Azuma Sushi is a newcomer to the Victoria sushi scene. Serving up Japanese classics made to order with only the freshest ingredients.
On a weeknight in Victoria is it really necessary to wait over one HOUR for your sushi in a restaurant that is only 1/2 full? Really?
When it came I wasn't even hungry anymore. Then when I picked it up it fell apart. What I finally got in my face was good but the whole experience just sucked by then. When we ordered we were told it was 20 minutes if we ordered sushi NOT 60. Plus other people that came in after us and ordered sushi got theirs first. One couple came in ordered, ate and left before us. That just makes me angry and I wiil not go back.
My girlfriend and I were visitors here, her first but not mine. Now I don't know if Vancouver has spoilt me or something, but the food was pretty terrible. If there is one word that would describe my experience eating here at Azuma, it would be "yuck".
Why come again, you ask? Because I thought the quality had improved, and that my last experience eating here, which was over a year ago, mind you, was an isolated incident. But looking at the reviews here, apparently it is not.
The place is newly renovated and so getting a table is not a problem, as the restaurant is huge now. But looks are seriously deceiving. The sushi was pretty terrible. Lukewarm, greasy and not fresh tasting at all. Nothing you would expect to eat at a restaurant, more like in a fast food place or mall. The fried rice was sticky and absolutely cold. Not happy at all in this aspect.
The only thing that I can appreciate, but cannot say was a saving grace either was the service. The waiter we got was nice, and despite having a mix up with our food, apologized and tried to bring our food quickly. At least quicker than the rest. She did seem a little flustered by that though.
I've seen other sushi places around here so I'm hoping they have better sushi than this.
Craving some steak sauce, but not wanting to shell out $25+ for Japanese Village, I headed to Azuma. The $7 bento boxes aren't as complete as some other sushi places: my tempura box came with salad, fruit, tempura and a bowl of rice. My friend's box came with miso soup, chicken teriyaki, salad, fruit and a bowl of rice. That was okay because what I was there for was the endless steak sauce-covered rice. The food wasn't anything special, but I will be back for the sauce when another craving hits.
Had a date to azuma recently. Found the food to be not as great as my date. The Yakisoba was drenched in sauce and made me feel sick. Also the Sushi was very dry and the rice felt off. I had to cover my Cali roll in soy sauce. The service was good and very good though and the restaurant was decorated nicely. All in all I will not be going back here.
They atmosphere isn't much better after the renovation for ambience, but the food seems better than ever. You must try their spicy tuna sashimi - utterly breaktaking. The fresh oysters are a good deal, and the Unagi nigiri is just right. For the price, this is by far the best value in sushi in town, and almost up to Vancouver standards. The food is actually better than the staid old overpriced local sushi dens (eg Yoshi) that I suggest avoiding.
Coming from Vancouver I'm a little spoiled as far as sushi goes, this has pretty much kept me away from the Sushi restaurants in Victoria as I've been waiting for someone to give one of the restaurants rave reviews.
I went to Azuma for lunch and found it to be very fresh and well priced, I wasn't overly impressed with the waitress but I won't let that take away from the overall rating. If you're accustomed to great sushi and find yourself in Victoria don't be afraid to try Azuma out, they were fairly new when I went there so I imagine with time things will only improve.
I just received the most horrible experience from this place. After arriving at my hotel, I used the online ordering system posted on their website. Bad idea! This place was 5 minutes away from where we were staying and after along drive, and a hungry family to feed, we decided to order in. After a 90 minute wait I finally called the restaurant and asked where my food was and they assured me the driver was on his way. After 75 minutes I called again. This time I spoke to a manager and she too promised me the driver had just left. After 2 hours the food arrived COLD and without our drinks and missing an item. Being in a hotel, there was no microwave to reheat anything and I shouldn't have to anyway. I immediately called back to share my disappointment. They made excuses and said the online ordering does not go directly to them. It is contracted out by another company. I was told they couldn't credit my credit card because it was made though another company. The food was cold and disgusting! We chose to try and eat something because we were starving by tis point. After about 6 returned calls they said they would give me $30.00 back from my $100.00 order. I ended up tears insisting on getting a full refund. Eventually, after another 2 hours, the delivery driver came back and gave me cash back in full. They were very apologetic and talked about the contracted company app again. DO NOT USE THE ONLINE ORDERING and DO NOT ADD A GRATUITY, because the restaurant doesn't receive it.
