Tanpopo is a sushi restaurant with an all you can eat menu offering a wide selection of Japanese fare including cooked items, sashimi (with wild salmon) and many rolls and nigiri items. Large rooftop patio. (Listed as Tampopo on the VCH website.)
Decent eats. The chopped scallop cone was pretty tasty. The tempura was hot and fresh. The spinach gomaae was delicious. The sashimi seemed fresh. My only complaint was that the rice was quite hard.
Outstanding service. Very polite servers. Tea was frequently refilled. Orders were taken promptly. Much better service than other AYCE Japanese restaurants I have been too.
I had a groupon, so it was 50% off. Normally, the lunch option with sashimi would have been $13.95. I think the value is still decent and will probably make a return visit.
Clean. Big tables.
I've only tried the weekend lunch AYCE deal. and as these things go, it's not bad.
I liked the crunch roll and the tempura roll, but didn't care too much for the salmon or tuna sushi.
It was very busy on this occasion, and under the circumstances, the service was quite prompt and friendly.
I came here for lunch with my friend and we both had the all-you-can-eat. Everything is pretty much standard with the other all-you-can-eat joints: prices, lack of service, so-so food. I found the fried items here old and soaked in oil. Doesn't make for a pretty presentation when the sheets under it is soaked.
What makes me not want to return here is that during our meal, we couldn't help notice all the ants crawling on the walls and onto our table. We were more concered was squishing them with our tea cups than the actual food.
When I am in the mood for a huge feast of Japanse food and sushi, I will usually go to Tanpopo. Their lunch all you can eat with sashimi option is a pretty good deal at under 15 dollars. The salmon is wild like other reviewers have noted. There are never any issues getting dishes that you ordered and the food always comes out fast. That being said, the quality isn't the greatest but what do you expect for an AYCE? I generally try to avoid all you can eats, but if I am craving lots of food for cheap, this is where I would go. They have a great rooftop patio that gets a lot of sun and can get quite hot in the summer. Drink a Sapporo, sit in the sun and fill up on fish, it doesn't get much better than that.
Went here last weekend for lunch for the AYCE sushi. The food came out fresh and fast. The tempura was crispy not too battered. The rolls like the tuna roll, shrimp roll and scallop roll were excellent. Full of flavour and packed with goodness. The salmon sushi was fresh and tasty. We also ordered the shrimp tempura and cali rolls and they were also well done. All in all I was impressed with the service and food. The waitress was terntative and refilled our tea when needed. I will return whenever I am in Vancouver.
Love the fact there is a deck on Denman Street and that's the best thing about Tanpopo. Its nice to sit out but the deck is dirty and crows are hanging around looking for scraps. The sushi is ordinary, they specialize in AYCE and at lunch at $11.95 it's affordable...at night it is expensive. The service is typical of AYCE restaurants, not very personalized and somewhat rushed. There's better sushi in the West End!
Went here for dinner and was impressed by the offerings on the all you can eat menu. So much to choose from. First time I'd seen prawn gyoza on a menu. The breaded oysters were also a nice touch. As usual, I was mainly concentrating on the sushi and enjoyed it a lot. Would definitely return.
Sub standard. Not many all-you-can-eat sushi offerings downtown, perhaps, so it's still okay to visit. But it's not at all even bordering impressive. Yes, I was very disappointed, and realized there's no accounting for taste when I heard about the greatness for this place before I tried it for myself.
It was again one of those late evening meals where no one could decide so we unanimously decided on another AYCE option, this time in the heart of the city. We were seated and were quickly going through the menu. The AYCE menu was split up into either a menu a or b list, us choosing the later, and as usual all the regular, if not commonly ordered dishes were picked. Dishes arrived quickly and hot but immediately we knew a second round was needed - portions are bite size and perfectly suited for petite mouths.
The food itself was not exciting; piddling quality though while palatable it's mostly intended for filling bellys. Presentation was an oversight, the Crunchy Roll in particular looking like someone had deconstructed the roll with their fingers before being served. The Goma Ae which I thought was missing it's key ingredient turned out they had tossed it in black sesame paste instead - pretty good. The imitation crab in the California Rolls were not familiarly shredded up, instead long rolls wrapped up (like what you'd find in the supermarket) though it tasted the same as any other. The salmon sashimi looked unfamiliar to me with its bloodshot red in colour, either a different type of salmon was used, the fish's diet was rich in something or the salmon was artificially coloured. No bother, but that was what stood out in an otherwise decent meal.
