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.)
Tan Popo does not pretend to be a real upscale restaurant nor does it pretend to be a cafeteria. If you want authentic atmosphere and you judge with your eyes and not your love for the food then you will probably find some disappointment. If you wait and taste the food and the way it is prepared then you will be pleasantly delighted. On par with the best full service Japanese restaurant at an affordable price. Forget "Lip Service" and cheesy "It is so nice to see you" restaurants. Tan Popo is "Sit Down, Order and Enjoy"
We ordered the 18.95 all-you-can-eat for two people. My expectations for an all-you-can-eat sushi joint are generally not high, but this was the most disappointing of the lot I've been to (food would rate a 1.5 out of 5). The only highlight was the salmon and toro sashimi. The salmon is wild, so it has a nicer color and taste. The spicy salmon and tuna sashimi, however, was ruined by a sauce that was too sweet and not nearly hot enough. Similarly, the bacon-wrapped scallops came with microwavable bacon, the deep-fried pork cutlets had obviously come out of a bag, the spinach for the gommae was old, the 'crunch' roll, instead of being a tempura-coated california roll, turned out to be merely tempura batter surrounded by rice, the incredibly salty salad dressing, far from the miso I've come to expect, was obviously Kraft or worse (which was a shame, because the generally unhealthy food leaves one craving greens). The pork spring rolls and BBQ salmon was ok. For nearly $40, we could have had the same amount of food at the Samurai, Kitstaya or any number of other restaurants, except that it would have been much healthier and of infinitely higher quality. Alas, I will never again heed sushi recommendations from out-of-towners - unless they're from Japan or Korea, of course.
I been going to this place for many times over the years. I love their AYCE menu which I can't find any others come close to it from where I live. To-day I was little bit late for lunch but go in anyway. Besides the all you can eat lunch which runs til 4pm, I found they have a new happy hour special to offer, all nigiri sushi priced at 99 cents, I mean all. I order salmon, tuna, unagi, amaebi , toro plus some maki which also only at $1.99. My wife have a full portion of chicken teriyaki which only cost around $6.50, and we share a tempura for under $5. We were full and happy, total bill....under $20. INCREDIBLE !!!!! Next time for sure to come again when I am in town.
there's a lot of all you can eat places in vancouver and richmond, so choosing a place is difficult.
not all are the same though one might think its just all you can eat so what's the difference?
i've tried this place twice now and one thing that stands out is the freshness. their sushi isnt premade frozen and the sashimi tastes fresh.
both times i have had the dinner menu and they have some items i've never seen at other places.
the service is fast and they dont mind if you order a third or fourth time which i found nice.
great place to go to and its right next to the beach!! a plus!!
The title says it all. My family and I love tanpopo's all you can eat, we often visit more than once a week. The food is of great quality- no other all you can eat place doesn't have a limit on sashimi orders, and they also have a vast variety to please everyone. The service is good considering the highly busy traffic in the restaurant at all times but a little patience is necessary. Great value and nice ambiance make this place very recommendable to any sushi lover!
The best part about this restaurant is the all-you-can eat menu. They have unlimited salmon and tuna sashimi which means you can eat more than your money's worth.
We had lunch here yesterday, and it was terrible. The all-you-can eat lunch is cheap for a reason. Don't get me wrong, but I'm not picky with my food at all and find most establishments satisfactory. But, the service was horrible. First, they forgot A LOT OF OUR ORDERS (like miso soup, ebi sunomono, gomae, etc). And the server's reason: our computer's down. Hello?!? She took our orders by hand, and I saw her put the order sheet by the chef's corner, so don't give me that bulls***. Second, it's not family friendly at all. They're boosters don't have seat belts or straps. Whoever heard of that? Obviously, the kids can just jump out. We asked for a chair because my husband went back home to grab our own portable booster. The chair never arrived! Also, the server kept putting the hot soup and other hot things in front of my 14-month old daughter. Rule number 1: DO NOT PUT HOT THINGS IN FRONT OF BABIES, AS THEY TEND TO GRAB THEM. Lastly, the food was so-so. I agree that the wild salmon and spicy tuna cone were great, but that's about it. The gomae was sketchy (it had what looked like grains of sand, like the spinach wasn't washed). The tempura didn't come with any tempura sauce at all (and they were zucchini, no variety) and we had to ask for the sauce. We asked for extra 2 soy sauce plates, but none came until we bugged them for the third time. Anyway, too many things to complain about... DON'T EAT HERE OR YOU'LL REGRET IT!!!
I have been there twice - once for lunch alone and once for dinner with 5 others. I was not allowed to be seated at empty tables that were set up for 4 just in case a group of 4 came in. I didn't want the sushi bar as I wanted to read my paper while I ate. Others who came after me were seated before I was. The food was okay, but then this is not supposed to be Tojo's.
Last night we waited and waited, and after about half an hour we were seated outside . Yes it was a beautiful sunny evening and it was busy. We were shown to our table and not even given menus right away. After five minutes I got up and went to get some, and was told they would be brought out to us right away. We overheard the table behind saying that they didn't get items they had ordered and did get items they had not ordered. We thought - why are we putting up wi th this then? So we got up and left and went back down to the Boathouse where we had put our name in, but were told it would be an hour. Luckily we got back in time to get our table, after being offered a beer to have while we waited on the stairs. A far cry from Tampopo's 'service'.
My wife & I decided to try this AYCE for a Sunday Lunch yesterday (24 Feb 2008). Our expectations rose when we joined a long queue of patrons waiting patiently to be seated, only to be sorely disappointed once we were seated.
The waiter was quite helpful BUT:
The food portions for the terriyaki were tiny.
The Chicken Terriyaki had lots of bones.
The Fish Terriyaki tasted more like spam.
The Beef Terriyaki was cold.
The maki / rolls we ordered were never even served, even after asking our waiter for them.
The list goes on, and it seems that even our neighbouring tables got the same treatment.
Verdict: I will never go to this place again. Period!
We went there for dinner last night and had the "dinner boat" or something for dinner. The service WAS great tho; we weren't out of tea r water, and dishes were cleared away quickly. However, the food was very disappointing. To begin with, I wouldn't even classify several of the dishes as Japanese (more Chinese the fried rice and the noodles), which is ok, if they taste good; which they didn't. The sashimi was bad; the tuna tasted funny and the salmon was ok. And then the ice cream wasn't really fitting for the price of the dinner (and it was partially melted and then stuffed in a freezer, not too nice). Anyway, I won't ever be going back there. The service was great for us though, so that's something
Ok, so I admit I'm a sushi snob and as soon as I see most of the staff is Chinese I prepare for the worst. But other than location, Tanpopo has very little going for it. The tuna nigiri is slimy, tempura is greasy, nori is soggy, and service is slow. I've been here several times because my in-laws like it, but it's always the same. If you really appreciate sushi, stay away from this place.