Revisit: Aji Sai ★ 1/2

Price: Under $25 for ACYE dinner.

So I rarely make these revisit posts but felt the experience from my last visit warranted it.

I went to Aji Sai one night with a large group – about 15 or so approx. Knowing this was would be a hassle for the restaurant, I made my reservations 2 weeks in advance and even called a week before to make sure I still had my reservation. No problems so far. Well, on the day of I call about 15 minutes before my reservation to adjust my seating numbers. Only to discover they have no such reservation noted!! MY WORST FOODIE NIGHTMARE! There was nothing in their books, not my name, phone number, nothing!

I was so embarrassed, mad and baffled as this rarely happens to me (besides that time at Pure Spirits), especially since I confirmed days ago. The hostess said she couldn’t help me unless I could provide proof I called them, mentioning I could have accidentally called their other location up North instead.

I don’t think I would ever make such a mistake and fortunately I had my call history to prove it. It was crazy busy at the restaurant so I tried to be understanding but the hostess had us wait for an 1hr and 20mins before the next table was free even though she said it would be only be another 30-45 minutes. We stuck around that long because everyone was looking forward to AYCE and there were no other nearby AYCE restaurants.

I know the hostess was trying her best given the circumstances but I just didn’t like how they didn’t have any back up solutions. Whether it was offering us a greater discount or getting the manager to help, etc. All I heard was “well, what can I do?” and “I can’t do anything about it.”

They did provide a 15% discount at the end of the meal if we paid cash (something I have had before because I was a student. Saved me about $4). Still, I thought they could have done better to handle our customer service situation. We were generally cooperative and didn’t cause any trouble. Decided to just stay outside the restaurant while waiting for our table, browsing wasn’t much of an option since everything else was mainly closed in that area.

We were finally seated at 9:20-9:30pm and finished around 11pm. I guess one of our servers was tired because he seemed very lax in taking orders and was barely coherent.  Felt like he might pass out or something, very strange behaviour. The  sushi also started to look sloppy too. Some of them seemed like they were just quickly meshed together. I know its was late but it doesn’t excuse the laziness in food presentation.

In the end, I would probably still visit them again because realistically it is one of the few if not only one decent AYCE sushi restaurant downtown. However, I have been greatly disappointed with their service and will probably keep this in mind next time I suggest a sushi restaurant to friends.

Lesson learned: write down the name of who is doing reservation!

TIP: Suggest coming here in small groups.

Website: http://www.ajisai.ca/
Location: Various locations. Review for 467 Queen St. West, Toronto Ontario M5C 2A9
Telephone: (416) 603-3366

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Aji Sai on Urbanspoon

Yang’s Kitchen Sushi Bar ★★★

Price: Adults – $14.99 for lunch and $21.99 for dinner. Children (9 or under) and Seniors (65 or over) are reduced.

Surprised I haven’t reviewed this restaurant before. I have eaten at Yang’s a few times in the past but just remembered to review them after a recent visit with my family.

For those of you who don’t know Yang’s, they’re an all you can eat (ACYE) sushi restaurant, offering service for lunch and dinner. The lunch and dinner menu are the same except with dinner you can order items from the sashimi, sushi bar and kitchen list. I prefer dinner too, even if it’s just for the extra food I can order. Keep in mind service during weeknight/weekends is slower and more hectic. So if you plan to eat then, I strongly suggest making reservations!! Otherwise, you’ll be stuck waiting over half an hour for a table. Also, except for dessert..order in one go to maximize your time. They might have a 2 hour seating time limit.

In terms of food, they are okay. I love salmon so I ordered dishes like their salmon rose sushi, spicy salmon rolls, salmon maki and sushi. All of which were fine. I would also recommend their unagi (eel) rolls, green dragon rolls, steak dishes (meat’s sliced up) and maybe fried rice if you are in the mood. Stay away from the bland cucumber sushi and overly salty miso soup though.

Yang’s a pretty popular place in Markham so I know it will have a variety of responses but I’m actually surprised at the amount of negative reviews (ie.Avoid Yang’s Kitchen Forum Post). I haven’t really experienced anything so terrible with the service as mentioned in the post but I do somewhat agree with the service complaints (whether that is because they don’t understand English or not). There have been many a time where I had to repeatedly wave my hand or just physically go up and ask for service or extra napkins/cutlery. I don’t really mind it much, its sometimes frustrating but I kind of almost expect it.

Maybe its just the Asian in me but I have more patience when it comes to Asian restaurants. I set a different pair of standards for them, not sure if this is because it is a habit from childhood, being a stereotypical Asian or both. Haha. I mean, all Asian restaurants have to do is provide the standard complementary tea, clean utensils (I wipe them again), serve food at the correct temperature within 30 minutes and I am good. 🙂

Dress code: Casual, good for friends and family. Possibly for socializing with co-workers if you are in the area.

Website: N/A
Location: 4261 Regional Rd 7, Markham, ON L3R 9W6
Telephone: (905) 944-0818
Hours: N/A – Please call ahead.

