Samurai is a sushi restaurant on Cambie with giant portions.
I've only had take-out from this Samurai Sushi House. From what I've had, yes, you do get your money's worth. A whole sushi tray to serve 4-5 for $20. But I have to agree with some of the other reviews. Some rolls are so large, I got sick trying to finish one. They jam so many different ingredients into one roll, that it kinda loses good flavor. You spend so much time trying to point out what you're tasting at that moment.
We ordered the sushi platter while we were 5 minutes away and when we got there, we had to wait another 40 minutes. And since I can't really rate the ambiance because I've never dined-in before, I gave it a "poor" because when I walked in to check on my order. I almost went deaf from the really loud Vietnamese conversation from the ladies chatting inside. I also, don't mean to be rude, but if those ladies kept their talking at a lower level, I wouldn't have walked out and waited in the rain instead.
After hearing how huge all their sushi rolls were, I went and ordered a party tray for my birthday this year. While there was a lot of variety and it was pretty fresh, the size was not what I expected - definitely smaller than advertised and it wasn't anything super special. The location is right across from Oakridge Mall and like previous reviewers you're better off doing take out if you live in the area. I walked in to pick up my order and was surprised at how tiny the eating area was...and did I mention it felt very stuffy and warm inside? I was a bit worried after that when I saw my party tray was just sitting on shelf behind the cashier basking in the warmth of the place. I remember having their rolls last year at a friend's party and they were much bigger...too bad it's not the same anymore. =(
This was the only location I've gone to and it's been a while since I've gone back. I almost exclusively dine in at sushi restaurants but there's hardly ever any available chairs in their cramped quarters and it's dingy to hang around long so I do takeout.
I've stuck to the same few items: California Rolls, Spicy Scallop Rolls and their House Roll the odd ocassion. Rolls are gargantuan in size which is why there is always a lineup. As mentioned their Salmon and Tuna is actually of decent quality but it is inconsistently prepared: either too cold, too warm, and/or improperly sliced and sized. Overall from my usual order it's fast food quality at fast food prices. Liberal use of sushi rice round off in making their rolls astounding in girth and filling for the hungry. Honestly though it isn't bad but there are dozens of other joints for better consistency and quality.
Since I've only had takeout there they handle the volume of customers fairly well each visit that I've had. Run similarly to a conveyor belt the ladies on the cashier take your order and give you a number. Other than than the varying wait times for your order to be prepared there's not much else to go into detail.
If you're hungry and craving sushi and only have a ten on you I suppose this place (and their other locations) should fill the gap in your stomach.
Yes, the sushi pieces are extremely large and for some pieces you will need a knife and fork. The quality, however, is good and the line-ups = mucho business = fresh sushi. Prices are extremely reasonable. So, for all you people complaining about the size of the sushi, I have one question, why do you keep going back?
I've never been in the place. I've seen the lineups though. I have however been the recipient of takeout many times.
Their sushi tastes OK, but what it really comes down to and the main reason for my low rating is the ridiculous size of their rolls just makes me angry. Japanese food is intended to be prepared so that everything is bite sized or is otherwise simple to eat. This place is an egregious violation of Japanese food as you can't just eat their food with chopsticks easily. There is absolutely no way you can eat their larger rolls with one bite. You have to pick the pieces up off the plate (not great when you are sharing). You have to somehow cut through the nori with your chopsticks to get it into small enough pieces. Meanwhile the crab is falling all over the place littering your soy sauce. UGH. Can it be any more STUPID?
The sushi is also poorly constructed. Compounded with the large size, it's a miracle if you can get a roll off the plate without it falling into pieces.
I know some people love the schtick of the large sushi and feel they are getting a great deal. Honestly if they change to small rolls they would probably lose half their business. If you like it, great, but I don't. If they want to give good value for money, why not just give more sushi for the money? I'd certainly be fine with it then.
