Samurai is a sushi restaurant on Cambie with giant portions.
I love Samurai! I have never wriiten a review for a restaurant, but I felt the need to let everyone know that I love Samurai as much as I do. I have no idea why people are saying that there is an unfair rice to fish ratio. Every single time I have ordered sushi it has been outstanding. Huge portions! Very fresh fish because there is so much turnover in the restuarant. I have never eaten in, I have only had takeout. Perhaps for those of you who weren't satisfied with the takeout it has been because you haven't tipped : ) Yes we do tip on takeout by the way. I know it's not mandatory but don't bother even saying anything if you haven't worked in a restaurant. It just happens. I have payed prior to receiving my sushi as well as afterwards (by calling in an order in advance) and it has always been outstanding. If you're still doubtful try these items: spicy tuna sashimi, alaska roll (huge!), unagi roll, and negitoro. Samurai is defintitely a staple sushi place!!!!
If you are looking for a quick cheap premade sushi this is the right place for you! Just don't expect restaurant grade sushi!
Stopped by today around 3:30 PM on my way to the bank next door. Desperate for a bite to eat. Put my order in (3 rolls), went to the bathroom, came out and order was READY! On my way to the bathroom, I can see the chefs behind the counter busy making 40+ rolls of salmon and tuna along with piles of tuna and salmon pieces. Easy to see they are preparing for the dinner rush in the afternoon. That should explain the quality of what you will get.
Got home and had my sushi. Rice was mushy and tasteless. BC roll was terribly put together (the roll came apart). Seaweed was soggy. Will not be back again anytime soon.
If you want to eat sushi on steroids, go to Samurai Sushi.
I've been the recipient of their take out sushi on a few occassions at parties and have eaten in their restaurant once.
I'm not sure if you can really call this sushi, it's just a big blob of hard rice with tasteless piece of fish. I thought the point of sushi was to eat everthing in one or two bites - the combination of the fish, cucumber whatever else all rolled perfectly in rice with seaweed and dippled in wasabi'd soy sauce was sushi. Samurai Sushi is not sushi - you either eat the rice or the filling (most of the time you're just eating their awful hard rice.)
Horrible quality - good for quantity
I remember it to be okay. Nothing special, nothing bad
This is a take out place primarily so if you eat in, you'll have people watching you eat while they wait for their food. It's quite small and we sat at their "sushi bar" and watched their sushi chefs. They were having trouble that day rolling the sushi, their rice didn't stick properly and the sushi kept on falling apart. It was quite amusing actually.
I'm a frequent visitor of this luckluster hole in the wall, which always searves reasonably priced freshest sushi in Vancouver. Freshness comes from a high volume of customers they serve, and generous chunks of fish and shellfish, as opposed to mainly rice and eggs in most of other places!
Besides sushi, if you do not like fish, they even have beef teriyaky sushi and a wide veriety of meat and vegetarian dishes.
Service is casual, prompt and usually friendly.
I highly recomend Samuray sushi to anyone, as long as you don't mind the humble decor.
samurai sushi has GIGANTIC pieces and I always find it fresh and tasty. This is basically just a TAKEOUT place as you will NEVER find seating. Plus it is not a very nice place to enjoy eating food. I love coming here and it's worth the drive and wait.
There was a time when I used to come here on the odd occasion, but I haven't stepped foot in this place for a good 2 years now. Sure, it's cheap and yeah, the portions are obscenely large, but just take a look around. The place is always warm with people, with too many cooks crammed behind the counter, all preparing WARM sushi. The kitchen looks grubby, and really, I wouldn't eat anything raw here. The sashimi is huge, but never tastes remotely fresh. One time there were even bones in my sashimi and the tuna was so fishy I couldn't even eat it.
The restaurant is too small and uncomfortable to dine in, so most people take out. Lineups have people jammed out the door most of the time. If you're really desperate for cheap sushi in large sizes, go to Sushi King House instead. At least their fish is edible.