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Yang's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Miga Korean & Japanese B.B.Q Restaurant ★★1/2

Price: $15+ depending on what you order

This restaurant would usually be out of the way for me but luckily I had a ride to get there. Went with friends who wanted to have Korean B.B.Q and arrived at the restaurant around 6:30pm.

Initially, we had planned to try the all you can eat advertised on their website for $26.95 but after arriving we were told it is only available for lunch. I guess they haven’t updated their website yet. Decided then to ordered the B.B.Q Combo #2 for 3 people at $59.95 instead. Combo includes 3 miso soups, 3 rice bowls and one miga salad or lettuce. We were provided 2 plates with L.A. beef short ribs, beef bulgogi, spicy pork and chicken, mussel, shrimp and mushrooms. I really enjoyed the beef short ribs and beef blugogi but I wouldn’t recommend their miga salad as I found it covered with a lot of dressing (perhaps too much sesame seed oil?). Also, portions for combo might not be enough if dining with just guys. I would suggest ordering separate dishes or just all you can eat lunch.

With service, servers were very nice and polite. They constantly changed the B.B.Q plate so smoke wouldn’t come up too much and  have a buzzer installed so you can ask for assistance too. They were so attentive, I think I only used the buzzer once to ask for a drink refill.

Overall, I would recommend trying Miga if you are in the area and in the mood for some Korean & Japanese food. Note – My friend did mention afterwards that they had a stomach ache but I am not sure why since they passed most of the food to me. Something done I think as their subtle attempt of not overeating and having the added benefit of fattening me up too. Grrrr, darn my love affair with meat! Haha

Dress code: Casual. Good for lunch and dinner with friends and family. Not really for work purposes though.

Website: http://www.migabbq.com/
Location: 2382 Dundas St.W, Mississauga Ontario L5K 1R7
Telephone: (905) 822 – 9200
Hours: Sunday to Monday: 11:30am to 10:30pm and Friday to Saturday: 11:30am to 11pm.

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Miga Korean & Japanese BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sushi & Bento ★★

Price: Under $20

I was actually heading towards another sushi restaurant I planned to visit when I ended up here. Walked by and just decided to try this place since it was more convenient for the other party I was having lunch with. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure about this restaurant since there were not a lot of customers present. A couple even came in and walked out because of it.

Anyway’s, decided to stay and ordered the shrimp tempura maki (8 pcs) for around $10-11 and miso soup for $1.50. My maki was okay but the essential tempura shrimp was not up to my sushi standards. They did not use the customary breaded shrimp but just fried it with dough and left it feeling kind of soggy. The rice was also not sticky enough. The miso soup portion seemed a bit small and overly salty too. As for the rest of my party, they had the spicy salmon maki and dragon roll with avocado. Both around $10-15 each for 8 pcs without miso soup or salad included, which I think was a bit pricey. The spicy salmon was a bit overly spicy for my tastes and there was a little too much avocado on the dragon roll but overall I preferred them over my maki. The portions given were actually very filling, they make sushi so big you can barely fit it into your mouth! Haha. Still, what kind of shocked me was seeing that they charged $18-19 for a spider roll (8pcs) WITHOUT any soup or salad. If anyone tries this, please let me know if its worth it…I would expect it to be huge!

Service is nice enough so I would recommend coming here if you are in the area and want something filling. Try going for lunch (before 3pm), they have good bento deals available.

Dress code: casual, good for friends and possibly coworkers on a lunch break.

Website: N/A
Location: 187 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 1C7
Telephone: (416) 977 – 0424 ‎

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Sushi & Bento on Urbanspoon

To-Ne Sushi ★★1/2

Price: Under $20

I remember passing by this place on a particularly cold and windy day. Came in to escape from the weather and just found out this place is apparently popular given the number of reviews on Urbanspoon.

My friend had some wonton soup, which was okay but a bit bland and I didn’t think there were enough wontons inside so its lucky they weren’t too hungry to begin with. I tried one of the maki combo sets with soup and it was very filling. Their sushi passes my sushi standards so I would recommend trying it (note – they even provide real ginger! Surprising cause I didn’t think you got that at this price point). I also liked the food presentation for my sushi, a very cute flower pot was placed on my plate. Haha. Again, I do admit my love for cute things adds a few bonus points when I write a review. However, I am not too sure about the soups as I found them to be a bit bland.

Over all, I can’t say it is amazing but it will satisfy your typical sushi craving! Worth a visit if you’re in the area and craving some inexpensive sushi.

Dress code: casual. Good for casual dates and lunches with friends or family. I don’t think it’s formal enough for anything business related though.

Website: N/A
Location: 414 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON M5V
Telephone: (416) 866 – 8200
Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm

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To-ne Sushi on Urbanspoon

Aji Sai ★★

Price: Under $25 for ACYE dinner.

Out of all the ACYE (all you can eat) sushi restaurants downtown, I like Aji Sai the most so far. It’s generally busy so reservations are recommended if you are eating after 6pm. I have gone to this place a few times for various lunches, dates and large group dinners. Service is good but there is definitely a difference in service if you come in a large group (+15 people). When I went with a large group, I felt we were too ridiculous! Haha. Our group ordered almost 60 sashimi, 20 of California rolls, 20 spicy salmon rolls, etc. I felt sorry for the servers, but they were generally nice about it.