The sushi is made for giants or people with huge mouths. I tried 'B' party tray, which had a nice selection of sushi, and I also foolishly ordered a beef teriyaki roll, because I hadn't yet seen how gigantic the party tray was. The taste was okay, but the size was WAY too big. Sushi is about style as much as substance and these mammoth sushi pieces were ridiculously crass. As Mrs. Chasiubow said: "Ma dai go hou"! (Open wide!).
I will say that it was fresh, due to the chaotic pace in the restaurant. A few brave souls actually tried to sit at the tiny tables or the mini sushi bar, but I went for the take out. It is incredible value for the money, if you judge such things by quantity for the price.
A good choice if you are VERY hungry, or if you have teens at home. Otherwise, you should go someplace less extreme.
i have tried this place twice. first time i was baffled at the need to serve for them to have jumbo sushi. sushi is supposed to be bited sized but the mere size of the rice rolls scared me. the fish did not taste fresh and i dine at many many japanese places on a regular basis. i hope i am not being rude here but vietnamese people cannot be running a japanese restaurant as i highly doubt they know the skill of handling raw food. this is evident in them cutting the fish in such large pieces. but if its quantity and not quality, this place may be fine. but even that, i fear for my health and will choose not to return again.
I love sushi and eat it A LOT. This is a place I like to go on occasion for a bit of variety. Everything is huge here- definitely not one bite sushi. I really enjoy the california rolls with the shredded crab. Again, not a place I like to go all the time, but it's cheap and good. It's impossible to be hungry after eating here!
We frequently take-out from this restaurant.
Pros: The food portions are very large and we always order the house roll.
Cons: There has been a few mix-ups (twice out of ~12 orders) with the food we ordered. I.e. We ordered Unagi Roll (Eel), but received some other roll in the box.
I always recommend double checking your order in the box before leaving.
Solid sushi restaurant when no order mix-ups happen.
I took out combo tray (can't remember which one, they are all good though), the food was so-so when eating. However, it was the large portions that made up for the quality. The sashimi ontop of the rice were HUGE. Great for take-out and parties. I also liked how they give you discounts for ordering ahead.
I have never gotten the reason people fancy this place as much as they do. Perhaps good timing when they opened this location. The food is ok. But i find the sizing than people like has lots to do with the amount of rice they use of the rolls and sushi. I personally prefer, more fresh ingredients and just enough rice. I find they use too much rice. And the rice although fresh lack some taste/seasoning. This is my opinion, so other may like it the way Samurai does it. To me it reminds me of sushi done by robots not sushi chefs.
The value proposition is prob still good. As you can get party tray take out for pre fixed price. Good when you have a pot luck or function to atttend or host. IMHO, there are so many newer and better establishment now that are better in quality and value.
I must say, the sushi here is indeed larger than the competition's. It might even be difficult to eat, and challenges even the most seasoned of sushi afficiandos. The tuna nigiri sushi sometimes felt a little frozen so you might want to bring it home and thaw it out a bit...House Roll there is a must try as the epitome of their biggest maki rolls available.
The real drawback of the place, are the occasional large line ups of folks trying to either order food, or wait for theirs to pick up. I've had to turn away and go somewhere else just because of this a couple times, but I guess its a good sign for the business.
Been to this Cambie location of samurai many many times but since just getting take out for dinner tonite, thought i'd do a review as well. There are 3 other locations by the same name but this location is not affiliated with neither the davie or fraser location. However, Banzai is the same owners as the cambie location. I go to samurai if im looking for quick sushi take out. They give huge portions and you can probably get full on 2 or 3 pieces of their house roll (i do anyways) but you get the picture. You don't have to spend much to get full here. PRoblem is, a lot of their rolls are big b/c there is so much rice!! The sashimi pieces are also very big and we usually have to cut them in half. Would definitely recommend this place for its value but quality wise tho i would go somewhere else.
I've been here many at times for take out ...this is the only place I know that serves supersized sushi and sashimi. BIG BIG Big is my only description. Make sure you have an empty stomach cause the portions are hugh...enough for even two people. My favs: mixed combo A or B, B.C. roll, SSSR roll, dragon roll, salmon or toro or hamachi sashimi. Just be warned: the house roll is like a eating a 3 level home ...a good 2 to 4 bites just to finish one piece. Peak hours are usually packed. Order take out 2 hours in advance...recieve a 5% discount. Seating??? good luck!!
