Little sushi joint near Thurlow and Davie. Has a variety of rolls, as well as different cooked menu items, including robata.
My last visit to this location was about two months ago. Today I came here with the bf and we ordered avocado rolls, chicken teriyaki and assorted tempura, dynamite roll, and spicy agedashi tofu.
The place wasn't busy, and I swear our orders came within 5 mins. Their avocado rolls have DEFINITELY shrunk big time. It's still bigger than most places.. but it's no longer the Samurai Sushi size. The Cambie location definitely has bigger portions. It wasn't made very well either, it just fell apart when I tried to pick it up, same goes for the dynamite roll. And the avocado roll just tasted really bland. Rice not seasoned well enough maybe? The tempura was just okay. The spicy agedashi tofu isn't that spicy at all.. and I have a feeling it may have been sitting there for a bit cause when it was served to us, it wasn't piping hot like it should have been if it were fresh. And remember to eat it right away or else it's gonna taste like a soggy mess. The chicken teriyaki came in a generous portion size. Not sure how that was, I'm a vegetarian. Also came with a miso soup, bf didn't complain about that..but I noticed he didn't finish it either.
Service, like I said was super quick. They constantly came back for refills and asked about food. So no problems here. They were very brief. All the food came up to about.. 21 or 23 dollars, I can't remember, but this place still has great value.
I'm hoping today was just an off day or something for them. Cause I do love Samurai's. Good luck guys, and hope your food improves.
This is my favourite not-so Japanese restaurant. As many of the reviews have mentioned, the portions are HUGE. It's not Japanese, but I have to say, it does taste pretty good. The size of their sushi has gone down slightly, I'm not sure why.
Service is okay. I do take-out at this restaurant, as the ambiance is non-existant. Scores of people line up outside this restaurant to pick up their orders.
I really hope they have a fridge though. You see orders ready long before they're ready to be picked up stacked on shelves.
Is it just me, or are the rolls bigger at the Cambie st. location? At Cambie, I remember thinking, wow!! These are humungous! But at Davie, while they are bigger than average, but I wouldn't rave about the size. Not that my criteria for good sushi has anything to do with the size, but at Samurai I've come to expect that I'm going to get a huge roll. Don't get me wrong, the Davie st. location sushi tasted fine, I just expected bigger. Back to Cambie I go.
Larger cuts of fish than expected for the nigiri. Quality of the food served seems to be kept consistently pleasant. Larger than typical for robata portions. Sushi pieces range from $0.99 to $2.50 (Uni). The rolls range from $2 to the upwards of $8.50 for a Rainbow Roll, or $9.95 for a full specialty House Roll. Even the Spider Rolls are only $5.95 per.
The bento combos with tempura provides more than generous portions, as does the various udon/ramen orders offered at $5.95-6.95 a bowl.
The gyozas could be better, but they're not bad though a tad too much oil and the wrap-to-content ratio isn't ideal as it leaves about half of the inside empty/full of air. The spicy tuna rolls aren't bad, but they could be better as they seem a bit too much on the mushy side and maybe it would have benefited with the addition of cucumbers rather than just negi added. The BBQ fish can get overcooked to the point of resembling chicken white-meat but at an average of $3.75 to $4.50 for such great portions, I'd be willing to risk ordering that again and again until it's been cooked to perfection.
Plenty of variety cooked or raw. Such great deals with matching quality--though not "the best" but definitely better than average for the same type of establishment anywhere in this town.
Trying to get a seat at Samurai is difficult, but well worth it! The quality of the sushi here is excellent and the portions are unheard of! The fish is large enough to wrap around the piece of rice! Most times, it can be overcrowded, but it just shows the demand for this restaurant! There is always a lineup out the door for this restaurant.
Compared to some of the other places in downtown area.. it's decent for the price you pay. It's not super high class, it's just somewhere to grab some take out or a quick lunch that's filling.
They're pretty efficient and don't have to wait SUPER long for your food. It's usually pretty packed depending on the time you come. The staff there are pretty brief but friendly enough.
