Funky Japanese restaurant with the usual fare: sushi, teriyaki, donburi, etc.
I go to Zipang often, but not so often that they recognize me.
The food is amazing; I have yet to find another restaurant in Vancouver that can match the taste and quality. I always order the prawn tempura, pork gyoza, and unagi don but recently I've opened up to trying some of their specialty rolls such as the Spicy Cactus.
The presentation is a tad lacking with the more common dishes, but when you order two or more rolls they really spice up the plate for you. We ordered a Spicy Cactus roll and a California roll and they made it look like a caterpillar on a leaf. All of the decorations were made out of food except for the lovely candle.
Service is alright. It's not the best, but I've definitely had far worse. The waitresses, the only employees I've ever exchanged words with, are extremely nice but I find that I sometimes speak too fast. The wait time for the food isn't long, either.
I'd definitely suggest going to Zipang.
Zipang is a really nice little place. The Sushi is so good. The presentation is definitely a must see!!! They put little vegetable candles on the plate, carrot butterflies and so on. And everything tastes always superfresh and it seems a clean place as well which is really important since most food is raw.
If you want to go to a cozy place with some nice Jazzy atmosphere, you are right at Zipang Sushi. GREAT!!!!
This quaint little sushi place is my new favourite restaurant for several reasons:
- delicious fresh rolls
- fresh sashimi
- gorgeous presentation - love how they position the rolls, tea lanterns, etc.
- great service (tea got refilled continuously)
- you can make reservations (unlike Toshis)
- no huge line up (like Toshi's)
- GREAT value - price point is very similar to Toshis
I'm kind of torn in writing this review because I don't want it to get too busy but I think they deserve the credit for being a great place!!!
My friends and I went to Zipang on Friday night and were pleasantly surprised by both the food and the value!
Everything tasted great but we were most impressed by their presentation of our nigiri sushi. While most sushi places just present nigiri sushi on a plain wooden block, our sushi platter was nicely decorated with tealight lit lanterns made of thinly sliced tubes of daikon and other little garnishes.
Despite their weird chairs with furry cushions, I highly recommend Zipang. Their flavours are great, the service is friendly, and their prices are extremely reasonable. For this type of Japanese food (izakaya style), you would be paying at least 1/3 more at any other restaurant.
I've been here about ten times now and the sushi has always been consistently great. You know the caliber of the sushi chefs when the rolls don't break apart. It also helps that the restaurant is actually Japanese owned and operated. They do the staples well but if you're looking for really creative/unique creations, you won't find them here. Favourites include yam roll, caterpillar roll, alaska roll, and dynamite roll.
While the salmon sashimi is very fresh, I can't recommend them because of poor value. For $8.5 you get 6 extremely thin slices (about a third to half the size at other restaurants)
Mini seafood okonomiyaki and takoyaki are good appetitizers for first timers. The donburis are nothing special.
The ambiance is kind of bland and can quite feel crowded at times. The tables in the middle for two guests are very small and not very stable.
Service is this restaurant's weakpoint. The waitresses aren't fluent in English; occasionally I have trouble understanding them and vice versa. Ordering take out generally isn't a pleasant experience. I've been scowled at for not tipping for takeout -- I would be more inclined to tip if they'd actually offer something to drink while I'm sitting and waiting for takeout on a slow day. Just yesterday I ordered takeout and was shortchanged by a loonie but I didn't bring it up since I didn't want to look cheap. I doubt it was an honest mistake either because it's hard to mistake a $10 bill and a few nickels and pennies as more than $11..
Let's say we found a PoMo restaurant at SoMa. This is my new favourite place for Japanese food. I love the fact that they have a huge menu - everything you could possibly want is on there, at least in my case: beef/tuna tataki, fresh grilled takoyaki, okonomiyaki, sushi, donburi, udon, the list goes on!
I sampled just a few things for a snack including their negitoro roll, takoyaki ($5.50 for 6), and seaweed sunomono. Everything was fresh and (gasp) authentically done. I saw tables next to us who ordered sushi platters had candles and other decorations on their plates!
The place has an artsy field. Obviously, presentation matters to this place and it really didn't feel like I was in a Japanese restaurant. I'll definitely be going back to try out their other stuff like the ginger creme brulee!
