Shiro is a sushi restaurant on Cambie Street serving authentic Japanese food.
Shiro isn't exactly a place to head if you're looking to pack a gut. It isn't that type of restaurant and there are better places to go if you want a lot of bang for your buck. What this sushi restaurant does provide is tremendous flavour and fresh, local ingredients.
The salmon, incredibly delicious, is fresh and wild, locally caught. I had the spicy salmon sashimi and was initially disappointed at how small the portions were. But wow, the taste! Some of the best sashimi I've had.
The rolls were not messy, but were delicious and packed well enough to stay together but not so much that everything was squished. The chefs there are doing a great job.
Nothing particularly special besides that, I enjoyed the small, frantic atmosphere and the Japanese memorabilia hanging inside. The kitchen is completely open and all the ingredients are in plain view, which is cool to see. As far as service goes, it is a packed place and there are but a few servers. They do there best to keep your tea full and get the meal to you as quick as they can. They are polite and give you the (usually typical) cheery hello and goodbye when you come in and leave.
I debated on what direction to go between 2-3 stars for value. Truthfully, 3 rolls, sashimi and some deep-fried squid legs for $35 wasn't bad at all. Still, it wasn't enough to make two people full. I left very satisfied with the experience, but a bit hungry. I doubt I'd go back if my tummy is rumbling. I'd go in a heartbeat in any other case. Totally recommend.
Try the tekka maki! The amazake is pretty good as well.
We made the mistake of ordering the assorted sashimi. It was not particularly fresh and definitely not worth the price tag. The other items, such as the lunch boxes, are much more reasonable.
It's clean, but extremely cramped. Not a place for intimate meals or large families!
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. The complimentary pocky at the end was nice.
Shiro serves up sushi and Japanese classics and they do it well. Everything we tried was good. The chopped scallop cones were well prepared: fresh scallops, not too much mayo and the the seawead was crisp and not too chewy. The yakisoba was nice and light and had a tasty sauce. My only complaint was that the tuna sashimi was a little frozen in the middle, but leaving it sit on the plate for a few minutes fixed the problem. When I am in the mood for classic Japanese, I will be back.
We're looking for dinner one evening and decided to hit up Shiro. It's unassuming from the street and easily missed but I've heard good things about the quality so in we went. First thing we notice was the cramped, small space, but it was filled with cheerfully noisy Japanese people. Perhaps a good sign?
We tried to go across the board on the menu, but ended up with the usual helpings of rolls, cones, tempura, nigiri, salad, karaage and soup. The quality of the fish is there, as was the sushi rice. Tempura had one of the nicest coatings of batter I've seen, while staying crispy far longer than expected. The chicken karaage was nicely seasoned while the salad and miso soup was all the same. What killed the meal was the awful nori used for the rolls and cones. The texture was chewy, chewy, chewy - like gnawing on a piece of cellophane. Shame since otherwise would've been a fine meal. Stick with the nigiri.
Service is pleasant from the waitresses but kitchen speed is slower so hungry fiends be prepared to wait for your food as it gets the royal treatment. The sushi chefs acknowledge and thanks everyone leaving which is great for ambiance.
We enjoyed the staff's company and much of the food, but boy, that seaweed..
After a great lunch experience a few weeks back, I was excited to revisit Shiro's for dinner but was mildly disappointed. The dinner menu did not offer many options for bento boxes and some of items (donburi's) only seem to be available for lunch only. So we ordered a-la-carte and got a bit of everything. It was a packed house, which isn't bad for a Sunday evening. We were promptly seated and offered real green tea (that's a plus).
Food: Items we had were tempura, buttered squid, several rolls, and spicy agedashi tofu. Taste was generally good, but it lacked a 'wow' factor. I think the rice was too moist and the seaweed wrap was too chewy. Sashimi was very good, wild salmon. Unfortunately, out of the 5 pieces, two were tiny slivers, most likely end of the cut. During my lunch experience, all 5 of my sashimi pieces were uniformly sliced, albeit on the thinner side. Agedashi tofu was stingy (4 squares) and drenched in a semi-spicy watery sauce, which lacked any real flavour. We fared much better with the rolls, but once again not awesome, but not poor. The tobiko were mixed in the rice, which is a nice touch. The kazu roll (the everything roll) was big but lacked any harmonized flavour, perhaps they forgot to add mayo or something?
Service: female servers were nice and efficient. Plenty of tea refills and dishes were cleared in a timely manner. Pacing for food was good and our check came when requested. Solid service, no complaints there.