Being of Japanese descent, we have had our fair share of Japanese food. The sushi from the grocery store is 100% better than this place. I will NEVER recommend this place to anybody.
Asuma was comfortable and spacious. However, service was very unattentive and the food took a long to arrive, even though it wasn't a busy day. There were too few servers for the number of tables they're covering, and no server was really assigned to any particular table (which is actually common for Japanese restaurants so I'm not complaining here). There were actually two servers chatting at the bar counter. What ended up happening with our sushi was that it was left at the sushi chef counter for at least a good 5 minutes before a server had time to pick it up and serve it to us.
For the food, coming from Vancouver, my standards for sushi are probably higher because of the availability of high quality sushi in Vancouver. The sushi at Azuma was average, but is probably great by Victoria standards. Parking was hard to find in the area especially at lunch hour. Next time I'm in Victoria, I'd probably try something different. Mind you they made it to the top 10 list of best Victoria restaurants.
Never dissapointed...great food for unbelievable pricepoint..fantastic service and excellent ambiance..I love the decor. Never dissapointed and will always come back! Thhe menu has a wide variety. The sushi is amazing. The quality, presentation and taste is second to none! I find the best value for the money in the city. I have always enjoyed di i g here and recomme d it often. It is the place I choose first thoughh one of my siblings has a restaurant in town.
Considering the options of where we can eat in a restaurant filled city, this was the last time we'll set foot in Azuma...There's just too many other good\great places to go and last nights dining experience was a waste of time and money...very poor service and below average food\sushi...we have gone to Azuma many times in the past but ever since it's expansion it has gradually lost it's appeal as "A Place To Go"...the appy's (Gyoza & Veggi Tempura) served luke warm at best and quite greasy...would have sent em back but was too hungry to wait another 20 minutes for food...Nigiri sushi was bland and not even worth the special price of 99cents...when we mentioned our displeasure regarding the food and service to the manager she said several times she was so happy that we voiced our concerns and followed with "Now how would you like to pay"...well, we paid and left zero tip and will never part with any more of our hard earned dollars to Azuma...considering the options...
Visited for a romantic celebration. Food generally was good and ambience quite good as it is newly renovated. However, half way through our meal the waiter booked off. We waited for at least 15 minutes before having to get up and search out someone else to serve.
Found sharp bones in both the salmon sashimi and the tuna nigiri.
Apologies from the manager, but did not seem very sincere. We were given a free item worth about 5% of the meal. I would not recommend this restaurant.
I have been to Azuma many times and always enjoyed the food. However, tonight I found a fingernail clipping in my miso soup... I actually pulled it out of my mouth when I felt something hard. To say the least I was disgusted. The manager came to talk to me and assured me that this was "a rare occurrence" and offered to void the $2.25 miso soup off my bill and give me 10% of my meal. Needless to say I left, my meal was 10 dollars so a 3.25 discount was absolutely ridiculous. What disturbed me the most though was that the manager ADMITTED that the cook had been cutting his nails in the back and apologized!!! I know this sounds too absurd to be true but it is, I filed a complaint with the health authorities and will never be going back. The way it was dealt with was almost as horrifying as the fact that neither the waiter nor the manager seemed to be phased by the fact that there was a finger nail in the soup... not a hair that falls in by accident but a piece of nail! I can't even imagine what goes on in that kitchen.
The service here is pretty decent, depending on the day.
The food is pretty good, but once I got some bad salmon sashimi. It was not very fresh and I couldn't eat it!
The SOS on the other hand is outstanding and you MUST try it. It's shrimp, oysters, and scallops baked in this amazing sauce. I don't even like oysters and I eat the whole thing up!
The tuna, scallops, salmon are good if they're fresh, this place is in a convenient location downtown, and all in all I would say, try it.