A friend and I saw this place as we were on our way to another sushi restaurant that ended up being closed. Since it looked like a clean, modern place from the outside, we decided to give it a go. As we approached the door, we could smell the great flavours from outside already, and decided we didn't have to check out the menu before going in.
I am really surprised by all the bad reviews for this place. I thought the food was very very good. The Ebichili Roll was especially good, being my favourite of the day. I also had the Dragon Roll and Crazy Roll. Both were good and very fresh ingredients. The rolls also didn't fall apart like at some other places.
I was impressed by the many different menu selections, like Japanese seafood pancakes, and takoyaki, spicy calamari, etc.
I also had the Black Sesame Ice Cream to end off the lunch - this stole the show!!! It wasn't those lousy light grey sesame ice creams. It was BLACK, like extremely BLACK!!! The flavour was WONDERFUL and it was only $2.75 for two big scoops.
A lot of people have commented on the terrible serivce and slow food. I didn't have the problem with the food being slow, and the service was decent (nothing over the top, but I didn't feel annoyed by it either). I came around 1:30pm on a Sunday though, so perhaps it was because I missed the rush.
Atrocious service- Sushi chef had to give us the menus because there was only one waitress and she was busy running around like a headless chicken helping other customers
Had to wait 20 minutes JUST for miso soup. I think we waited a full half hour before I gave up and walked over to the register and asked for the food to be packed up for take-out.
One pair of ladies were up front paying and I overheard one of them personally talking to the sushi chef, telling him that their food was extraordinary, but the service was terrible.
Waited another 10 min. for our food to be finished and wrapped up and I looked at the bill and realized they had charged us $7.95 for the 6 piece salmon and tuna sashimi, when in the menu it is listed as $6.95. Now I know some may think a dollar isn't much of a difference but after receiving all this horrible service I was pretty pissed and asked why they charged us the extra dollar. The waitress said that they used sockeye salmon, and that they did not have regular salmon. I argued, saying that they should have at least warned us of this, that the menu listed the item as "tuna and salmon", not "tuna and sockeye salmon" and that it was not right to charge us the extra money without notifying us about the regular salmon's unavailability. The sushi chef overheard and told the waitress to take off a dollar.
Oh, and they didn't even give us the right sushi roll. They made us a regular California roll (fake crab), rather than the Dungeness California roll. Strangely enough, they charged for the regular california roll ($3.75). And I had specifically asked for the Dungeness Crab California roll.
The entire experience turned me off and it's a shame since I would have loved to have tried some of their dishes, judging from what I heard other customers say. Suffice to say, I left no tip. Getting home and trying the food - it was nothing special. Might come back again when they hire more staff
HIRE SOME MORE STAFF.
I used to live a few blocks away from Zipang and I must say I somewhat miss it now that I’ve moved away.
The restaurant is small but I like the Bauhaus inspired eclectic décor. The music isn’t annoying either, which is good. The place is also clean and their health inspection reports prove it!
When I used to go many times a week, the service was quite good, I even went out for a drink with one of the girls that worked there once. She was friendly and obviously new in town and I think she was looking for friends. She doesn’t work there anymore though. The rest of the staff has always been professional and polite, and sometimes even friendly. It can take a while to get your food though, so unless you go at odd hours, you should not be in a hurry.
The food… *drools*. It’s the best sushi I’ve ever had. Simple, yet creative. Always fresh. Exquisite presentation. Good selection as well. Everything I’ve had there was above average compared to all other sushi places in the area, and all of the ones I’ve tried downtown (though I obviously haven’t tried them all, so I can’t say it’s “the” best in Vancouver. It certainly is the best –I’ve- had. All the rolls, the sashimi and the nigiri are fresh and delicious. The cooked food is excellent as well. You can skip the desert though… I took my parents there and my mom still has fond memories of Zipang.
Value. Well, it’s a little bit pricy compared to most sushi places on Main, but it’s also much better. I think it’s not overpriced but neither is it cheap. I’ve always felt I’ve gotten what I paid for, but people used to cheap sushi might find it a bit on the expensive side.
Make a reservation if you can, or get there early! It has gotten really popular. When I lived there, it had just opened and it was almost always empty because no one knew it existed. That has radically changed (good for them! Well deserved!)
Aaah it could have been perfect!
Zipang Sushi had been on my list of places to check out for some time now. My other locals include Shiro and occasionally Toshi. Zipang had been recommended by friends.
