Zipang Provisions

Zipang Provisions on UrbanspoonNot to be confused with ‘Zipang Sushi’, Zipang Provisions is located on the hipster street of Main street. The restaurant is so hipster-ish that you almost would not think that this is a sushi-ya or even a Japanese restaurant. The logo is also designed in a  hipster-ish style. With the interior designed with wood, metal and vintage decor, one would think that they have mistakenly walked into the wrong restaurant.

idearabbit-zipangsushi idearabbit-zipangsushi2 idearabbit-zipangsushi3 idearabbit-zipangsushi4However, the staff are Japanese, and the food is authentic as well. The prices are fair with service.

Water in big milk glass bottles were a nice touch to the hipster theme and avoided having to ask servers for more water. There didn’t seem to be any AC on a hot summer day and I was (gasp) sweating really bad. It was humid and hot, so even a fan would have been nice.

We had a table for about 14 people for lunch. On weekends at lunch, Zipang has a special menu which is pretty decent.

I ordered the Pork Cutlet Combo $9.80 which comes with salad, miso soup, agedashi tofu and a bowl of rice with 3 deep friend pork cutlets. The miso soup had sliced daikon which reminded me of my mom’s miso soup, and the miso they used were very good ones. They had two pieces of tofu and one eggplant in the ‘age’ (deep friend) dish. I am not a fan of starch used in sauce, so I didn’t like how the sauce was really jelly. But that is only my preference. Taste on the other hand was very good. The pork was a disappointment. It was very hard and dry, almost impossible to eat. Since it also wasn’t cut up, it made eating very difficult and unpleasant eating a huge chunk of meat with chopsticks.

idearabbit-zipangsushi5 idearabbit-zipangsushi7Other people had ordered the special AAA Steak $14.80 (with miso soup, rice, agedashi tofu) and none of them got knives and forks until we asked for one. My friend who ordered the BBQ with the soup had to ask for a spoon because it becomes almost like congee. For a Japanese restaurant, I thought all of this was inconsiderate for them not to have these come with the food. It should be a no-brainer, and I would assume it would have been in Japan. Too many would have complained already – lol.

However, I did have a bite of the steak and it was really good! Sheepie though was not happy that after telling them to cook it rare, they still cooked it through too much.

idearabbit-zipangsushi6Chef’s Choice Assorted Sashimi Combo $15.80 with 5 daily assorted sashimi with small green salad, agedashi tofu, miso soup and rice.

My friend and I kept complaining about the really uncomfortable metal chairs along the long table. They were definitely not good for sitting and it kept scratching my bare legs at the back.

One friend really liked the place and said he definitely wants to return.

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Kiku Sushi

Kiku Sushi on UrbanspoonI had a Social Shopper for $29 (value $60), so I had to make reservations for four people on a Friday at 7:30pm. Phone courtesy wasn’t all that friendly, but was able to make the reservations without any problems.

 

idearabbit-kiku1 idearabbit-kiku2 idearabbit-kiku3We ordered lots!

idearabbit-kiku65 piece Gyoza $4.95 – it was pretty good and with everyone being hungry, we gobbled it up really fast!

idearabbit-kiku115 piece Tako Yaki $5.55 – fairly large balls that were really crisp on the outside and hot and soft inside. I don’t recall seeing much ‘tako’ (octopus) in it, but it was pretty good. Everyone liked it.

idearabbit-kiku8Beef Tataki $6.95 – this was a bit of disappointment, especially to my friend who wanted the dish. The pieces of the beef was small and not that great. It looked like there were a lot of beef but they were just sitting on a mountain of shredded lettuce underneath.

idearabbit-kiku7Tuna Tataki (small) $7.95 – I really liked this dish. The portion was very big, the fish were tasty and fresh. The added daikon (white radish), green onions and 2 pieces of shiso was really nice and went really well when eaten together with the tuna. My friend who was disappointed in the beef tataki was impressed with this one.

idearabbit-kiku10Negitoro $3.50 – a bit on the dryer side, but still satisfactory

idearabbit-kiku9Dragon Roll $8.95 – very nicely presented. Tasty and fresh

idearabbit-kiku52 Tuna Nigiri $1.25 – Sheepie had both. 2 Salmon Nigiri $1.25 – the salmon was a bit stringy and the rice was dry. Not the best, but I guess you get what you pay for.

idearabbit-kiku12Saba Shioyaki $7.95 – good decent size of fish. It was juicy and hot, but too salty for us girls so most of it went to my friend who ordered it.

idearabbit-kiku4Toro Sashimi $8.95 – I didn’t have any as I’m not a fan of toro and there were so many other food to eat. But it looked good and I didn’t hear any complaints.

idearabbit-kiku13After we ordered to our limit on the voucher, we were still hungry, so we ordered an additional Alaska Roll $3.75 and Chicken Teriyaki Roll $3.95. I was hoping for the Alaska roll that usually have the salmon or avocado on top of the roll with less rice, but this was a futomaki (big roll) version! But it did help fill us up!

Overall, it was a good dining experience. The food was pretty decent and the service was pretty good and servers came by to top off our tea cups from time to time. There are ample parking spaces and the restaurant is kept fairly clean. Nothing fancy, but satisfactory.

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Monster Sushi

Monster Sushi on UrbanspoonThis location used to be the Robson Sushi which I only went to a long time ago since I didn’t like the quality of their sushi and never returned. With the place newly renovated and a new name, Sheepie and I tried it out.

On a hot summer day, I found it usual that that restaurant wasn’t blasting the AC like other places. For me, that was fine, but not for Sheepie. Our Chinese lady was rude and really bad service. We felt unwelcome and seemed like she hated her job.

idearabbit-monstersushi6idearabbit-monstersushi1Since we weren’t all that hungry, when we were asked if we wanted AYCE, we told her we wanted the regular a la carte menu, but realized when we sat down at our table that she still gave us the AYCE menu. We asked her for the regular again. We received crumpled to-go paper menus. Disappointing.

idearabbit-monstersushi5 idearabbit-monstersushi2The interior was better now, modern, clean and open. On such a nice evening on Robson street, it was only half full and seemed a bit slow. idearabbit-monstersushi3 idearabbit-monstersushi4

We ordered a gyoza $3.95, three salmon nigiri $1.50 each, one tuna nigiri $1.50 and one dynamite roll $5.50. The salmon was cut thinly and was pretty good, but the rice was hard and dry. The gyoza was satisfactory and liked the price for quantity and quality.

With so many other choices in downtown, this is not on our top list. With poor service and food that is ‘ok’ to ‘meh’, not sure of returning.

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