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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews69

Shabusen Yakiniku House

2993 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6H3J6
Tel: (604) 737-6888
Neighbourhood: South Granville
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Korean, Sushi
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Buffet
  • Shabusen is a Japanese and Korean BBQ house specializing in an all you can eat menu. There is another location on Burrard St. in downtown Vancouver.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 69 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Too fussy a place
By Bonka of Vancouver (464 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 4:37am [Dine in]

The only times I come here are because of birthday celebrations. It's a bustling large place but not necessarily good for large groups as you're likely relegated into their seemingly shrinking booths where you are basted in the surrounding aromas and smoke.

Going for the BBQ you tick off a list of all the raw stuff you want. We always load up on the meats since there never seems to be enough of it and much of it that doesn't end up on the plates ends up getting burnt or falls through the grill. The grills can't seem to handle the load over the course of a meal and always feel like it runs out of steam before we're satisfied.

Service gets amazingly slower with each visit. Considering much of the items on the menu need not be cooked it sure takes a long time for it to come out of the kitchen. There are considerable lengths of time between orders and when they do come it's a mad rush to clear the area where the server is setting down all the little dishes. It's not unusual for a server to forget some items so count on it. What's worse than the service is the short 1.5hrs time given for your table to finish your meal and much of the time is spent waiting for your food to come. There doesn't seem to be a strategy to get around the slow service. Often I do come out full but never a satisfied feeling.

Not much value considering the slug-like service and having to cook your own food all in a short allotted time slot. I don't mind as it can be a fun time done sparingly (once a year thing) but not on a regular basis.

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Great all-u-can-eat lunch
By Huge of Surrey (139 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 1:17am [Dine in]

My wife and I went to this restaurant on Friday afternoon for lunch. We noticed that there were several tables available but the host stated that they were reserved. So we ended up sitting at the sushi bar. It was quite enlightening watching how the sushi was being made. We ordered several sushis, Korean Bar-B-Q and sashimi. The sashimi was excellent. Granted we had a limit of 8 per person, the salmon sashimi was large and tasty. The sushi was fresh and came in a timely manner. The Korean Bar-B-Q was delicious, there was a fair amount of meat at our end of the bar. All the meats was marrinated perfectly but the beef was the most tender and flavourful. The service was prompt and attentive. I was very impressed with the treatment overall. It is much better than the Burrard counterpart. I would highly recommend this place for lunch. I am looking forward to trying the dinner menu.

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Better than Burrard location
By epicurious of Burnaby, BC (507 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:44am [Dine in]

I would say this location is much better than the other in many ways. The food is fresher/better, they offer a salad bar as well (nice to get some veggies). The service is a lot better here too. This location isn't as squeezed together and tightly packed as the Burrard location.

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Fresh, tasty, great service!
By foodfanatic of South Vancouver (286 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 26, 2005 - 4:04pm [Dine in]

Great variety for all-you-can-eat bbq + sushi (or bbq+hotpot). Always busy, always fresh, always friendly! Call-in for reservations! Avoid the walk-in line-ups! Be punctual or arrive a little early!

Just don't ever ever visit the Burrard downtown location. God awful in service and food.

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Did I miss something here?
By hungryjo of Vancouver (175 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - 11:41pm [Dine in]

I heard that Shabusen is pretty popular and I don't know why.
Came here w/ my family and a visitor and we ordered a bunch of regular menu Jap food. Everything was OK, nothing wow. I just couldn't understand why it's so busy there! I could easily go to any regular Jap restaurant for that quality and taste.
Maybe they have good Korean bbq?

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cold beef/chicken & not crispy tempura
By pete66 of coquitlam (56 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 6:16pm [Dine in]

Had dinner there on Friday Mar. 21st. Found teriyaki beef in Box A was just barely warm, chicken in Box B was the same. The tempura in both boxes was soggy and just lukewarm. It seemed that the food had been cooked/heated up ahead of time and then kept warm for a while before serving it. It didn't seem like it was cooked to order like it should have been. The beef was more like boiled beef in texture instead of quick fried. The quality of your successful restaurant should not be compromised with shortcuts in the kitchen.