Service was quick and precise despite having to order off the AYCE menu through the server - no pencil and order list here. No missed orders but we did get a few more portions than we asked for - OK. Tea is refilled promptly with a quick gesture. Our main server for the night was friendly.
The restaurant is uncomfortably stuffy with the somewhat open kitchen and the frying oil fumes swimming through the room. It looked drab but you do sit far away from the next table, and on clear nights you might even get a table with a decent view of the street.
Based on the reviews I thought we were in for a somewhat better experience, but in the end it's par with other many Japanese AYCE places in the city.
I made a review back in July 2008, been here a few times over the past couple of years. I decided I would have ACYE sushi and return to Tanpopo, and was in for a rude and surprising rules from this place. I ordered several items from their list, and ate all except for the last dish. The food was good, but I happened to be full and thought this last dish, I could take home. I was perfectly okay if they charge me extra for not finishing my Avacado roll. This is where I was surprised & shocked, that they insisted I couldn't take it home or pay extra and wanted to know why they would want to waste food, by throwing it away. This bothered me and even a couple of tables commented to the server and the manager decided to let me take it home.
If you eat at this place be aware that taking home leftovers or 1 dish will result in rudeness from the staff. I think they need to show better flexibility for their customers, especially repeat customers. This experience has left me a bad taste and its too bad, they lost a customer over their rules.
I came here with my parents last night; we were seated right away, there were 3 other parties ahead of us and all guests were sat right after one another. The hostess put us at table on the right hand side of the restaurant- I find the booths/benches more private and comfortable but they were all full - it was about 730pm.
We decided on the AYCE menu, I've come here before with my husband and friends but usually for lunch, I found it decently priced (sorta- compared to other ayce) but plentiful. We ordered a variety of rolls, udon, sashima etc etc.
The service was good, she forgot my dad's motoyaki but that's pretty much it. Other than that we always had our tea, water and wine topped off and always had the table cleared of unesseccary plates. One of the reasons I like this place is because they bring out the food in batches; the allow you to eat, have it cleared and then bring more, maybe not on purpose but I've found that everytime I've gone there it's been pretty well balanced throughout the meal; yesterday mind you was a bit too staggered as we were left with no food for a good 3-5 mins but by the time you really notice your food comes out shortly after. My dad wasn't a huge fan of the waiting but he managed.
Overall the food was great, I really like the Beef Udon, garlic mussels, chicken Karrage. We ordered oysters on the half shell; good but not great. I always forget that the sashimi is quite small; about the size of a girls pinky finger; it's more like a stick of sashimi, again good but not great.
I definalty will be back, I've always enjoyed their AYCE menu, the restaurant is very clean and all the servers are very helpful when you need clarification on what something is.
I find their Lunch Menu is much better in terms of value if you don't need all the added dinner items, much cheaper and you get a decent variety.
(It's good in the summer time on their rooftop patio)
I dont know what one can expect with all you can eat anything. Just by the nature of being all you can eat is an indicator that they are not going to give you the best ingredients, and they're not going to try and rush the food to you.
That being said tanpopo is very good for what it is. The quality is average, maybe even slightly above average. The service is good, and attentive. Yes, the food can be slow coming at time, but I think thats not the service, its the owners trying not to lose their shirts. I notice you get your first hit of food very fast, then it slows down. Giving your stomach time to feel full so they dont give out too much food.
I see lots of people order way more food than they eat, all that wastage costs money-and I was brought up to eat everything on your plate...so I often find myself over stuffed here because we end up with more than we really should, so I cant waste it.
For the all you can eat experience I highly recommend Tanpopo, its excellent Cheap sushi. Its not high end, or fancy, you have to PAY for that!
I usually head to Tanpopo for late night eats as they offer all you can eat at a reasonable price that includes sushimi after 10pm. The service has been both bad and good but mostly good. The food is typically fresh and i cna't complain when i get all you cna eat sushimi at a reasonable price.
This place is hit or miss. Most days are good, and dinner is far superior to the lunch. Service is quick, but indifferent. Food quality is good, not great. You can only expect so much from all you can eat outlets. The unlimited wild salmon sashimi is by far the best part.
First off, there were tons of people waiting behind the "please wait to be seated" sign, but nobody was coming to serve them. I luckily made reservations already and got there on time. However, nobody was serving me either so I went up to the front desk to ask. They told me to hold on, so we stood there. The manager came and yelled at us "You go back there!", so we went back behind the please wait to be seated line.