Value: Pricier than your average sushi place where you're paying at least a 20% premium. Some items held better value, e.g. spicy scallop roll ($4.50), appy salmon sashimi ($5.75); whereas items like the agedashi tofu ($5.25) or kazu roll ($8.75) are better AND cheaper elsewhere. Such a disappointment compared to their lunch menu's where you can get a teishoku set for about $9 and receive 5 pc sashimi, beef teriyaki, rice, tempura, salad, miso soup, and a mystery daily special (chicken karaage that day). Much better value for lunch.
Ambiance: close seating quarters and very tired looking. For a Japanese operated restaurant, I was a bit surprised to see the back rooms and kitchen a bit disorderly (not dirty though). The front of the house seemed clean and the tables and chairs were functional. Meets the casual, mom n'pop restaurant standard.
Overall, I would consider revisiting for lunch but I'll pass for dinner. Too many options offering better for less.
Nice little Japanese reataurant with good authentic sushi. I think the employees are Japanese. Had some sushi and sashimi and it was really good and at the right temperature. Normally things can be a bit too warm or even worse, frozen. Real crab in their cali rolls. Nice touch with the real wasabi and the option of having it in the sushi and rolls when they arrive. Cooked foods such as tempura, terriyaki were average. Nothing much to comment about the ambiance as it's basically a small cozy restaurant.
Initially I used to love this place but then I started to notice how the lady owner Mrs. Shiro tends to pretend to get really stressed or let her anxiety show by rushing her wait staff and then make the dining in experience rather unpleasant. Its not a good place to relax and enjoy good fish and sake. Even if you intend to only stay for some grub and run, the owner's stressful demeanor makes it unpleasant. I find a far better sushi place to go in Kits and have decided that this place is really not worth my drive to. The food is good but not outstanding. Having a basic command of Japanese, I can tell the lady owner is often rushing her staff to literally run to the various tables so it makes the restaurant look bustling. Not pleasant dining experience. Take out ok.
The boyfriend wanted to try a new place for sushi. I had been to Shiro a lot in the past- more than 6 Years ago but have not recently. Difficult to find parking but when we did, it took about 20 mins to get seated. There was nothing at the table when we arrived. We finally go menus but no ocha. We ordered drinks and we were ready to order our food. The sever who brought our drinks said "just a minute" 20 mins later and 3 more times of asking to order we finally placed our order. Our server had her priorities all wrong. She would seat customers and take payments and clean tables before taking our order. Finally after 4 tries, we were able to finally get our order in. We weren't the only table who the server refused to take their order. We were talking to the table next to us and they had the same problem. I looked around and the tables that were seated 2 or 3 parties behind us already had some food at the table. Once we ordered, it did take another 20 Mins to get our first dishes. The gomae tasted exactly how I make it at home so nothing special there. Next came the deluxe assorted sashimi. All super fresh- Tako,hamachi,maguro, sockeye salmon, and my favorite uni. I loved the fact they garnish with Shiso. Next came the tempura which was alright, kaki pon which was tiny but delicious and chicken karaage.
Overall the food was great but I can't say we will be retuning. The waitresses were not attentive and were way too slow for such a busy little place. The sushi chefs were friendly.
Oh and just for the record-the reviewer who walked out without paying because their teriyaki roll took too long. Just know that you actually have to cook the chicken and then it goes to the sushi chef so it does take longer to make. The chicken is not pre-cooked. nobody should walk out without paying whether your food takes long or not. If you feel you need to leave, at least pay for what you ate and just don't tip otherwise it's like stealing.
Myself and buddy of mine could not decide what restaurant to try on Sunday lunch but as I driving along Cambie street I suggested Shiro since neither of us ever been here before. Parking is a bit of b*tch considering its a very small parking lot upfront so we ended parking on a side street. As we stepped in..the restaurant itself...very typical Japanese..sushi bar to the left and seating to the windows and right side. Even better yet its a Japanese owned from the sound of things but looking at the sushi chef..I thought to myself...looks to be in his late 20s with a trainee...chances are this might be a bad omen.
We got seated right away and 3/4 of the tables were filled. Checking the menu, I decide to order bento combo E ( small udon in soup, small broccoli appy, asst tempura, tekka maki and BC roll in addition a 4 piece nigri sushi of wild salmon) and my buddy got bento combo G (oyako don... chicken and egg on rice, small broccoli appy, asst tempura, tekka maki and BC roll). They arrived in about 10 mins. The verdict...well....since my buddy had higher standard then I did...he thought it was crap. Nuff said. I was a bit more forgiving....the fish was good quality but the rice...too wet and borderline mushy. I looked at his...it looked worse. The tempura was heavy and greasy for the both of us. My appy and udon were okay. I did not ask him about his oyako don. My only other surprise was the grated wasabi..wow...fewer and fewer Japanese restaurants do this. The service was friendly but my buddy complained about the lack of refilling the green tea cups. We..tried and split....I don't think I or my buddy will be back to this joint...there are a lot better Japanese in town.