I don’t have anything I wouldn’t recommend so if you’re not sure what to order, my personal preferences are salmon maki, California rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, salmon sashimi, unagi maki. However, it is best to experiment yourself to find out what you like most. Also, I don’t think there are any pictures of the food, so if you aren’t a sushi buff it might be expedient for you to look into that.

Website: http://www.ajisai.ca/
Location: Various locations. Review for 467 Queen St. West, Toronto Ontario M5C 2A9
Telephone: (416) 603-3366

Aji Sai on Urbanspoon

Sushi Time ★★★

Price: Under $10 for most meals with an exception to combos.

Been here a few times and I found the sushi here to be good. I tried the Makimono Set B ($13.95), which is very filling because it includes miso soup and salad. Set B has dynamic roll, CNE roll and tuna roll. I recommend just trying the dynamic roll if you aren’t that hungry (its only $4.75). Yummy!

I also tried their box combo called “Korean Box” ($9.95). I was really hungry and going on a sushi binge so I ordered a lot. Too much apparently because I had to take home the rest. The Korean Box (beef ribs teriyaki, shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura, kimchi, salmon maki, kappa maki) was okay. The beef ribs were a bit tough and kapa maki was eh. Everything else was all right.

As for the service, its decent but sometimes it takes awhile to get tea/water and menus. However, I still recommend this place and they offer delivery service after 5pm. Good for dates and outings with friends at a lunch or dinner setting.

Website: Temp. – http://www.sushitimetoronto.com/
Menu: http://bit.ly/lTvdXS
Location: 325 Queen Street West, Toronto Ontario M5V 2A4
Hours: Sunday – Thursday (12:00pm to 11pm), Friday & Saturday (12:00pm to 12:00am)
Telephone: (416) 977-2222

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sushi Time Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kyoto House ★★

Price: $18.99 + tax for ACYE dinner. $11.99 for AYCE lunch.

NOTE* lunch menu may have a smaller selection then dinner.

I have frequented this place a lot because it was close and convenient for me. I recommend going for just AYCE (all you can eat) dinners because I generally eat here for the dragon rolls and my friend has frequented the place enough she’s basically considered a regular. Haha.

My usual order is the miso soup, dragon rolls, shrimp tempura, spicy salmon sushi, salmon sushi, unagi sushi, shrimp tempura and green tea ice cream for dessert. Not a total fan of how they do salmon sashimi, salmon rose, vegetable tempura rolls though.

Beware of the service here though; servers can be downright rude (unless you’re a regular like my friend and even that’s spotty). They frequently forget if you ask for something in the middle of dining so its better to order everything in one go.

They do offer delivery service though and for large groups they have 2 separate rooms. Nothing fancy but good for a casual lunch/dinner with a large group.

Website: N/A
Location: 143 Dundas West, Toronto Ontario M5G 1C5
Telephone: (416) 585-2223

Kyoto House Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

NAMI Restaurant ★★★

Price: $30+ depending on how much you order.

Sushi costs $6-7 for 2pcs and sashimi costs $8-12 for 3pcs. I went with a relative and found the food and restaurant layout to be okay. Though they have smaller tables for diners, there are also small rooms. In each room there are two tables available inside, so it is more ideal for two people.

Nami is a nice place to eat with friends or a casual co-worker gathering. However, I do not recommend it for business power lunches or dinners because it is not formal enough.

We had spicy tuna roll, salmon sushi, California roll, ebi sushi and tofu soup. They tasted good but I found it a bit too room temp.

Bill was close to $50 with tip for the 2 of us. So if you can afford it, go for it. Good place to eat sushi. Just stay away from their green tea crème brûlée dessert, which I tried because I was curious. It tasted more like pudding and was too liquid for me.

Website: http://www.namirestaurant.ca/
Location: 55 Adelaide East, Toronto Ontario, M5C 1K6
Telephone: (416) 362-4745
Hours: Monday to Friday – Lunch (11:45am-2:30pm), Dinner (5:30 -10:30pm), Saturday (5:30 -10:30pm) and Sunday (CLOSED)

Nami Japanese Seafood on Urbanspoon

Ninki Restaurant ★

Price: Under $30 for all you can eat.

Located underground of the Scotia Plaza, I had dinner with a friend for all you can eat and the only thing I liked was their restaurant layout with flower wallpaper and cute décor. Food service was decent but slow.

A general rule of thumb for sushi restaurants is if they mess up California maki rolls, something is seriously wrong and you should move on. They didn’t taste very fresh and were room temp. This also applied to their salmon sashimi. A few things I tried were acceptable though, such as unagi sushi, ebi sushi, ebi tempura roll and BBQ eel hand roll.

Overall, they have a lot to improve in terms of the food. If you do happen on this place, I can only recommend ordering from their regular menu. If you want all you can eat, look elsewhere.

Website: http://www.ninki.ca/
Location: 40 King Street West, Scotia Plaza Concourse Level
Hours:
Monday to Friday (11:00 am to 9:00 pm)
All you can eat Monday to Friday (4pm – 9pm)

Ninki on Urbanspoon