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Decent All-You-Can-Eat
By jpcostales of Metrotown, Burnaby (70 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 11:52pm [Dine in]

I've been to this location several times in the past couple of years. Always fast service, and decent all-you-can-eat for the price.

Food - OK. I really enjoy the Korean BBQ items. Other than that, everything else is pretty average. Sushi is pre-made and quality can vary greatly, depending on the night and chef working.

Service - Always very fast and friendly. Not very personable, but what else can you expect from an all-you-can-east restaurant? Their main goal is to get you fed and get you out.

Ambiance - Absolutely love the BBQ in the middle of the table. Never, ever gets old for me. Decor could use an update.

Recommended. Fast and decent all-you-can-eat for the price.

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Needs Ventilation
By cocoeater of vancouver (323 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 1:52pm [Dine in]

Went there on a Sat night and agree, you need a reservation. good thing we did and were seated right away in one of the booth/rooms. The orders were quickly filled and nothing seemed to be missing. Good service with prompt clearing of dishes, grill replacment etc. The only thing is that the air did not seem to circulate as it gets quite stuffy due to the grilling.

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Great AYCE
By azn_msfyt of Delta (194 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 4, 2007 - 3:11am [Dine in]

Went there with 10 other girls and we had the all-you-can-eat korean bbq and all food items came out tasting great and fresh. Sashimi was plentiful (didn't see any type of limit), tempura was average, spring rolls were nothing special, korean bbq items were good, rolls were good, oyster motoyakis and chopped scallop cones kept disappearing from the table so they must have been good. Overall a great filling night.

We had reservations for 8 but didn't get seated until about 8:20 which was fine because a few of our party were running late. Really packed at the door and tables could not be set up fast enough. Service was decent since it was difficult to flag someone down for ordering sheets, to hand in ordering sheets, to order pop, etc and it took a long time to get our teapot refilled.

Ambiance was great but a little smoky since all of the bbqs were up and running. Came out smelling like bbq so def. can't be in an intimate situation after eating here! It's a little expensive but it's worth it since there are no limits on sashimi and the menu is quite extensive.

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Great Bang for the Buck
By chefdave of Downtown (58 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 22, 2006 - 2:34pm [Dine in]

If you;re looking for a place to eat when you;re very hungry... You should hit Shabusen. Great deal only if you can eat alot. Lots of selections including sashimi or even hot pot.Salad bar is lacking but overall the food was great. Call in advance for reservations or you can end up waiting for 30 mins plus like we did.

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Better than Burrard
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 2, 2005 - 5:46pm [Dine in]

I was skeptical of my visit here but wanted to try it since I had read that this location was better than the Burrard one. My Burrard experience wasn't great and after being served Salmon fishheads / tail for their bbq salmon dish, I vowed never to return. As it turns out, the Granville location is much better.

The food was pretty good, the sushi and kitchen items are comparable to what you get at Tanpopo. Its about the same price at $12 for a limited all you can eat lunch menu. The tuna sashimi was a little better than I expected, with good sized chunks, served cold and fresh. They limit you to 8 pieces per person, which is plenty if you ask me. The service was prompt but it wasn't overly busy. The value is great considering the amount of food I ate for 12 bucks.

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Come with an empty stomach
By madddskillz of Burnaby (57 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 12:52am [Dine in]

I've been to the Granville location a couple of times and it has alway been a good experience. Don't look here for fine dining, but just decent food and loads of it. If you're looking for all you can eat cuisine, this place is number 1.

You fill out what you want on a piece of paper and simply give it to the server so there's no confusion. Though it's more impersonal, this method's better for this type of all you can eat as it makes it alot easier for larger parties to sort out what to get.

There's a parking lot with free parking downstairs, so parking's not too much of a problem. There was also a parking guy watching over the small lot while I was there today.

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great experience
By lovingfood of Kerrisdale (90 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 16, 2010 - 6:12pm [Dine in]

I went to Shabusen for lunch. It's like $13 per person for all you can eat (sushi + Korean BBQ). After you add HST, it's about $14.55 per person + tips. I have to say this lunch is definitely worth it.

Food: It's fresh enough. Nothing tastes bad or bothers you. I like chicken and spicy pork for BBQ. The beef slices for BBQ might not be the best quality of meat. But they are Ok. There's a limit on sashimi (8 pieces per person) but it's fine by me. I was busy working on BBQ anyway. There's other stuff you might want to order and work on. Some side dishes are great like tempura and croquette. Sushi and sashimi are decent and fresh enough.