The quality of food is okay. It's not disgusting like some of the other places, such as Sushi Go at Bute and Melville, but the rice could use a bit more attention. I usually order their avocado rolls cause I'm a vegetarian, and it's pretty good, avocados are always at the just ripe stage. Their portions are bigger than a lot of other places, but like one of the previous reviews.. I think the one on Cambie has bigger sized portions. But then I also heard that that location on Cambie had some problems with food safety (heard from my mom's friend who's a food safety inspector). Apparently they don't freeze their fish properly before using. But overall, I go their routinely for my avocado rolls. Good for the price you pay.
Would probably go if you wanted to just eat something with friends or was ordering party platter for big group of friends. Super filling.
I've been to samurai a few times, and I don't know why I didn't review this restaurant before! This has truly got to be one of my favourite sushi places because of its value, pace and takeouts.
The lineups can be extensive, but its worth it. The lineup goes faster than stephos at least, and they quickly lead you to your table. I don't really expect much ambience from a sushi place like this, because as long as the food is awesome, then ambience can be pardoned.
I had the combo special with chicken teriyaki.....it was 10 bucks. For a combo 10 bucks you'd expect those small bento boxes. Wrong! They give you so much food that I packed half of it for home. Their chicken teriyaki CAN be better.....but their tempura, dynamite roll and soup was great. The waitresses were pretty nice too, but they seemed to be pretty busy.
My friend had salmon nigiris, seafood/oyster motoyaki and spicy tuna roll. The spicy tuna roll could have been better, because the tuna seemed really mashed up and too gooey in my opinion. She told me the motoyaki was delicious, and they are one of the few restaurants that put mushrooms in their motoyaki. I don't know much about the motoyaki, so can't really give an opinion. The salmon was huge.
Although the food came quickly for us, I ordered a take out for my boyfriend and it took quite a while. I don't know if they were really busy, or that is their usual pace.
anyways, this place is definitely worth visiting, and bringing friends who are really hungry yet patient.
My boyfriend come here almost every weekend. The food at Samurai is not only generous but extremely tasty. There are sooo many different items on the menu that it's difficult to choose at times (as there are so many favorites). If it weren't for the fact that parking downtown can be a pain, we would be here waay more often!
Their lunch special looked good, so I became their first customer of the day at 11:10am. For $6.95 you get, miso soup, green salad, beef teriyaki, tempuras, 1 apicy tuna cone, and agedashi tofu.
The green salad and miso soup were typical and unremarkable. The tofu was surprisingly good though I only got 2 pieces. The beef teriyaki was very tiny and covered in a sickeningly sweet sauce. Not my favourite. The tempura had 2 shrimps, of which one was not cooked (gray in colour). There was also a piece of carrot, zuchinni, and eggplant, none of which I liked. I was surprised there was no yam or squash.
The spicy tuna cone was the main problem. I took one bite of it and I knew the tuna was bad, so I had to spit it out. Not very nice at all. The taste is undescribable. It was very salty, fishy, stinky, and not spicy? The waitress never came to ask how things were, so I complained about the tuna when she came to collect the dishes. What did she say? Nothing. So I said it again: The tuna was bad. And once again, nothing. At this point I decided it's not worth it, so I paid and put "Your tuna was bad" on the bill hoping the message would get through. The fact that I needed to look for a toilet 10 minutes later confirmed my finding.
That's it for us. No more Samurai. The food was awful. The cleanliness of the bathrooms very questionable. The service wasn't bad, but again, the food just did not cut it. Volume is one thing, but when presented with a large plate of bad food it does not really factor in. Small or large it's still bad food. I would not recommend this place to anyone. Ambiance has a lot to be desired, it's tired, old, and crumbling.
I admit, I crave sushi about once a week, so i decided to check this place out as it is the only samurai i'm aware of that serves cooked food as well as raw. Usually the crowds are a turn off for me, but this time, i came at an odd time, and was able to be seated quickly. (though seating me was a challenge). being a single seat, they asked if i could wait and sit at the sushi bar. and then another waitress seated me at a 4person table. tea and service was efficient. And i defaulted to sashimi, though i wanted something warm. The pieces were huge and fresh that i didn't need anything else after that. It's dependable, reliable, and good during a non-rush hour.
I would say that I eat at Samurai at least once a week.
I've tried probably close to 25 sushi restaurants just in Vancouver, and I can find none that offer the quality/price ratio that you find at Samurai. The fish is BIG!
Service and ambiance are about what I'd expect from a typical sushi restaurant.
