This is the only sushi place that I'll ever go to in Victoria. I've been to a few joints around here but this place has to take it. For the price and taste, this place has to be the best. The combos are worth it and you have to try the dynamite roll.
Trust me, the dynamite roll makes this place unique.
The last two times I ate here, the side of rice was a half solid ball that my hashi couldn't get through. When it was brought to their attention, I was told it was too bad. I explained how to avoid that, and asked that they tell the cook, and was told they didn't plan to change things. Then they charged for the rice. I have been going there since the week they opened, but it's been going down for the past couple of years, but if they won't care about their food standards, why should I? Our regular server was nice, though. No problems there. After the way they handled things, though, we won't go back.
After trying many many japanese restaurants in Victoria, Shizen has become our most regular. It is the best place we have found for sashimi (very fresh with no chewy texture). One reviewer mentioned that Shizen is good for people who are scared of fish because the spicy mayo is so overpowering...so umm...how about ordering something without spicy mayo, or requesting less, before making such a blanket statement? My husband and I don't really like spicy food (we even order spicy dishes without the spiciness!) so I can't really vouch for the excellence of the spicy stuff at Shizen, but we literally order tuna or salmon sashimi every single time we are there, and it is always fantastic. It is much better than Azuma (and we won't eat at Azuma anymore anyways, after we read a health report that said they had mouse droppings in the kitchen).
The "regular" food at Shizen is certainly not the best in town (although their bentos offer great value) but it's still our favorite because the fish is so good and the other stuff (such as agedashi tofu) are still better than most. The tokyo roll is a must if you like shrimp and eel. Our favorite place for more hot dishes (like udon soups, chicken katsu, etc) is Koto. Koto also has better ambiance and service, but Shizen does have authentic floor-level tables upstairs if you are interested. It's not a "trendy" place, but we prefer it that way!
Anyways, if you genuinely like Japanese food (and aren't just into the sushi fad) you will probably like Shizen (especially if you like to order maki, nigiri and sashimi).
We discovered this place by chance just walking by. The sushi chef here really seems to know what he is doing. By far the best dynamite roll in the city. Super fresh rice and nori make the sushi melt in your mouth. We were really impressd by the friendly service and the delicious Beef Udon. Prices are average for sushi in Victoria.
I like how this Japanese restaurant is right beside Chinatown- it makes it stand out more. So I've only had the bento boxes, but they are excellent. Very fresh and lots of food. All the boxes come with salad, fruit, miso soup, your choice of meat, and your choice of sushi. For only $7.95, it's a good, filling choice.
We have been here a few times and while the sushi is not bad and better than some places here in town, there are other places that are WAY better. We would go to Azuma over this place any day! The prices and food are OK, and service is quite decent compared to a lot of japanese restaurants we have been to, but it just doesn't compare to other places close by.
Found this restaurant a couple months ago after a hockey game and I keep going back. It now seems to be the only place that I will go for sushi. Prices are fine and the food itself is fantastic each time I go. The melt in your mouth coment in the previous review nailed it, I kind of put it down to the fish though. I've not had better sushi in Victoria. Enjoy.
Found this great new sushi place by fluke, just past the Chinatown "gates" along Government street. The really nice and inviting. Main level has the sushi bar, tables, and rooms. Upstairs are more "in floor" tables. Great atmosphere and looks like they put alot into the decor.
What stuck out in our minds was this place was opened by one of Yoshi's sushi chefs. My husband and I love Yoshi's, but its a bit farther out of town and sometimes its way too busy and the service really slacks. This place has a similar menu and the prices are just slightly better than Yoshi's. The food so far (we've gone 3 times) has always been excellent. We order both bento boxes and a la carte from the sushi menu. I love their Dynamite maki rolls. There's just a slight spicy hit to it that doesn't come from the wasabi, so I'm always craving it. Only down side is parking is sometimes really hard to get around Chinatown. But if you can find a spot or are just in town anyways, definately stop by this new restaurant. Really good stuff.
I visited Shizen for the first time tonight on a trip to Victoria. I usually enjoy sushi in Richmond at Daimasu or in Ladner at Maguro Sushi or Ladner Sushi. Maybe I'm spoiled, I don't know. I went to Shizen based on reviews from this site, but I ended up quite disappointed.
My boyfriend and I made reservations for 8pm on a Tuesday night. When we showed up, we stood at the door for a full 5 minutes before any wait staff made a motion towards us. Less than 12 tables were full at that point. The server was sometimes attentive, but usually let dirty and empty dishes pile up on our table and even left the menus with us until I asked him to take them away. He was nice and polite enough, but not on the ball.
As for food, there were no good assortment dishes like I prefer. I usually order a sushi combo with about 5 pieces of sushi with 6 slices of BC roll or dynamite roll, but Shizen didn't offer any combos like that. Either you order sushi by the piece, or you order a plate full of sashimi. Here's what we ended up getting:
ebi sunumono - decent, but with a slice of tomato? weird.
tonkatsu - very good! On a bed of iceberg lettuce, which was odd.
mixed tempura - prawns VERY good, but zucchini so overcooked it was mushy and disintigrated on the chopsticks. Half a mushroom counted as one piece of tempura.
dynamite roll - decent. Made with spicy mayo. Rice was too sweet.
Islander roll - more spicy mayo. Sashimi over top was paper thin and salmon was slightly chewy. $11!! Mayo overpowered the fish.
Asahi large bottle was a very good price.
Overall I would say it was sushi for people who don't like sushi. If you're scared of fish, then the spicy mayo is perfect because it's pretty much all you can taste and it's on lots of the rolls. I wouldn't recommend Shizen to anyone who really enjoys sushi, but if you're a college kid heading out for lunch or a mild japanese dish, then you might want to eat here.
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