We arrived early on Saturday night and were promptly & courteously served. We ordered sashimi salad (excellent), some maki rolls (very nice!) panko fried oysters (love the mayonnaise) and a japanese pizza. I had a couple dry sakes & my partner had wine.
We were on course for setting a new high point in our dining experiences with our meal. The service was prompt, efficient and courteous and we were enjoying the ambience of the restaurant. Dishes were cleared when empty and we felt well taken care of. We were a little surprised when the check arrived before we had a chance to order dessert but it was quickly removed when we made our choice for dessert.
What blew the evening was when we were asked to leave no less than two minutes after settling our bill (someone had our table reserved five minutes from now apparently). We were leaving regardless but being asked to leave turned an evening of great food, good service into feeling rushed.
We left but felt incensed enough to let the 'manager?' know that she had cast a pall on an otherwise perfect experience; she didn't take the comment well and reacted belligerently.
So there you have it - good food, good service but poor on hospitality. Will I return? Not likely. Too much good competition out there where I feel welcome throughout my meal- even after I have paid my bill.
I went there for lunch today and had the Roll Sushi and Donburi for $7.50. Are you kidding me? It was teriyaki chicken and a pile of rice with some sauce. Fair enough people make it different ways, but this was friggin' terriyaki chicken!!!!!!
When we asked if there was something wrong with our order. We were told that what we might have had before was from the Mall. The Mall would have been better. I googled "donburi" and the all had onions with egg. I remember making this one time - not hard, onions stewed with mirin and soy sauce. It just takes time is all. Felt ripped off. The roll was ok.
On our many previous trips to Zipang, we were treated to some really imaginative presentation -- caterpillar rolls with soy bean antennae wrapped around little candles on the plate, the name of the restaurant spelled out on the tako yaki bowl, etc. But after not going for a while we went back last weekend, and... nothing! Just sushi lined up on a plate. Tasty sushi, mind you, but missing that extra creative touch that made the place feel unique and special. I hope it was just a one-off thing and not a case of the owners not trying now that the place is successful.
The food, as I rated above, is pretty solid.
There's nothing special in regards to taste at Zipang Sushi. Some sushi combinations do not compliment each other as well as I hoped it would but nonetheless, if you're looking for something to order and you like Avocados taste the Caterpillar Roll. The salmon is sockeye so the meat is really red and looks appetizing (as does everything else on the menu) but again, in regards to taste you aren't missing out. Which also ties in with why I don't think I should have paid what I paid at the end of my dinner.
When I came, I came right when they began serving dinner (5pm) so I don't know what the deal was but I found myself being over looked by the waitresses and the chefs, even after spotting me never directed the waitresses in my direction.
But hey! located on Main Street, good tables, chairs and booths.. authentic soy sauce and tea cups really sets the ambiance straight - "This is a classy, japanese restaurant."
Overall, please go to Zipang anyways. Try the sushi out. Maybe our tastes differ! But I know I will not be returning unless I have to.
I will let you in on a little secret- There is NO NEW CHEF it is Akira trying out his new creations . Akira is one of the citys best sushi chefs, , Akira and the owner are doing thier best to introduce new and creative dishes Sushi is already an art form but this is taking it a step up. The food is very well presented and tastes good. I liked the music too, For good food and good atmosphere this is the place. The price is a bit higher than some sushi shops but the quality makes up for that.
I've been going here for about a year and it was funky and maybe a little more expensive than your average, but they got a new chef and now they make the sushi into little pieces of art and all your table's orders come on one large plate. Sushi caterpillars! Radish stars! They also put a little lamp made out of a tea light and I think radish. It's cool.
I know goods sushi. I have been to Japan many times, I eat out every day. This place was great, fresh, cheap and funky. The presentation of food was A+. I would highly recommend this place.
Since this place is new perhaps they are still getting it together, that would explain some of the other peoples comments.
Only time will tell.
This is a restaurant you would go to if fresh, tasty food is your main criteria. The surroundings and decor are pretty basic but I found the service to be good, even on a busy night. The sashimi was some of the best I've ever tasted - it just melted in the mouth and just the right temperature. The 'balls' were interesting and the black cod was excellent. It is cheap enough to go with a group of friends and try many dishes off the menu. They also have lots of specials. I tried this place twice, once on a busy Saturday evening and once for lunch and it didn't disappoint either time.