Though Samurai didn’t show up in any of the guides I’ve been using, I noticed frequent lines in front; a brief perusal of the menu and interior showed potential. So, one evening we were psyched to be seated in the small crowded dining room with only a 5 minute wait.
The meal started out with fresh tasting wakame and decent agadashi (tofu had a nice consistency though the sauce was a little anemic), and we were excitedly anticipating our first Vancouver sushi experience. When it arrived, we felt our bubble deflate a bit: which was the hamachi and which was the tuna?!? None of it looked that fresh. The hamachi (I think) was mushy and inedible. The chopped scallop tasted disappointingly fishy as did the ikura (actually we ordered tobiko but got salmon roe). All of the sushi was room temperature, like it had been sitting outside for a long time. In the end we ordered some miso soup and some more unagi (the best sushi we ordered on this visit) and called it a night, leaving half the sushi on the plate.
Coming from California, we were hoping to be really impressed by the freshness of sushi here. I’m always willing to give a restaurant a second chance – maybe they were having an off night or maybe a Tuesday night isn’t the best night to dine there, but with all the other sushi restaurants in Vancouver we won’t be going back to Samurai any time soon. Onward and upward, I know there’s great sushi out there somewhere!
A regular lunch time spot for my friends and I. We don't mind waiting as we know the food will be great and the portions huge. Yes, we have tried over 20 other sushi places in town. Yes, we have tried to find a better deal on the Bento boxes. Yes, we have tried to ween ourselves off the great sushi & Sashimi served but failed. The Californian's are a must as too is the Chicken teryaki roll. The food is always fresh as the turnover is amazing in this place. Line-ups are the norm and the restarant wins numerous awards - for good reason!
Normally, when I eat Japanese food, I stick with the higher end restaurants because raw fish can become contaminated quite easily.
This place is one of my exceptions, I used to come here quite often, because for $30 you get a lot of sushi rolls and sashimi.
The quality is not as good as a more expensive place, the rice is thicker and the fish is lower grade, but the important thing is that it is clean.
The last time I ordered however I wasn't too thrilled. The quality has slipped slightly.
I would still recommend it for decent cheaper sushi.
Brought some visiting friends to Samurai for dinner last night as they wanted "Japanese". Best deal is one the 3 dinner specials that includes miso soup, green salad, sunomono salad, dynamite roll, chicken or beef teriyaki, vegetable tempura, brocoli/carrot and mixed cooked bean sprouts all for $10.95 This is great for sharing by adding on some sashimi, another roll or gyoza. For 5 of us we ordered 2 dinners as above, 2 california roll and teppa makki. Timing seems to be an issue at this restaurant as everything seems to come at the same time in random order. The japanese tea is excellent and the wait staff are constantly circling the restaurant refilling cups. For $40 for 5 of us, we were very full and satisfied. Will definately return again and again for this good value.
I've been to Samurai several times before, and thought that the sushi and salmon-don were very good. I came in again earlier this week to try their ramen (and warm up my weak San Francisco-raised body). Although the soup had copious freshly cooked vegetables, the noodles were, disappointingly, a bit pastey. It also took a long while for the servers to bring some tongarashi (chili powder), something that usually comes automatically at other Japanese restaurants.
The sushi (tako and maguro, to be exact), was still par excellence, so I'd still come back for those. And service is pretty good when it's not overwhelmingly busy.
Yes, outstanding for everything.
Sushi is not one of my favorite cuisines but I can recognize good service, good food at a good price anywhere.
This is one of those places and apparently, it's pretty popular in Vancouver. I ordered the Vancouver roll since I'm visiting for two months. Spectacular! Along with some good Sashimi, you are set.
You won't spend more than $12 and that's if you really wanna stuff yourself.
I've heard about this restaurant a lot very popular restaurant in downtown.
but after I visited there, I disappointed little bit. Food was not bad but the service wasn't satisfactory. The staffs didn't care about customer I think,, maybe because it's little bit busy that day. anyway It's not that good than I expected. just ok..
People have complained, but what else did you expect from a cheap sushi joint?
It is, what it is supposed to be and that's exactly what they provide.
Cheap, fast sushi.
Staff was decent, food was decent (for the price), price was decent.
A good place to grab a quick bite and just hang out with your buddies.
Close to bars as well for a drink afterwards.