It took 10 mins to get seated. We sat down; we ordered. Food was okay. Their chicken karage were tiny little nuggets. Their mango pudding wasn't even bright yellow, but a dull tan color - tasted terrible. I loved their ika karage (calamari) though. The sashimi were the smallest slices I've seen but it was okay.
When it came time to pay, we had a Groupon and as per Groupon rules, you're supposed to tax and tip on the discounted amount. They already taxed us on the original amount. And on top of that, when we gave tip on the discounted amount, the waitresses was like "Um... you know you didn't include tip right?" And she stood there until we gave her more. I was appalled that the waitress asked for more tips when we already gave tips.
Less than mediocre food. Terrible terrible attitude from the waitress.
Not coming here again.
Very bad choice tonight. After years of avoiding all-you-can-eat places, we unwittingly decided to try Tanpopo's late night AYCE menu for $12.95. Great value if you have no taste buds and have low expectations. Boy, did we suffer at every bite.
Overall: not as good as they used to be. Change of ownership? Catering to one-time tourist crowd? Not recommended for locals who should know that better sushi places exist elsewhere.
Food: Ranges from horrible to decent. All the maki rolls are pre-made and refrigerated. Only the hand cones are made fresh. The fried stuff like tempura and gyoza came out quickly and luke warm so you know that it's been sitting under a heat lamp. Sashimi tasted bland and lacked any fatty texture to it. Japanese spring rolls was the only decent tasting dish.
Service: Very prompt and courteous. Nothing spectacular but nothing negative either. The server came by 3 times to take re-orders and filled our tea twice.
Ambiance: looks worn down yet appears clean. There was a good crowd tonight so the mood was lively. Too bad the food couldn't match it...
Will definitely not come back again.
I first went to Tanpopo a couple years ago, and thought it was amazing: an all you can eat with an extensive menu, where the quality was really good. Well, that quality is GONE. The AYCE now has three "levels" (ie, three prices) - we opted for the most expensive one, $25 each, because there are lots of extras on the menu. The food, quite frankly, sucked. Here are the things that were terrible: the deep fried scallop (tasted like it had come from M&M frozen foods - except worse); the fried rice (pre-frozen vegetable mix in it), the BBQ saba (it was overcooked to the point of burned), the vegie gyoza (actually so bad I spit it into my napkin), the dynamite roll (dried up), the seafood motoyaki (all mayonnaise, hardly any seafood), the BBQ salmon (just not good quality fish)... I could go on. Here are the things that were good: the spinach ohitashi, the bbq vegie skewers. Seriously, that's about it. You might be wondering 'what were you expecting from AYCE?' - but this place USED to be good. However, this was so bad I will never go back. We should have spent that $60 just going to a regular sushi restaurant where we would have had good food!
I've been to tanpopo several times. The quality of food is hit or miss. Recently they divided their menu and if you want dynamite roll or sashimi you need to pay 14. But my worse experience with this restaurant happened tonight. I went to tanpopo tonight with a group of 12. They told us that we will be seated in 10 minutes. After 40 minutes of wait we complained and the owner did not even apologize. From now on, I will go to other AYCE places.
What a surprise! I've heard some good and some bad about Tanpopo so I wasn't sure what to expect going in. The SIL and her sister and I did AYCE lunch here over the weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. We were seated in a reasonable amount of time and our orders were taken just as quickly. Food came quickly and was hot when it was suppose to be, crispy when it was suppose to be, chilled as it should be and it was very nice. Some places just can't seem to get the tempura crispy and light. The sashimi pieces were tiny but when it's AYCE, hey... just order more pieces! I hear they were yummy. All in all a nice lunch. My tummy was a bit upset later in the day but that may have been the overly decadent cupcake I had for dessert.
The sushi and tempura we have had at FISH ON RICE in Burnaby, on Kingsway near were we live has been of such horrid quality the last two visits in March that we need an alternative for our AYCE cravings.,The venture that led us to to English bay was rewarding.! Thank you Tanpopo!! The salmon on our sushi is Sockeye..and fresh,The Tuna was fresh also..Our waiter .."Jason" was very polite,and I should mention the last 3 times we have been here the service from the female staff was also stellar.I love the welcome all receive from the chefs as patrons arrive at the top of the stairs.I had been here about 8 years ago,dined on the patio..thought at the time the food and service were average but not memorable..that was then.What a welcome surprise..all the dishes we tried last 3 visits were very good..and I'm picky..can't find any fault with Tanpopo. We look forward to going here now..It's $10 more for gas consumption with the car..But well worth it. Thank you Tanpopo!! Johnathan Z