing spectacular but nice. Service was attentive and good overall.

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Overpriced
By vwou of vancouver (24 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:10am [Dine in]

Nice interior and food presentation but very overpriced. Food presentation is very nice but no substance. For example, I would expect the $16 lobster roll to have raw fresh lobster. Instead it came with a tiny bit of cooked chewy lobster and it couldn't even taste it with all the seame seeds sprinkled on the roll. What a waste. Same thing with the equally pricey crab roll. Sure their sashimi is fresh but at what costs? A lot of Greater Vancouver restaurants offer fresh fish. You can easily get close to the same quality else where if you are not too keen on superficial food. presentation, for 1/2 the price. Good place to bring out of town guests or dates who have rarely tried Japanese food and need a non imtimidating, comfortable place to venture into Ethnic goods.
For good fresh sashimi and sashimi try Tsukiji in Richmond. Yes it is chinese run, not japanese, but who cares, look inside the kitchen of Vancouver's best restaurants, often you will see asian dudes as sous chefs, head chefs. you dont need to be italian to make pasta or french to bake pastries.

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Great!-if you hate vegetables
By eedee of Main, Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 12:36am [Dine in]

I went to this restaurant having read great things and was a little disappointed and definitely surprised by the prices. There were tons of specials not on the menu (way too many to remember). Also, there were NO vegetables on the menu other than two veg. rolls. Japanese food has amazing veg. dishes, but there were none. I had to ask for a salad and some edamame which weren't listed. My husband wanted some vegetables to balance all the protein, but the server couldn't recommend anything. The meat and seafood dishes were very creative and beautifully presented, but I left hungry and with a sizable addition to my Visa bill.

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Overpriced
By misosweet of Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 15, 2007 - 1:26am [Dine in]

I came here awhile back with my mother. We had no idea where to eat dinner and she recommended this place as she sometimes goes with her girlfriend. We shared the ninja roll, dragon roll and dungeness crab roll.
The ambience of the restaurant is lovely, it feels authentic. However I think the food is way overpriced for what you get. The food is good but it's nothing superb; you are probably paying for the presentation (which is also lovely). However I was surprised that I winded up full. I also enjoyed the dessert.
It was worth checking out the first time but I'd probably only come back for a special occasion and with a fatter wallet.

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Worst Experience...You have been warned
By davidson11 of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 10:30pm [Dine in]

not a long review. look at the price of the rolls, salads, seafood. then order and assess. i can tell you in the land of outstanding sushi and outstanding value this place is the worst. see many great reviews. all i can assume is they are neighbourhood customers who value something close? main street sushi spots are far better value and dont thrive off volume of customerrs to make up for poor quality and poor value. as the other reviewer stated...you have been warned

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I'd like to be under the sea...
By martinthinks of Kits (7 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 7, 2009 - 11:47pm [Dine in]

This quaint little sushi bar, not far from my doorstep, serves up some decent and creative sushi. It certainly is not the best sushi I have ever had but it's pretty good. The service was alright, nothing special. The value? All I can say is the rent must be astronomical here! The interior, although tiny, is cute and comfortable. Worth a try, if your wallet is feeling too heavy and needs to be lightened!

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Best Black Cod
By natnod of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 12:11am [Dine in]

Went there with 6 friends last week for dinner, we had a hard time finding the entrance and we missed the entrance twice driving by (right beside Max store). The place is a bit small but the decoration is comfortable, earned a 4 stars rating.

We were greeted by the waitress and there is also a tea menu with different choices of green tea and herbal tea, i picked a pear green tea, 3.50, which is ok. We ordered a 60.00 set dinner (we were told it is just for 1 person, and we found the price is a bit high for a single person but we wanna give it a try, and it can actually feed 2 ppl with 1-2 appetizers or another order of sushi roll. We also ordered dragon roll, another roll which I forgot the name, both rolls are decent. The set dinner has soup, 2-3 appetizers, oysters, sashimi, lamb ribs which is not too bad for 60.00.

Every dish we ordered is above average but the black cod is really outstanding and is the best black cod that I have ever had, the fish is fresh and is juicy and everything is just right, perfect dish. We wanna order another one but it was sold out already. We ordered dessert as well. The bill is 350.00 including the tips, a bit higher than we expected as we saw the price range is 20-30 per person on the web, but overall the quality is good.