I still prefer my favorite, Shima sushi on Wharf street. Its just a few blocks down and I swear its 10X better and they have similar pricing.
Heres the play-by-play
3:00pm. Long day of Christmas shopping, wow am I ever hungry, I'll just google sushi in Victoria, hopefully one will be open.
3:02pm. All searches come back negative except for Azuma sushi, therefore Azuma it is!
3:05pm. I walk into Azuma, I think to myself, this is really nice, have they ever put a lot of work into this place. -Please wait to be seated- said the sign
3:15pm. I look back at the sign to see if I maybe read the sign wrong, nope. I look around there are empty tables everywhere.
3:17pm. Oh how wonderful, my date and I are situated right between two very young couples. I feel out of place because both sets of couples are talking/texting on their cell phones. Oh, what's that I hear? *No! I told you I dont like him, I'm with my new date right now, fuck off!* You go girl, that's exactly what I was thinking.
3:20pm. How did this cold cup of tea get infront of me? I look around but see no one, someone must be practising there magic skills in here.
3:25pm. I feel the warmth of this friendly waiter in here. I know she must have a thing for me because she doesn't want to make eye contact, I dont blame her seeing as how I'm out on this date. "Oh hi I'm doing gre.... Oh I'm sorry, yes to start off could I have *this*, and for my entree I would like *that* and *and some of those*" We kept our conversation to a minimum, save the small talk for later, when she wasn't so busy with her other two tables.
3:35pm I bowl of soup arrives, the waitress said it came with what I ordered, or so I assumed. I couldn't understand her, I think she finished her sentence while she walked 10 ft away from me. Maybe something smelled bad?
3:36pm My taste buds hurt, what did I just put in my mouth?
3:40pm One portion of my entree is here, I'm excited, but where is my appetizer? My waitress must be one of those desert before dinner kinda gals, I like that, it's spunky.
3:45pm Another entree arrives, I don't recognize it. Said it went with my soup. I'm confused now, did the entree come with the soup or the soup come with the entree, either way I didn't order either of them. Here's my chance to return that liquid thing on my table, I don't know what it is, tried googling it but nothing came up. My waitress politely accepts my return of this mysterious entree and the unknown substance. She didn't seemed surprised, I think she's heard it before. I'm trying to come to terms with how this could have happened, I mean her not looking at me meant she liked me, right, Right?
3:53pm I'm done my entree just as my appetizer arrives, perfecting timing! I bet my waitress is impressed at how fast I can eat one roll of sushi.
3:54pm I remember I'm on date now, "Hi Hunny, how's your sushi? Oh you don't like it.... Ya I dont think it's suppose to come completely unrolled on the plate, but I'm no sushi expert, maybe we should notify the waitress?"
3:58pm Very sneaky! She slides past us without making a sound
4:00pm I caught you! I knew she couldn't escape me forever. My waitress seems to have the giggles as I explain the problem with my date's sushi, boy am I ever good with the ladies. She explains to me that a new sushi chef is behind the counter now, apparently much better at rolling sushi, but my date politely declines. You know what they say "wait twenty minutes and you won't be hungry anymore". I guess this holds true even if you haven't started to eat yet.
4:03pm My date complements that her pop taste great. I'm happy for her, she's enjoying it a lot!
4:10pm Everything is gone from the table, my waitress asked if that will be all, I feel like her opinion on me has changed. But I can't quite put my finger on it. I avoid notifying her of my missing food that was supposed to come with my entree, I think she knew tho.
4:12pm The cheque arrives, I eat both chocolates on the bill tray, boy do I love those chocolates, best thing they have put on the table yet!
4:12pm The waitress shows up quite fast with the debit machine. She is being very nice now, a little too nice in fact, seems a little fishy, I contemplate the possibility that she is finally attempting to make her move on me. I look at my date, she is paying for us, very 21st century I think. Maybe I should probably just stay with the one I have now.
4:13pm I leave the restaurant, I'm in a haze, I say bye to my date, I don't know if I'll see her again. Still hungry, but nowhere to go, I guess I'll just head home and throw in a pizza.
