Yokohama is a Japanese restaurant on Blanshard only a 5 minute walk from downtown Victoria.
We have tried every sushi restaurant in Victoria and this is definatly not one of the best. The combonations they offer, as well as the prices are not bad and the food is not really that bad, but as far as the food goes, there are other sushi places that offer better sushi for the same or better prices. Service wasn't bad though.
I went to this restaurant back in April but because there was no site for it here I never provided a review. I finally realised I could list it myself, so I have now, and here is my review:
I ordered the Tempura Dinner - giant shrimps and seasonal vegetables, deep fried in a Japanses batter with Yakitori as an appetiser for. It cost $17.95. All dinners include Shabu Soup, Sunomono Salad, Main Course, Rice, Ice Cream.
This was an enjoyable dinner, service was quick. The waitress brought me a free appetiser in addition to the Yakitori.
The only complaint I have is the choice of ice cream - I was hoping for green tea or something that complemented the meal, but they just had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. I ordered chocolate, which I love, but it really didn't "fit" the rest of the meal.
The Yokohama is located on Blanshard Street, just across from the Royal Theatre (close to the Court building). It is incredibly busy and service suffers on nights when there is a popular concert at the Royal, so it is good to check out the Theatre website first. If it's a concert night, come at 5 p.m. or at 7:30 p.m. in order to avoid the worst of the crowd.
This restaurant is an oft-overlooked but excellent dining experience. While you can order from the menu, the $23.95 all-you-can-eat dinner option (offered Tuesday through Saturday) is a very inexpensive way to have a variety of items at minimal cost. A very important distinction: this is NOT a buffet where things are laid out and you help yourself, not knowing how long it has been sitting; it is all-you-can-eat, which means you order as much as you want and it is made fresh.
There is a wide selection of "kitchen" items, including appetizers (the tempura sauce is excellent), a la carte items (especially the chicken teriyaki), tofu & noodles (don't miss the agedashi tofu) such as agedashi tofu), and soups/salads (the miso soup and sunomono salad are highly recommended). The broths and sauces are excellent, and that is so important. Given how much soy sauce I use, a nice ending is ice cream (I like to end on a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of vanilla).
There is a reasonable selection of sushi items, including cones, rolls, nigiri (fish on a small ball of rice), and sashimi (fish without rice). The sushi menu is somewhat limited, featuring spicy or plain salmon or tuna or BBQ salmon skin, as well as items of more appeal to the sushi novice such as california (avacado and fake crab), cucumber, avacado, and tempura prawn. Recent additions include flying fish roe (good) and chicken or beef teriyaki (kind of boring, but "safe" for sushi novices).
In terms of ambiance, they have nice, appropriate decor for a Japanese restaurant. The music is not always fitting, and they do broadcast hockey games and the like on their big screen TV which you may consider a plus or a minus (if you don't want to see it, there are tables that don't have view of the TV).
Please take your friends with you, because it's hard to find places where you can have a good amount of Japanese food without running up large bills. This is an excellent place to get sushi, but is not near Chinatown so tends to be overlooked. I would be very disappointed if Yokohama went under because it truly is the best place to go for reasonably-priced but good quality Japanese food in Victoria. It may not compare as well with the best that Vancouver or Richmond have to offer, but in our small market it's a great place to go.
I will attempt to post a listing of menu items.
I've gone probably three or four times prior to tonight and it seems like every experience has gotten worse and worse. No matter how strong my craving for all-you can eat sushi gets, I'll hold off on going back again.
The restaurant had probably six or seven tables when we came in between two servers. We weren't greeted when we walked in the door. After a couple of minutes we were seated; no tea, no water. It took ten minutes for them to come by to take our order and get us beverages. The appetizers arrived quickly. No major complaints there but overall pretty boring. Agadashi tofu was the saving grace.
When she'd placed our original order after ten minutes of waiting we'd included our appetizers and sushi. We finished off the appetizers in about ten minutes and were left waiting and waiting waiting for the sushi. It took fourty minutes from the time we placed the order for the sushi to arrive. In that span we were barely attended to save for one awkward moment when the server actually came over and asked if we'd like anything else (our sushi perhaps?) and another moment when one of the servers barked at the other to grab a heavy tray from her.
The sushi was awful. Almost all rice, little content. The rice was warm which is an absolute killer for me with sushi. When I brought it up to the server her response was "you can tell the chef". So what's your job exactly? It was so awful that I, a big guy that never likes to leave sushi on the table, left almost two full rolls.
I've done my fair share of serving; I'm reviewed on this site very favourably. I know how the job works and I have sympathy for servers. The service at Yokohama's was awful. It wasn't busy, we weren't picky and we were only nice until it became quite clear that the customer wasn't important. For $25 a person (a price that seems to keep going up) they should be able to get at least the food or the service right. Instead they miss both.
One Sunday a group of us ventured in for the all-you-can-eat sushi. It was about $25/person so we made it our mission to get the most for our money. The sashimi rules were confusing: only three pieces per person per type, or something like that. The cuts of fish weren't that good, but it is all-you-can-eat. I enjoyed the other items we ordered, such as the rolls, tempura and cones.
It was fun to cram ourselves full of sushi, and I am happy Yokohama provides Victoria with that option!