All in all cheap and good eats.
i don't understand why people are making negative comments on the size of the sushi/ rolls.
they're huge. they are surprisingly TASTY, (the ingredients have that mmmmmmmm) sometimes, for the end pieces of the roll, there's a bit too much rice, but generally they are modest about the rice, unlike many restaurants
takeout is better than eating in. usually takes 15 mins for your order to be done. the sashimi is okay, it's fresh but lacks taste. they could cut them into smaller pieces as well
excellent value for party trays.
(the tea is disgusting)
Just happen to be working in the area. Just dropped in for a quick lunch.
Small place little place.... But......
WOW !!! I could not believe the super huge rolls they were serving up!
It is one of my favorite spots for California Rolls. Very tasty and it is the
Best Bang for the Bucks!!!
This would definitely be my favourite Japanese take-out place!
Salmon Sashimi, Calafornia Roll, Yam Tempura Roll, Beef Teriyaki Don, definitely are the must haves of this place!!!
Definitely value for money!!!
As for the dine-in, the place is quite small and I doubt the service would be any good, so unless you live in the area and just want to grab a quick bite, otherwise, go with the take-out!!!
My girlfriend Insisted on coming gere for dinner so I decided to try it out and boy was i surprised! The sizes of the pieces of rolls in this palce are HUGE. To get a good picture of what i mean look at the size of your palm. Thats the rough diameter of the sushi itself. The thickness is about a full 2-3 fingers thick. You can't even fit this thing into your mouth! The quality of the food was nothing to jump out of your seat for but it was good. HUGE slices of salmon sashimi. Here, you get 5 slices (half-order) for $5.50 but if compared to other sushi restaurants its about the quantity of 10 slices. They are huge. Ambiance is a little out dated, but if youre a person that just wants to eat there food and leave this is a great place. If you care alot about ambiance and decor, this might not be the best choice. Its simple. A 5-7 seat sushi bar and a couple of tables. They have self service tea there. Most of the day, Samurai sushi looks to be more of a take out business. DEFINIETELY WORTH A TRY. Largest Pieces of sushi since i've been to Jumbo Sushi.
Just got back from my first experience at Samurai. I have never completed a restaurant review before but after such a poor experience, I was curious to see if this place had been reviewed before.
I agree the sushi is fresh and the price is good but I would rather pay double if it means better tasting sushi!
The portions are definately huge but its just all rice!! and so so much of it. It's actually gross.
The yam roll and vegetable rolls also had mayo in it, real sushi does not have nor need mayo!
I admit the service is quite good- lots of staff on hand= less waiting time.
I have to respond to people's negative criticism of Samurai on Cambie (the first time I've ever felt compelled to review a restaurant). I don't even know where to start! The food at Samurai is excellent, the value is excellent and the sushi is FRESH. I can say that having worked at the seafood packing plant that supplies them! I know which restaurants in Vancouver order the lower grade fish and Samurai is NOT ONE OF THEM. Also, in regards to the freshness of product - look at their turnover! The food they sell HAS to be fresh, the location is too small for a huge freezer full of fish and they sell too much of it to sit for long periods of time anyway! No, you won't be sitting in for most of your meals - it is a very small location with seating for approximately 15 (though even that is pushing it) and it is ALWAYS packed (which is also a testament to quality - if it were bad, people wouldn't return). I DO NOT find that there is too much rice - exactly the opposite, in fact. Every time I've been there for nigiri, I have had to cut the fish in half (difficult with chopsticks, I assure you!) and eat it in two bites. The rolls are ALL HUGE! Try the house roll and see just how much of one roll you can get in your mouth. The prices are spectacularly low - I eat a LOT and for 15$ my wife and I both eat until we're full and still have a few rolls left over for a snack later! Trust me, you NEED TO TRY SAMURAI!!!