5:30pm Mmmm frozen pizza. The bus ride was long and lonely, I did done a lot of soul searching. I write done my thoughts on todays outing so other hungry people will be able to avoid this place and more importantly, frozen pizza.
Went to Azuma to check out the renovation after having a mediocre, overpriced experience one year ago. Sadly, things have gotten worse. I could write at least a dozen complaints, but for expediency's sake, here are my 4 in chronological order:
1.) Staff, including chefs, didn't know any of the items on their own menu. While I understand that many are new, and the menu has been retooled, at least they should hire people who know the basics of a Japanese restaurant, like "tuna nigiri" "uni" and a number of rolls and appys on their own menu. Not only did the servers need to be shown the menu when ordering, the sushi chef messed up one of the most expensive rolls on the menu (see complaint number 3).
2.) Bar staff were immature, clueless about their own jobs and inattentive, save for the occasional "how is everything?" to which we replied with bewilderment "ummm ok..." We had to wait for them to finish taking pictures of each other before ordering. The head bartender came in with a hat and coat on after his break to print our bill, which was wrong, but in our favor so we let the mistake go unnoticed. The other 2 bartenders were new and in dire need of training, which the head bartender was too busy texting on his cell phone to see to. I don't blame the newbies--clearly this is a management issue indicative of systemic failure.
3.) The food. The food. The food. Oh lord, where to begin...? First, the "kenko" roll which costs upwards of $11 is a hollowed out piece of cucumber stuffed with tuna, salmon and avocado. When it came, the roll had no avocado in it. We had to ask that they add avocado, which all the staff were confused about until I pointed it out on their own menu. Then when we finally got it straightened out, the roll came back to us, the chef having simply stuffed avocado into the same roll, making it virtually impossible to pick up without all of the stuff falling out, not to mention an $11 eyesore. No experienced sushi chef would ever allow such blasphemy. Literally everything we ordered was A.) disappointing in taste B.) REALLY ugly and poorly displayed C.) overpriced (See complaint number 4) and, when from the kitchen, D.) cold, having obviously sat out under a heat lamp for an obscene amount of time. Also, for those people who have ever been to Japan or have any affection whatsoever for Japanese food--DO NOT EAT HERE. It will make you sad to even see the insjustice and utter contempt with which the chefs serve what is meant to be beautiful, delicious, lovingly prepared food. I would expect much, much more from a prepackaged sushi box from Safeway.
4.) The prices were insulting. Everything except the ikura was rip off. A big one. The final straw was dessert. We ordered a flourless chocolate cake for 6.95. What came out of the kitchen was a sliver of half-frozen, hard as a rock, utterly tasteless chocolate-flavored garbage on a plate with nothing on it but a blob of (also frozen) whipped cream. If you're going to serve dessert, better make it memorable for reasons other than the horror with which we walked away from our meal.
Never. Ever. Go here.
FYI My favorite places to eat in Victoria are: 1.) Brasserie L'Ecole (prices slightly higher than what we paid tonight--though not by much!!--but for an incredible experience you won't soon forget), 2.) Sen Zushi (twice the serving sizes at comparable prices, for actual (REALLY DELICIOUS) Japanese food prepared by actual Japanese people, with love you can taste) 3.) Hernandez (just damn good burritos and stuff) 4.) The dim sum place in the Red Lion on Douglas (cheap, fast, a little ratty-looking atmosphere but that's what makes it fun, and most of all amazing tasting food)
I hope this review saves someone out there from the disaster that is Azuma.
I want to like this restaurant...I have TRIED VERY HARD to like it. Three times in fact. Each time I am blown away by the blandness and lack of creativity of the dishes. The location is central and convenient for me and the place is packed most of the time which is most likely due to it's great location.
