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 haven't been to this pub for a very long time and I won't go back. It was very difficult to find anything even remotely appealing on the menu. The service was terrible and slow, I had to ask 4 times for a coffee. We had a large table (about 20) - so were charged a 15% service fee that we were not told about. I did not see one meal that came to the table that looked appealing. The prices were high and the food was OK but I would not order it again. The beer was nothing special.
The atmosphere was loud and noisy - the only thing this place has going for it is the view.
If you are expecting the usual North American-style pizza, you will be disappointed; if you are expecting truly good Neapolitan-style, you will not be disappointed. Entrees, mostly pizza, are around $13 - $14 but in addition to pizza there are salads,a daily soup, a daily panino, and desserts. Service is casual and friendly. The restaurnat is funky with distressed time lightshades, wood for the pizza oven piled right in the dining room, and a friendly, very casual staff.
This place has been an all time favorite since it first opened! The food is fabulous and the owners are friendly. It is the best place on the island. I highly recommend it. All you can eat . . . honestly you cannot get better for your buck. The place is always busy and everyone is more than satisfied with a delicious meal!
Sikhi Sushi is my all time favorite restaurant. The chefs are amazing. Food preparation area
is kept clean. Cleanliness is important to me. Food is always fresh, delicious and even sushi rice is done to perfection. I could eat their tuna or salmon nigiri every day! Like delivery option too. Highly recommend.
We had breakfast here last on a week day, you seat yourself so we picked a booth. The place hasn't changed in years but we don't mind as its quite cozy. You see all the old photos taken in the 1960's and the furniture looks the same. The service was ok too. Breakfast was very cheap and we were full. Later I bought some of their famous beef meat pies, flying saucers (giant almond paste cookies), mocha cream shortbread cookies, cake slices.. Everything there is amazingly good and tastes the same as it did 40 years ago.. I always try to return when I visit Victoria.
Went there with my mother and managed to have a nice time in spite of being at this place. Her spinach salad was banal. Had better in a cafeteria. Her chicken was tasteless and seemed to have been freezer burned. My food was fine but nothing special.
The restaurant should be inspected by a fire Marshall. It has to be breaking laws for being over capacity. My mother and I were hearded to a table by a nice but overworked and stressed out server. We were elbow to elbow with the other table.
One thing can be said. These people are making a lot of money. If you are over thirty or have ever travelled outside of Victoria, beware! This is not top notch Italian. It's mall food.
We ordered specifically the Szechuan DEEP FRIED prawns, but they came out as just regular boiled shrimp in spicy sauce with peppers, onions... the menu book says Deep Fried... We also ordered a certain type of chow mein that was suppose to be the yellow crisp type noddles, with vegetables and such, but instead they gave us soy sauce based noodles with just tiny pieces of shrimp in it...We had a pretty loud argument between the waiters and cooks, one of us actually went INSIDE the kitchen to complain. Eventually, the manager came out to apologize to us.
I wouldn't go back to this restaurant.
We went here for the advertised Thanksgiving meal. It was $25 for a turkey dinner with all the fixings plus a caramel apple crisp for dessert. Well, the aparagus was very good. The cranberries were tart, sweet and spicy, which were nice. Those were the good parts. The turkey had a bit of a deli flavour and texture to it, kind of like those in frozen dinners. Not like real roast turkey. The garlic mashed potatoes were tasty, but pretty lumpy. There was no gravy with the turkey. The stuffing was kind of dried out, with separated somewhat hardened bread cubes, and bits of cooked sausage.
To their credit, when I complained, the server told the manager about it, and they comped my meal. She then said she would bring dessert, but unfortunately they were sold out of the apple crisp. So I was brought a chocolate torte. The filling was tasty but the crust was a bit stale.
The service overall was quite good, nothing wrong with that. But the food, unfortunately, was not up to par.
We had a very satisfying meal at Rebar on Thanksgiving weekend. There was a bit of a wait on the Saturday night, but it was worth it. We started off with some of their fresh juice concoctions. I had one made with apple,pineapple, and cucumber. I usually find juices a bit sweet for me but this one was not, instead it was a very refreshing beverage, yum!
For my meal I had the spicy soba noodle salad which has assorted vegetables, like cucumber and avocado, as well as cashews and other good stuff. I'm glad I got the dressing on the side because it was very hot! But it worked well with the salad and the combination was delicious! I'm not that much of a salad person but this one was very tasty and satisfying. My husband had the Monk's curry. There's an ingredient in it that I'm not fond of, I think it's the thai basil. But he really enjoyed the dish.
One of the other reviewers complained that the menu hasn't changed much over the years and that it's all in the cookbook. That may be the case (I have the cookbook too), but many of the recipes are quite time consuming to prepare, and it's a lot easier to have them do it for you, and do it right!
I tried Joe's while visiting Victoria on Thanksgiving weekend. I was originally headed over to try Red Fish Blue Fish, but was disappointed to find it had closed early. Joe's was located right across the parking lot, and also on the water so I walked over to check it out. I'm sure glad I did! They had a very tasty sounding menu with lots of local seafood. I tried the halibut tacos. The tacos are actually a half flour tortilla folded into a cone. The filling was amazing. Fresh grilled halibut, seasoned just right, with a spicy filling of potatoes, tomatoes & arugula. It came with fresh made coleslaw which was also great.
Once you order you are given a buzzer and you grab a seat. There are wood tables and chairs, by the water to sit at. It's covered, which would be great for a rainy day. You are buzzed when your meal is ready.