Service: It's fast enough. They are very polite. I am grateful for their politeness because I have seen many mean servers at other restaurants that make me not want to return. It's such a breeze of fresh air that there are good servers at Shabusen.

Value: Well, it's all you can eat. You will never leave there hungry or half full. You get to have Korean BBQ and sushi at the same time. The quality of food is good enough. Some tastes pretty good and some are average.

Ambiance: I like the seating arrangement a lot. You get to sit next to the big window and look outside. The tables are not too close to each other. So it's not cramped and you have full privacy. People at the next table won't even be able to hear your conversation unless you are loud. I like the big space a lot because there's so many cramped restaurants in Vancouver that make me miserable. It's nice to be in a restaurant that they are not stingy about space.

Over all, I had a great dining experience. $14.55 can't get you a lot of varieties and food in most restaurants in Vancouver. But you can get both here plus good service and decent seating. It's really worth your money.

PS: This review is based on whether the quality reflects the price or not. I don't use fine dining standard to pick apart any inexpensive restaurant.

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Great Place
By Rayzach of West End, Vancouver (57 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 7:29pm [Dine in]

We have been coming to Shabusen for years and after all this time they have been able to maintain the quality (and quantity) of food.

We usually go for the "all you can eat" which includes u-grill Korean BBQ items and a copious selection of fresh sushi and salad items. They also have a la carte menu selections available as well.

The service is pretty good especially for such a busy place. You just select what you would like and the quantity, fill out your card and give it to the server. The dishes come out quickly.

The quality of the sushi fish is really great and the BBQ beef, ribs and chicken are always well marinated.

Compared to other all you can eat Korean BBQ places this place rocks and everyone should visit at least once.

Prices are decent for what you get:

Dinner All You Can Eat: $23.95/person
Lunch All You Can Eat: $13.95/person

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Love the korean bbq!
By mmmsteak of Richmond (74 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 12:43pm [Dine in]

We're absolutely crazy about Shabusen.

It seems every month or every other month, we will end up at the Shabusen on Granville or Robson at least once for all you can eat. We go so often because of the combination of AYCE sushi AND korean bbq. While their sushi isn't vastly better than any of the other AYCE places in the lower mainland, it's the korean bbq that really cinches it. They have a good choice of meats to choose from, spicy lamb, spicy chicken, and beef short ribs being some of my favorites. On top of that you can opt for shabu-shabu (hot pot) as well if you're a large party with multiple grills. What a great way to experience 3 different meals in one! It's really great value for good quality and the same price as regular AYCE sushi places.

The place is always ALWAYS packed, so make sure you call ahead to make a reservation. Don't be afraid to be seated at the sushi bar, as you get your order quickly (directly from the sushi makers) that way. We will definitely be back many times, no matter how long the wait is.

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A solid AYCE restaurant
By kennydoc1999 of Vancouver (40 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 6, 2007 - 9:47pm [Dine in]

So we have 2 small ( 8 yr old & 4 yr old )typical Asian kids who like their sushi, and they like it fast. What better way then to go to AYCE sushi joints, they get fed quickly and the wife and I can usually get a few bites in before there's another meltdown between the two of them.

Now having said this we've often frequented Tomokazu and thought we'd give Shabusen on Granville a try. While the service is what one expects from a Chinese run restaurant ( not much waiter/customer banter ), the food comes quickly especially if you get in there once the restaurant opens. We made reservations for 5pm and the place filled up just as we left at 6:30pm.

The sushi was nicely infused, the sashimi was tender and nicely chilled, sushi cones were fine, the beef and chicken for self-grilling were adquately marinated, the squid not so tasty. Hot items from the kitchen ie. goyoza, oysters, chicken, etc. were okay, much like all the other AYCE places. Nothing really stood out, and nothing was really disagreeable.

To compare this restaurant to the other AYCE places...well suffice it to say we may have found aother place where parent and child can eat in ( almost ) complete harmony without fear of getting sick or having a bad service experience. We definitely will return.

One side note, as I was going to the bathroom I got both an eyefull and earfull inside the kitchen area, to those uninitiated to life inside a food establishment this can be a good way to lose your will to dine.

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A great first visit
By Rasputin45 of Kitsilano, Vancouver (97 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 - 4:18pm [Dine in]

We went for a weekday lunch, it cost 11.95 per person and was well worth it. I was surpired to see that the sashimi was HUGE FRESH chunks of tuna, the california roll and avocado rolls were good, the nigiri sushi had similarly huge chunks of fish. For the cooked food, the tempura was great, gyoza was great, but next time I go I won't order the spring rolls,

Contrary to other reviews I have read, the service was very good, fast and friendly. The servers were in a little bit of a hurry but once they realized it was my first time in the restaurant they were more than willing to explain what the unfamiliar items were. Instead of trying to get us to order less, my server thought I hadn't ordered enough and encouraged me to order more.

I liked it there and will go back for sure

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Come for the Dinner All You can Eat and Bust your Gut
By latelier of SE Vancouver (69 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 7, 2005 - 12:01pm [Dine in]

I've been coming here on a periodic basis with friends and family and have continued to enjoy the dining experience offered by this restaurant. This is one of the few places in Vancouver where you can have an indoor barbeque while its freezing, snowing, or wet outside under Vancouver grey skies.

This isn't your typical Memphis House BBQ of course, but the taste and smells are just as wonderful. This is Korean BBQ, all you can eat style: Fatty slices of raw carpaccio beef, spicy pork, chicken, mutton, and short ribs hit the grill at the center of your table with a sizzle, while you stare into its flickering flame....mouth watering. Your friend is talking to you, but you aren't really listening since all you're focused on is the meat....and more meat. They also have of course, an extensive sushi menu with your typical maki rolls, tuna and salmon sashimi, teriyakis, gyozas, tempuras, etc.

For the money, this place is a bargain. Bring lots of friends and stay a while and prepare to do a little cooking of your own.

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Great Value for AYCE
By KitsKid of Kitsilano (70 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 9, 2009 - 1:12pm [Dine in]

The standard all you can eat place, one of my favorites and more contistant I find. We had a reso for 530 pm on saturday night and by 615pm the place was packed.
I also notice that the rolls may be prerolled but they are always fresh tasting and the perfect temperature. The dinner menu has fantastic value for the price. Variety of a la carte dishes, rolls and sashimi, the main event is always the Korean BBQ which is just fantastic.
As far as food this time was absolutley delcious, the sashimi was great as were all the rolls we had. For 6 of us we definalty got ur moneys worth. For the BBQ we ordered shrimp, lamb chops, beef ribs and chicken. Mid grilling we asked to change the grill for a clean one and it was no problem at all. There is also a self serve salad bar that some people tried - they said it was okay. I avoided it.
The space is big and offers a variety of seating. The washrooms are typical for the type of place, clean enough.
Overall we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The service was good. They definalty don't ask "how was everything" or the other typical server questions, I appreciate it though, all you need is right in front of you, they come around often enough with either food or to pick up plates so you can use that as the opportunity to get more tea, water, wasabi or whatever else. So to say that the service is horrible is inaccurate - there is no service really they drop off food and then leave. What more do you want.
Again, overall a great place for ayce and bbq and one of the better places in the city where you can stuff your face full of generic japanese food.

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Rude Manager
By 54321 of Richmond (26 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 6:47pm [Dine in]

Arrived shortly after 2:15 to meet my friend for lunch. I was running late tryng to find parking so I told her to go ahead and order food for us, and she did. Came in to greet my friend and had I not even taken my coat off when one of the managers comes over and says "you have to order right now, lunch is over" my friend had already ordered and I added one item to that. We did not get AYCE. We eat, one roll took a painfully long time to come. Then we pay. That same manager comes and gets the payment and rudely says "we're closed now" and walks away. I get that they close between lunch and dinner but there were at least four other tables still in the restaurant at the time and our bill for two people came to over $40 and we tipped 20% for no good reason. A simple ``Im sorry to let you know but we are closing down soon, thank you for your business`` would have been nice. The food is always decent here but Ì`m going to think twice about returning to a place that doesn`t recognize that the customers are the ones that pay their bills.

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