Went here w/ my partner and we were sooooo disappointed. Maybe we didn't order the right things?
Miso soup (was warm and nothing special, I tried better), Ebi Sunomono was ok (4 bucks for a lil bowl!), wild salmon sashimi was average (I prefer the fatty kinds but I had no choice), veg tempura was good (like any other restaurants) and spicy tuna roll (which was average). Everything was just average, nothing outstanding.
We went in on a Sunday night luckily just before the dinner rush. They don't accept reservations and by 6:15 there was a small lineup, about 6-7 people deep, by the front door which continued until we left. There's free parking in front of the restaurant and given it was Sunday the adjoining businesses were closed so no one would object if you parked more than 1 hour.
Inside there's two t.v.s' on opposite sides on the wall with lots of bright lighting. The people making the sushi are right in the middle, you can cosily sit at the available seats around the sushi makers, with tables around its perimeter. It makes for a small, warm, casual, intimate, eating atmoshere. Being so small inside the servers are able to tend to your needs very quickly and efficiently. Water and tea topped up consistently, dirty plates and the like taken away promptly. Nice.
The food was very good, not extremely large portions but enough and done well. We had Gomaae, deep fried tofu, tuna & salmon sashimi, California Rolls made with real crab, a salad and it was the perfect amount for two. After tip the bill was just over $41.
It's a fun, intimate, casual spot for sushi. Definitely worth a stop!
This is a good place. It's run by Japanese, not Chinese pretending to be Japanese. It's not pretentious at all; you get decent and authentic food in humble yet comfortable surroundings, and you will be treated with genuine friendliness. If you want a Bazooka Kamikaze Volcano roll or a San Francisco Pittsburgh Rainbow roll, go somewhere else, point being that it's not a flashy place with a flashy menu, but there's enough variety to make it fun, and keep it real. If you want to spend $25 for good and authentic tempura, go to Tojo's. If you want to spend a lot less for the real deal, go to Shiro. And have a lot more while you're there; it's all good.
Seven of us went here for dinner on Saturday night. (3 were kids) Didn't wait long for a table. Sushi rolls were on the small side but very good. Tempura was delicious . . . seaweed salad was not what we were expecting!! Didn't like it. The set dinners were also on the very small side. Value . . . not worth the amount we paid. $60 for three of us and still hungry afterwards.
All in all a nice place to dine. Will go back.
I've been going to this little joint for the last few years. Altho they seem to have suffered a bit b/c of the Cambie Street construction, the fact that they're still up and running tells you that they're doing something right.
On my last visit, I ordered a variety of nigiri sushi and an udon. Their salmon sushi is SOO good--they use sockeye salmon whereas most others use atlantic/coho. Their sushi is fresh. The udon was piping hot, noodles weren't overcooked and the broth was flavourful. My friends enjoyed their food too--beef teriyaki donburi and one of their special combos. Foodwise, I would rank it 2nd on my list, right behind Toshi.
Service is consistent. Polite, fairly quick. My only gripe is that they don't refill your tea often enough.
The look is that of a typical Japanese restaurant. Decor and furnishing is in need of an update. It's a little cramped, tables are fairly close together. Washrooms could be a bit cleaner.
The difference with this one is that it's Japanese-run... most importantly, the chef is Japanese. Great food, good service. Go support these guys, I'd hate to see them shut down like so many other businesses on Cambie.
Used to love this little sushi place. Run by Japanese, very authentic. Haven't been here for a few years, decided to drop by for lunch. The prices are pretty good for the portion size, but the food was definitely not the way I remembered it to be.
I ordered one of the lunch boxes, the one with katsu don, tempura, sashimi and some rolls. The katsu don was alright, but the katsu was thin and the pieces kept falling apart. The crust was thicker than the pork chop itself! The tempura was fresh, but the batter was thick and very greasy. The sashimi was also an unfortunate disappointment.
The worst part was probably the rolls. The lunchbox came with a BC roll and salmon roll. The seaweed on both was soggy and chewy, which indicated that they were made quite some time ago. The salmon skin in the BC roll was fishy and very greasy, a sad reminder of why BC roll is not one of my favourite rolls.
Seriously, the best part of my meal was the freshly ground wasabi. I was quite impressed at the fact that it's freshly ground. Only the fresh one would have that kick when you eat it. And also the package of Pocky that came with the bill was good too.