Next time I'm in Victoria I'll definitely be back. Wish we had something similar where I live in Vancouver!
We have visited this restaurant twice and each time have been favourably impressed. My wife loves raw oysters, so she loved the "buck a shuck". The varieties of oysters was amazing. I, however, am not a raw oyster fan. The other options on the menu suit me. The steamed mussels were excellent. The broth was almost as good as the mussels themselves. The music is a bit loud but it's a bar!
We have dines here twice. The first time was great. The food was excellent! The second time, what a difference. As well as being expensive the food was terribly disappointing. I started off with a bruschetta which was soggy and unappealing. The seafood entrees lacked flavour and presentation. We will find another seafood restaurant in Victoria.
Between my last visit and my most recent one (I am in the area only very rarely) Zambri's moved from a strip mall to a gorgeously outfitted location at Yates and Blanshard. While I missed waiting for a table while watching the food prep madness this visit was passably wonderful. Friendly and attentive staff, nice open ambiance, un-pretentious menu and wine list, and that beautiful food. All three of us dining swore we had to find more excuses to what for us is a distant city just to get to Zambri's.
My only concern - remember Food, Value, Ambiance, all wonderful - is the reluctance to take reservations. Guys, having survived the New York and restaurant scenes on both sides of the pass-through, I say put aside 25% of your tables a night for reservation. Cater to those who have time and those on a tighter schedule or who feel that "no reservations allowed" is the very epitome of pretension.
The number 44 on the menu is one of the best things I've ever eaten. It's a grilled pork vermicelli bowl. I've had this dish in many Vietnamnese restaurant but this is the most elegant way I've ever seen it served. And the pork... the pork is to die for. It's been crazy marinated and then grilled and it is the most flavourful meat I've probably ever had. And they give you tons of it.
When you eat this dish, don't dump the fish sauce they give you into the bowl. Keep it on the side as a dipping sauce. Dip your bites into the sauce and you will taste the deliciously salt/sweet/sour fish sauce even more distinctly. If you like things spicier (and even more flavouful) add some sriracha (the red sauce) to the bowl. If you want even more salty yumminess add some hoisin (the brown sauce). I like both.
I can't speak to their Pho, which is what most people go to a Vietnamese restaurant for, but this dish is so flavourful and fresh and delicious that it is worth a visit just for it.
Get place to take your friends and family, taste and smells from heaven. Highly recommended, couscous chicken plate is my favourite and try the teas. Great service, food and love the dessert. If you call ahead it helps because it’s a hidden gem and can get busy out of nowhere. You can tell the chef / owner has have some worldly cooking experience.
great for kids, actually... booths, kids menu, crayons and big sheets of paper .... could be a little more adventurous on the flavours...also could do with a bit more variety tapas wise...too much seafood, not enough vegetarian IMO, ...been busy for many, many years, that says alot in Fickltoria...funky decor, nice big window for everyone to see , harbour glimpses, etc ... good!
I brought my Mom here for Sunday brunch last weekend not knowing that they didn't have menu service and only were serving a brunch buffet. We weren't really looking for a buffet but we decided to stay since we were there. I'm glad we did.
The buffet was surprisingly good, especially for a pub. They had a nice variety of food including 3 different types of eggs benedict, pasta, a variety of fresh fruit, an omelette station and several other breakfast staples. Overall, everything was really good.
I was surprised at how good the egg bennies were for a buffet. Usually I am not a huge fan but they were perfectly cooked and never sat for long. For around $15, I thought it was a good value.
I will return when I am in the Colwood / View Royal area looking for a solid Sunday buffet.
Having had over 40 years of dim sum in many places,I looked forward to this restaurant as it had been highly recommended.
The egg tarts, one of my favourites, were very small,( I have never had such small tarts), mainly pastry with a thimble full of custard; the chicken feet were not tasty, and over steamed; the pan fried dumplings were not fresh, the filling of the shrimp dumplings was good, but the wrapper cold; the radish cakes were good; the green bean dish specially ordered,was overcooked and the meat? was hard and tasteless, and I thought was expensive at $12.00; overall it was probably average for the price. I was disappointed by the rather small array of dishes compared to mainly Vancouver dim sums.
The servers were helpful, and we were seated fairly quickly. The ambiance was average, but then most places that serve dim sum are, as the main reason is to have the food fast.
I will go again at an earlier time, and see what the next experience is like.
Spoons is a diner in the Super 8 on Douglas. A big group of us came here for breakfast yesterday morning. Everyone in our party was a little slow because of the Great Canadian Beer Festival the previous night. There was a bit of a wait as you'd expect on a Saturday morning but certainly nothing unreasonable.
The service was very friendly and we had drinks on our table within a couple minutes even though the restaurant was really busy. I ordered a standard benny but with bacon instead of ham. There were a few substitutions and modifications to orders and it wasn't a problem for our server. My eggs benedict was very good although the eggs might have been slightly overcooked which I didn't really mind. The hollandaise was very tasty and needless to say, the eggs were gone in about 2 minutes.
Overall I enjoyed the breakfast here and I would return. Recommended.
|2.||Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill|
|4.||5th Street Bar and Grill|
|5.||Smoken Bones Cookshack|
|11.||Baan Thai Restaurants|
|13.||Canoe Brew Pub|
|15.||Spice Jammer, The|
|16.||Heron Rock Bistro|
|17.||Pescatore's Seafood & Grill|
|18.||Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse|