The Japanese Village serves Teppanyaki cuisine. As their website says, "watch your personal chef dazzle you with sleight-of-hand bite-size bits of steak and seafood." They also have a sushi bar. They offer a lunch and dinner sitting; reservations are always recommended.
Japanese Village is one of my favourite places to go in Victoria for a meal. I have always felt that the city was culinarily challenged, probably because of the large tourist contigent that waters down dining expectations. Japanese Village raises the bar offering consistantly tasty, teppanyaki food at reasonable prices.
The best deal is to go for their lunch sitting. For around 9 to 16 dollars, you get your choice of soup or salad, choice of entree, vegies and as much rice as you can eat. Entree choices include chicken, sirloin steak, new york steak, filet mignon and others.
Unlimited rice may seem trivial until you've tried it drenched with the most orgasmic steak sauce you could imagine. If you are anti-carb, you may not want to visit here because you could find yourself halfway thru your third bowl of rice covered in sweet, sweet steak sauce and end up with a guilty conscience.
The sushi bar is mediocre at best; this restaurant is all about the teppanyaki. Always make a reservation.
We had dinner for two at the Japanese village. It was very formulaic. The food was OK at best. The staff were unavailable, the show while entertaining did not result in particularly good food - there are so many better places to eat japanese food in Victoria. Oh yes - and it is not a cheap restaurant
Teppan lunch is amazing and sooo reasonable. I always leave feeling so full and satisfied. The steak sauce is amazing but some people do find it a little much. I, however, like my food swimming in it. Just thinking about it....my mouth is watering...Dinner is also great but very expensive for teppan. I prefer to go to the sushi bar for dinner which is an experience in itself. Head sushi chef, Sammy is hilarious and personable and knows all his customers by name. Try the tuna tataki, I know people who don't eat fish (let alone raw fish) who have tried this and have fallen head over heels in love with this dish. Also the tempura prawn roll is delicious. I've been going here for years and it is consistently the best, freshest, tastiest, most authentic sushi in town. Forget Azuma and Shiki and all those other places that are trendy. Japanese village is number one.
The atmosphere is fun, you can eat quickly, so it is great for the lunch hour. My boss and I go frequently. I like to sit around the table and watch my food be prepared. The steak sauce on rice is what I go for. It is delicious. The staff are great, you can eat all the rice you would like to. I would suggest this restaurant to anyone who wants to go out and eat great food, esecailly fast.
This restaurant has cooktops built into the tables that allow the cook to prepare the food in front of you, which is entertaining the first time you go. The seating was in a big "C" around the grill and there was a nice fountain off to the side.
When it came time to order, my server didn't seem to take food sensitivities seriously and babbled something about sauces having secret recipes. At first I thought this was a lame joke, but she really didn't pursue the issue any further. This left me having to ask the cook the same question. Other than that the service was fine.
The dinners all came with a miso like soup to start and a small salad. The soup tasted like it was out of a box and was too salty. The salad was coarse chopped head lettuce with half a small tomato on top. The salad dressing was good and ended up being the one redeeming factor up to this point.
I had ordered the teriyaki chicken and strip loin steak as my entree. While preparing the food the cook kept joking about how all the ingredients were "Japanese", which got old really quick; to everyone's annoyance, he went on and on about this and kept laughing at himself. As the cook prepared the food he slowly added items to my plate, which I ate as they were added. I imagine some people might find this annoying, but I didn't mind.
The entrees themselves were of good quality and were not overcooked.
Overall, if you think the experience will be entertaining enough for you then I'd recommend it, but it's not somewhere I would go repeatedly for dinner. Lunch I have yet to try.
I have been dining at Japanese Village for over 12 years now, I have brought many friends and co-workers to experience the amazing steak sauce that everybody is raving about, and I had even host few company events at this restaurant. Sammy and the crews have always treated me and my guests’ right; that was why I keep coming back and bringing more friends. However, this had all changed from my last night visit (Aug-09-2010), I am really re-considering if I would ever visit this restaurant again despite its great foods. Here is what went out, please leave me your comment(s), if I am being overly rude or unfair about my comments.
Here is the story: We were party of 9; my family of 5 and my friend's family of 4. My family had ordered Shogun's Special with NY Steak, New York Steak & Shrimp Combo, 2x Yakimeshi addon (fried rice), 1x Japanese (Shitake) Mushrooms addon, 2x large Asahi Beers and Tempura udon for my kids. My friend's family had ordered Shogun's Special with Filet Mignon, Chicken Teriyaki $19.00, 2x large Asahi Beers and Tempura udon for their kids. By all means, we did not order anything custom or not on menu. Anyway, at the end of the live cooking show, my friend had noticed that he did not get any grilled, Scallop and Jumbo Prawn as part of his Shogun's Special; so we question the chef. His immediate response was he made mistake and had given his shares of scallop and prawn to my side of Shogun's Special, and he would want us to change our order (to accommodate his mistake?!). My friend insisted that he would like to get what he has ordered, meanwhile the chef insisted that we change our order. After a little struggle, he finally ask the waitress to bring over from kitchen the missing foods; now it got more interesting, he proceeded on cleaning the teppan and asked his co-worker chef at the table behind him to cook the missing foods. I really do not understand why he can not just cook it at our table in front of us? rather, it was cooked by another chef. At this point, obviously something wasn't right, atmosphere wise. Anyway, my friend did receive his prawns and scallops, but scallops were not chopped up to bite size like how they usually prepare them. (Maybe to show us their unhappiness, because we did not change our order to accommodate his f*** up?!). Through out this entire incident, we had NOT received any apology from the chef; rather we only got this repeat message of "change your order". I have never been nor ever heard a restaurant chef to request their client to change the food order to accommodate their mistake; this is simply ridiculous and unacceptable at all! Needless to say, we left not very happy. Finally, when I brought my family's portion of the bill to pay at front, I casually mentioned this incident, just hoping someone would make sense and offer me an apology. NO, I did not receive it! the cashier dodged the question by asking for the manager to talk to me. I explain the matter to the manager; he went to talk to the chef to get a better understanding of matter (I think). Upon his return, all he kept emphasizing was that we got our foods after all! This was not my point! All I wanted is an apology for the hassle that caused us; why does a client needs to insist repeatedly on getting what he/she had ordered? And NOT to have to change the order to make up for the chef's mistake?! It turned to a slight argument, which leaded no where at all with this manager. I gave up and said I will contact Sammy regarding this matter, and then I left.
By the way, the restaurant was not busy at all that night.
Went here for lunch yesterday with 13 coworkers, one of whom has raved continually about the place, in particular the steak sauce.
I had chicken teriyaki and shrimp. It came with a choice of soup or salad (I had soup, which was broth with egg in it), vegetables, sprouts and rice. The steak sauce is poured over top the rice. It was all very good. I think I had a heightened expectation because of my coworker, but it didn't quite hit the mark. However, she's spent all her life in Nanaimo, so I guess she's easy to impress. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the sauce. Maybe a few more visits and I would be raving, too.
As someone else noted, you eat things as they are placed on your plate. I didn't mind that - I would prefer that to waiting until the end and some of the items being cold.
One of the people in our party is vegan and they brought her some vegetables that had been cooked elsewhere rather than on the same grill as our meat, which I thought was very good of them.
Service was good, though I could have used a lot more water.
The chef didn't do any fancy knifework, but then, we were all chatting amongst ourselves, anyway. Our "table" sat 16, with 8 seats at one grill and 8 seats at the other grill, and two chefs. I felt kind of sorry for a couple that were also seated at our "table", as there are no tables for two with this style of dining. You wouldn't bring someone here on a romantic date, I would think.
All in all, an enjoyable experience, probably done best with a group of at least four people.
I feel I have had a similar dining experience to many of the other people who have commented on this restaraunt. I went with a party of 14 and had dinner reservations, but had to wait 20 minutes to get our table because it was so busy in there. We couldn't order drinks while we were waiting either. The food was great, but I wasn't sure what came with the standard entree when I placed my order and made the mistake of ordering too much food. You get a soup, never ending rice with their famous "steak sauce" and your entree. I had the newyork steak and terryaki chicken. It also came with veggies and sprouts. But I ordered an appitizer of fried tofu (the fish sauce wasn't very good) and an order of egg fried rice which was really good. Service for drinks was slow as the restaraunt was really busy, but the food prep was fun and helped create a very social and vibrant atmosphere. I will probably go back if I am with a large group that wants to drink a fair bit while eating.
This is one of my favorite places to come. I always get the New York steak and am sure to order come shitake mushrooms which are excellent. If you haven't been here you should check it out because it's a very unique experience! Your food can not be more freshly cooked! And I LOVE their steak sauce!
Went here for lunch other day. It was just okay. We were rushed through as we didn't have "reservations", and yes this was for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. Soup was good, overall food was good. I didn't find the steak sauce that great and was relieved when it was served on the side for our table. A table across from us had it poured over their rice. Not sure if they asked for it like that, but it would be way too much for me. The flavors of the food should speak for itself.
Have had this style of food prep/service before, and the "personality" of the chef for lunch just wasn't there. I know they are probably trying to rush you through as it's for lunch. But a smile and a "how are you" would have been pleasant. Overall, I would go here again, as lunch is a bargin. But I'd think twice about paying double for dinner if it's the same type of service.
This is of my favorite resteraunts in town. My teppan-grilling experiences are never less than exquisite at Japanese Village. The lunch Teppanyaki is very reasonable, and the dinner is a little more, but you will not leave this reseraunt dissapointed. I have been consistantly coming to the resteraunt for the past 6 years and this extremely friendly place is always a top choice in my books.
I've been coming to Japanese Village for several years now, and it is by far one of my favorite places to eat.
Food is served teppan-style - so, a group of people sit around a table with a large grille, and the chef cooks everything right in front of you. I swear by the salad (very good dressing), the teriyaki steak (with the steak sauce, aka sesame sauce), and the rice (with the steak sauce as well...2 scoops of it!)
No, the miso soup isn't like what you'll find in other Japense places (I agree it's somewhat like chicken noodle soup), but the food is great, the chefs are fun, and it's definitely a different type of dining experience.
I spent my childhood in Edmonton listening to the Japanese Village jingle on the Radio but I never went. Even still the jingle is still in my head as I enter the Japanese Village in Victoria. I am there for my friends Birthday and we are a party of 13. About half our group arrives at 8:00 for our reservation and our whole group is seated by 8:20 pm. We sat until 8:45 until the chef made his appearance. By this time I was so hungry anything would taste good. Or so I thought.
I ordered the 8 oz. New York Steak. It started with a bowl of, what appeared to be anyway, Miso soup. Nothing about the soup was Miso, or even vaguely Japanese. It was chicken broth plain and simple.
Next we had a tossed salad with a nice asian sesame dressing. In retrospect this was the best thing i ate that night. Sad.
The chef appeared and began his "show" He was funny and entertaining but I was left wanting more. We were there for a good time and kept asking him questions but he did his thing and stopped talking.
Next we each had 1.5 small shrimp. The were a nice touch but certainly shouldn't be considered a course. more of an "Amuse Buche"
The main course was disappointing beyond words. A fatty strip steak, unseasoned and fried on a flat top. Served with a bowl of rice, mushrooms and veggies. All of it was average or below.
The only redeeming thing is the sauce that the serve with the food. Good sauce should not be used to cover poor food. Bottom Line.
"Dessert" was the smallest scoop of vanilla ice cream I have ever seen.
My advice is that if you want dinner and a show, go out for a real Japanese Dinner and a movie. This crap might have passed 25 years ago when most of Canada didn't know good Japanese food. It doesn't pass now
We have been going to this restaurant since it opened in 1975 and have noticed a steady downhill slide. Last night was nearly rock bottom and our wedding anniversary. We tried to get a drink from Paul while waiting-we were studiously ignored until a complaint to the hostess brought him to the table, reluctantly.
By and large the staff were acting like zombies but the food was passable.
The restaurant was shabby and needed a good clean and the water fall was grungy.
A disappointing experience based on many years of great dining.