Size isn't everything...
The moment you hit the restaurant, you have to wonder about the place. The first thing that struck me was the size of this restaurant. Small, cramp... not the best place to bring a family.
I have heard good things about Samurai so decided to try it for lunch. My mistake was going during peak hour. Seems like everyone goes there to pick up their order. The wait was not too bad but we had nowhere really to stand.
We ordered two combos for ourselves - bad mistake. I had no idea how HUGE the portions would be. One combo between two is quite enough unless you're a hungry eater.
Quality was not as I expected. You really do have to choose between size or quality. Sushi should be bite size, large enough to please the eye and small enough to consume within one bite. These pieces are so big that most Japanese chefs would probably roll their eyes in disbelief.
Owners are not Japanese (who is these days...) but sound like Vietnamese so you can imagine what the food is like.
Go and try it out if you haven't but I wouldn't recommend this place.
I have tried the California Roll and the Chopped Scallop at this place. Both the rolls did not have much taste to them and they were too big to put into my mouth. Also the place is very crowded. The price was ok, but the chefs should have made the sushi with more taste to them.
Samurai sushi is the paramount sushi place in the Vancouver. I have taken friends.. family and relatives there and none of them have been disappointed by the quality, price, taste or proportion of the food. Every is just superb. Because Samurai is a small and dinky place, take out is probably the best choice. Even if you decide to eat in, they still provide you with some form of eating utensils. Best of all, no tip is required....
A tiny hole in the wall, Samurai Sushi always boasts a line up during my visits. Service is quick and to the point, and the menu with an good selection of sashimi, sushi and rolls - all your basics.
Being a hole in the wall, there isn't much room for in-house dining, and most customers are there for take out, with a large number phoning their orders ahead of time.
Expect decent fare at great prices, their focus is quantity over quality, though the quality is high enough to be thoroughly enjoyed without any worries of tummy-aches later on.
We ordered take out... while waiting for our food, I couldn't help but notice that the three "chefs" were talking and chatting loudly OVER OUR FOOD as it is being prepared..yuck!!! I am not a germ freak, but am also not keen on eating other people's spit.
Sadly, it was too late to cancel our order. Took the stuff home, nuked it, and had cooked sushi for lunch. It tasted gross, but still preferable than the alternative. Who knows, might have been decent tasting, but I certainly wasn't keen on finding out....
Food - The quality and taste is above average, especially compared to other take-out places.
Service - The ladies there are pretty straight forward when it comes to the phone. On the rare occassion I dine in, they aren't bad but you also can't expect perfection.
Value - Definitely a great place in terms of "bang for buck". Granted sashimi/nigiri pieces are traditionally not served that large. Coupled with their above par quality/taste, you can't really complain about the larger portions.
Ambience - Can't really say much for the ambience. It's a smaller place and I think that's why it's such a success.
This is sushi to go for sure... not only is the restaurant tiny and cramped with very little seating, but you look like a fool eating their HUGE pieces of sushi. It's terrific value, and it's important to go earlier in the day... I've gone later on and found the fish to be not so fresh.
Also, a tip, it's cash only. That's okay though because I usually get 4 pieces of nigiri and that's more than enough food. Also good is the spicy tuna roll.
I decided to go to Samurai because a) I only had an hour break b) I was starving and craving sushi c) there were no sushi restaurants close. I didn't think that it could be that bad, as it was packed full of people. I guess I was wrong.
Although the raw fish within the sushi was not smelly or anything, the sushi roll itself was sloppy and gross. It had like an inch of rice around it, and no lie, one of the rolls was as big as my hand. So, if you like ALOT of rice around your rolls, go there.
Small, packed and kinda dirty.
Meh, I just had take-out, but they weren't overly nice, nor were they especially nice.
So, all in all I didn't really like it because of the amount of rice and the size of some of their rolls.