The last time I was there(2 days ago) I ordered sushi rolls, sashimi and vegetable and tofu udon soup. The yam rolls looked like sloppy blobs of rice...had to look hard to find any yam inside, the sashimi was the tiniest portion i have ever been served(and I eat Japanese alot) and the soup arrived with noodles and a few sliced of tofu on top. No vegetables whatsoever..not even a few slices of green onion for color. I asked the server if she could add some vegetables to the soup(as the menu did state bean curd and vegetable udon) and she said they didn't have any vegetables!! I just stared at her in disbelief, as my daughter had ordered chicken vegetable don and it clearly had carrots, brocolli, and bean sprouts on it at least. So, thinking maybe there was a language barrier or that she hadn't heard me correctly, I requested possibly some carrots, brocolli, bok choy, ...anything(!) She took it back to the kitchen and it was returned to me with 2 raw brocolli florets and a few bean sprouts. Not one to make a fuss, I started eating. With no exaggeration..I could have been eating noodles in dishwater. $9.00 for noodles in dishwater.
I have tried many of the Japanese restaurants in Victoria and have NEVER felt a need to write a negative review until now. SAVE your money...but be sure to try one of the others. There are several outstanding ones that serve creative and authentic cuisine. This just isn't it.
The reason I gave 1/5 for service is because we were treated very rudely last time I went to Azuma for dinner with my girlfriend. To avoid specifics as per dinehere.ca guidelines, there were no pleasantries, thank-yous or politeness period from our server. We felt as if we were unwelcome for the duration of our meal and we are well-dressed, polite people who do not swear or yell or smell so we expect to be treated like human beings.
The reason I gave 1/5 for value is because the food at azuma is DECENT but it is priced as authentic high-end japanese cuisine, which it is not. The salmon sashimi is fresh but very expensive for the size of the portion. Azuma charges upwards of 10 dollars for a small bit of sashimi which would be 5-6 dollars in most places in Victoria.
The rolls have too much rice and only a small amount of fish or crab, the only rolls we got which were of a decent rice/content ratio was the yam tempura roll and obviously yams are cheaper than fish.
Because of Azuma's location in high-traffic tourist area on Yates street, they will get tourist business no matter what, but as a local I will not be back and I will do my best to make sure nobody I know does either. In the restaurant business if you can't provide good service to your customers you deserve no business at all.
After several disappointing meals from this place I was finally fed up enough to register and add to the chorus. You will notice a great divide in the reviews for Azuma. Some people really like the steak sauce on the rice; and some people really like well made authentic Japanese food.
Yaki Soba should be fried Soba noodles, kind of like chow mein. Not soup. There is a sauce that is always used in Japan (lived there for a couple years) for this dish. What I received at Azuma did not resemble it at all. I received dark brown noodles in a mystery sauce/soup with some Chinese vegetables mixed in. In Japan it has cabbage and some meat, and it is delicious. My meal from Azuma was not worth eating. It went in the garbage.
As mentioned elsewhere the sushi is acceptable, not great, but not horrible I suppose. The gyoza dumplings were ok, which I would hope considering they are a chinese dish (jiao zi) appropriated by Japanese chefs, but the sauce that came with them was another example of either corner cutting or misinterpretation. It simply wasn't a good sauce, tasting like vinegar and little else. Nothing else I have had from the menu is in any way up to par.
If having steak sauce on your rice is what makes a meal for you, then by all means enjoy Azuma. But Japanese food lovers be warned: you will not be impressed.
I went to Azuma on a friends suggestion. The sushi was boring at best, and not very good. The service was mediocre, and the only thing I mildly enjoyed was the tempura vegetables, but how hard is it to find vegetables. What I was horrified at was the fact that they serve shark fin soup there. I was already on the fence about giving them my business, but when I saw that disgusting meal, it sealed it. They will not get any business of mine, nor anyone else I know as much as I can help it, if that isn't taken off the menu. Anyone thinking sharkfin soup is something to try.. a delicacy.. should consider watching the movie Sharkwater, which you can find anywhere. The fact that they serve this unnecessary and cruel dish is the number one reason I won't eat there.
went on strong recommondation from a friend and was disappointed. food takes forever to come. sushi menu was basic with no special rolls of any kind. ingredients were not as fresh as they could have been, which for sushi, is a must. had a few questionable bites of salmon. gomae was watery and bland. oh, and the tea pot pours all over the table. (not their fault)