In terms of service...wasn't too attentive, and didn't even acknowledge that I was leaving.
Very disappointed, will not be back anytime soon.
Very good authentic Japanese sushi.
To me, this place is definitely up there along with Toshi's (have yet to visit but hear it's awesome), Seto in Richmond (a must visit in my opinion), and Tojo's (really expensive, but I'm going by pure quality score here).
Seto in Richmond is still my favorite Japanese sushi restaurant in the GRVD (taking Tojo's out of the picture). Shiro, however, is quite strong with its staple rolls and fresh sashimi and nigiri. You just can't compare these places to the AYCE restaurants around. You probably end up paying a little more than at AYCE restaurants, but for the quality, it's definitely worth it.
Even with the Cambie construction, you will most definitely have to wait in line. Lots of loyal customers frequent this establishment and the fact that it's really small doesn't help the line. It's worth the wait though.
Recommendation: Very High.
Came here today with my brother to see what the fuss was about.
We each shared a Tuna-Salmon Sashimi Plate (9 pcs - 9.25), Appetizer tempura (4.50) a Nigiri a la carte sushi platter consisting of Uni (3.25 X 2 pc) ; Real Crab (2.95 X 2 pc); Maguro (1.20 X 2 pc); and Mackerel (1.20 X 2 pc). We then each had their popular Spicy Scallop and Spicy Salmon cones (3.50 each) and shared a BC roll (3.75) to finish. With a small sake and a bottle of Kokanee beer, the total came to 60.67 before tip for two persons.
Shiro uses wild salmon only, as stated proudly on the cover page of their small menu, and the difference is enormous in both the sashimi and sushi cone. The flesh is obviously more salmon red; and the flesh is much leaner, letting the natural flavors of the fish really show through. The overall quality of the fish that they use are very good; the mackerel was oceany and buttery. We didn't dare dip the crab sushi into the soy sauce as this would have ruined the delicate flavor of generous topping of fresh crab - wonderfuly light and airy (as was the warm sushi rice!)
The sushi cones were exemplary; they had this home-made feel to them, but yet, you could tell they were carefully crafted by an experienced sushi chef. The seaweed was in between being crispy and soft - just right. And the raw fish filling was just right, leaning to the generous side - right down to the bottom of the cone. Delicious.
It was a Saturday night, and the two sushi chefs up front were working their butts off no question about it. 3-4 waitress staff, all young Japanese women, were keeping busy and had some noticeable mistakes in bringing orders to some customers - but service was fine otherwise with frequent smiles.
I will come back for Shiro's exceptional sushi and would not mind lining up if necessary.
Living in the Cambie area, there's really only two choices for high quality sushi (Shijo and Toshi's). While both are quite strong, Shiro excels in service, and wait times. Due to the construction, it's been slower as of late, but still consistently busy. The service of the sushi chef and all the waitresses is quite strong.
The Wild Salmon and Fresh Crab in the California rolls is a nice change from the run of the mill restaurants in the area. The price is a step up from those places but still grounded in reality. The shiro roll (a jumbo roll i imagine pieced together with the leftover bits of all the fish on the chef's table) was fantastic... it was huge and hard to each but the flavor was very good. Different from other house rolls, the flavors seem to blend rather than just being a miss match of whatever is lying around.
You won't be upset by this place.
Have always wanted to try this place after reading countless reviews of how good Shiro is.
Had tuna & salmon sashimi - yes, it was indeed quite fresh, but I just couldn't seem to justify the price of it. Although it wasn't very pricey, compared to all the other places I've been (Sushi Garden, Sushi Town, Tomoya, Toyo, etc etc etc), it just didn't live up to my expectations.
Sushi was good, but yet again, quite small and non-filling.
They have a really good spicy sauce though, and they you get a free pack of Pocky at the end of your meal.
I came to Shiro's after giving up waiting in line in Toshi's. And that was a very good decision on my part. One thing you won't find lacking in Shiro's is atmosphere. The moment you enter you're greeted by a chorus from both the servers and the chefs. The place is small and cozy but with enough room for a good crowd.
The servings are pretty big for the price, which is something I didn't anticipate -- ordering a variety of maki, nigiri sushi, and bento boxes all at once. Even the server was double-checking to make sure I was sure of what I wanted.
After many years and countless Japanese restaurants, I've finally found another place that serves good Katsudon and other donburi. The egg, breaded pork/chicken, and spices are just right -- a good balance between crispy and tasty, not too soggy, not too dry.
I always end up ordering more than what I expect, but that's always a surprise I like from Shiro's.