I order from here all the time. Yeah, the place is a hole-in-the-wall but the food is reasonably good for what is essentially "take out". They are not pretending to be a $100 a plate 5-star restaurant, so I am puzzled by some of the comments here. Anyone who knows Vanc is aware that most of these places are not run by Japanese. If you want Tojo's, which I personally think is a major ripoff, then I ask what are you so-called sushi aficionados doing at a place like this? As for the claims that the salmon etc is not frozen, this makes no sense considering how busy this place is and the extreme cost of using "fresh" salmon as opposed to frozen. If anyone is worried about the lineups, just call your order in ahead of time and get a discount on your food too!
perhaps a bigger drawback to this place is that they could take a delicate light cuisine and turn it into the grossest thing you've eaten for the year. There's a huge difference between a nicely sliced piece of sashimi, and a slab of frozen fish. Despite the frigid temperature of the meat (fresh sashimi wouldn't be served so cold anyways), i couldn't help but feel that i'd get e coli or worms. And anyways, eating out of take out containers has always lessened my dining pleasure - esp when the in house ambiance is flourescent-lit crowded waiting room. Another definite drawback is the raggedy haired sushi chef. You kinda sense that cleanliness and rigous didn't earn them their sushi mats.
We always call in for pick up, and it's hot & ready when we get there in 20 min, despite the line .
Yam roll-best deal in the city
Avocado roll-see above
Spicy Tuna-decent, coulda been a litl' more spicy
California roll- Giant but thinly cut (too much mayo for me)
BC roll-I could never see the appeal of eating salmon skin anyway
Salmon Nigiri- Never seen a bigger piece anywhere. Tasty fresh. Savage!
Tuna Nigiri-you will taste the Omega-3 there is so much. Savage!
Unagi Nigiri-not always freshly heated
Tai-a bit rubbery (I think clam always tastes like that)
Free self-serve tea while you wait to pay.
The price is right for the value you get, just don't expect to impress your date with the outrageous faces you'll make putting the giant rolls in your mouth! However it can be a fun bonding experience.
Been here over a dozen times.
Note also: of course some of the rolls will fall apart if you try to bite them in half! (It can be done gracefully tho, and the nigiri is no problem.)
This is once of the busiest sushi place in town. I have been there many time in the past 4 years but have been stop for sometime. I am totally agree that this place is serving a too big of sushi and roll which I felt like stuff my tummy instead of enjoying the craft of Japanese sushi. for the $$$ and quatity, I rate it #1 but for the enjoyment of sushi, failed. Service is also a big issue for this place, I am totally disappointed with the service (Big Failed). I like the line from one of the participant "grumpy like someone just died" I laught everytime I read it.
I came here with my friend for lunch. I ordered the Salmon Don. It cost about $10 with taxes, and boy was it worth it. There were nine very generous portioned pieces of sashimi on my rice and they tasted very fresh.
The food came in about 5 minutes, and the staff were pretty attentive.
It's a shame that the place isn't bigger. We were thinking about eating in for lunch, but the amount of seating turned us away. On the plus size, the location is convenient - just a quick walk from the Canada Line.
I come here ALL THE TIME and get a random assortment of my few favorites. All the people I've introduced to this place love it too.
Sashimi - The best and the biggest. The tuna sashimi is sometimes a bit frozen though(My only complaint, but it's still worth it! Fantastic salmon...
Sushi rolls - The best and the biggest.(Depending on what you get, some can be a little bland). I usually stick to spicy tuna roll, spicy chopped scallop roll, or my favorite GOLDEN ROLL. Man, this roll has scallop mixed with a mayo/salmon roe mixture and then the rolls are wrapped with smoked salmon! And it's huge.
I spend about 10-15 bucks, and that leaves me and my girlfriend immobile and happy. If I move to a new house, it will be near this place. I need it once every 2 weeks minimum.
(There's a similar place on Fraser that is also fantastic, but they don't have the golden roll unfortunately (It IS a different, though seemingly identical restaurant).
Must at least try the sashimi.