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Highly recommended
By AngelaW of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 10:42pm [Dine in]

I've been to Japan several times and very much missed the sushi and Japanese food they serve there. Vancouver has a number of good Japanese restaurants but in my opinion, I would have to say that Octopus Garden is closest to authentic Japanese food. The decor is small and quite cozy. I ordered the Omakase. It's a multi-course meal, which the chef personally creates. Your dishes will depend on the availability and whatever ingredients they have fresh at the moment. My friend who went a week earlier ordered the same Omakase meal but was served entirely different dishes. My friends ordered the sashimi and nigiri combo. The sushi isn't all what you would find in a typical Japanese restaurant, where they would serve the normal salmon/tuna. The chef and servers were all very hospitable too. The chef stepped out and personally thanked us for coming while the servers said goodbye and held the door for us. I would recommend this restaurant to the adventurous types and aren't afraid to try a little raw fish :)

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Best Japanese food in town-arigatou gozaimashita
By nei5577 of richmond, vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 9:28am [Dine in]

Before i step in octopus garden, i have read a lot of review and prepare for the DOV menu and thought i wont be very food for this DOV. however is a suprise for us.
We get seated @ the sushi bar which i always liek to be. When i get in the dine out menu is more then i expected, 3 courses to 4 courses and then my husband get a Taiyo menu for $100 which like a tasting menu everything is a surprise, but they still ask me what i like and what i dont. THe service is really friendly and also the chef, we seat in front of the sushi bar, and the chef will explain what i will have for today, the first thing we have is tofu cocktail, o my god the tofu is soft and sweet. then my husband got a surprise starter beside tofu, he got uni ccocktail, which made me fly the whole night. Then we have soup which is amazing. After that my husband got a assorted sashimi, please is wonderful. every sashimi is so tasty and fresh. then come with every small hot plate and sushi, i dont know how many dishes i have, and they are so nice they combin my DOV menu and his Taiyo menu, which they create a really good presentationfor each dish, the last dessert we have is a really nice close for the night, the assorted dessert we have is so stunning, the sobert and the moshi moshi roll.....thanks octopus garden we see u again very soon.

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Wonderful experience
By starvoyager999 of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 10:57pm [Dine in]

A must-go place for all food lovers! The sushi chef's artistic and delicious rolls will blow you away. Depending on how you order it may get pricey. But When it comes to rolls no place can beat it. Because it takes time to make them if you go there on busy nights expect to wait for a while. However, once you eat you will forget it all.

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Omakase~
By lottekoala of Richmond (5 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 27, 2007 - 8:58pm [Dine in]

I have been there couple times and I always order their Omakase menu (where the chef decides the menu base on what's fresh that day). I'd try Tojo's Omakase menu as well but I prefer Octopus Garden's.

Service is great and friendly. I suggest sitting at the bar if you're going on a date.
Chefs behind the bar always have smiles on their faces and make you feel welcome.

Sashimi they offer is as fresh as it gets, and the presentation just blew me away. (Once the sashimi was placed inside a bowl made of ice). All dishes taste superb and again, presentation is innovative.

The only complaint from me is the price... they used to have $45, $55 and $75(?) Omakase menus ( 3 diff. price range for sure), then there were only $55 and $75 left and now it's a choice between $60 and $90. Personally I *know* the food i get definitely worth what I've paid but sometimes I wish they still keep the $45 menu.

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A rare gem in the city
By winenut of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, December 30, 2006 - 12:38pm [Dine in]

Been to this rather quirky Japanese restaurant a couple of times and each time the food was excellent. But I really didn't know how good this place was until I tried their Omakase tasting menu. Good sashimi is relatively easy to come in this city as it only requires fresh ingredients, but good cooked foods and creative dishes is all based on the skill of the chef and I think Octopus' Garden has both. This is one of the friendliest sushi places around and I would definitely recommend sitting at the sushi bar to get the full explanation of each dish from the chef.

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creative sushi
By freda97 of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 1:12am [Dine in]

I really enjoy my visits to the Octopus Garden. I think they have some of the most creative sushi in the city. I highly recommend the dragon roll. The service was solid and the room was surprisingly comfortable considering it’s size. The outside is getting a little tired though.

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