My company was told by a someone he chatted up with on the Grouse Grind. She told him to check out Applause as she thought it was a really good sushi-ya. So we thought we’d try it out on a Friday evening around 7pm.
The restaurant is a decent sized space, sectioned off with white IKEA curtains (which I have in my living room! lol). My German company was bothered by the huge tags still left on all the curtains which had all the info in like 20 different languages. Bothered so much, he told one of the servers to cut it off. LOL. I dunno if cutting the tags would help. I didn’t like the curtains (at least in the restaurant as a separator) at all. It made the place seem cheap or unprofessional. Surprisingly, although the German company always complained of architectural structures (mostly that it’s not built right or poorly constructed), he liked the place. I thought otherwise. It seemed like a cheaply made interior. Nothing to wow about – nothing to praise anyways. My Chinese friend also liked the place…so I guess I’m the odd one out on this one.
Like many restaurants in Japan, a server isn’t really assigned to a table. Since there are no tips in Japan, everyone serves whenever they can to help the customer. So we had several servers come by to take orders, bring food, refill our tea cups and to do the bill. Most of them were friendly, though one was a bit stricter.
The plates were coloured with flower patterns. When they brought out the tea, the female got a red or pink tea cup, while the male customers got a blue one. Interesting.
I ordered 2 salmon nigiri (sockeye salmon) $1.75 each, negitoro roll $3.50 and corn cream croquette $5.25. The salmon nigiri was really good. The salmon seem to almost melt in my mouth and the portion of the rice was just right. The negitoro was really good too. The croquette was surprisingly excellent. Really hot, super crispy on the outside while soft and creamy in the inside. My Chinese friend said it was really good too.
I wouldn’t say the interior is great as the other two seem to praise it. However, I thought the food was really good. I definitely recommend this restaurant and we’re planning to go back for lunch with a bigger group.
Second Time for Lunch
For the second time, we went as a big group of 10 people for lunch. We had made reservations a week in advanced, so we didn’t have much waiting time, like the others who were waiting to be seated.
Sheepie was very impressed when he saw that all the ugly big tags were cut from the dividing curtains which he had complained to the restaurants about the last time we were there. Yay~! They actually listened to their customers! Well, it might be a small thing, but it looks much nicer with out them.
They had the lunch menu, so I took advantage of the offers. I ordered the California Sushi Combo $8.95 which included a miso soup, salad, vegetable croquette, tuna/salmon/tai nigiri and 6 piece California roll. I was super happy about the great bargain. All that under $9! Awesome! The entire set was really good. Good quality, good taste, good service = happy customer. I wish it was closer to home…then I could go there more often.Authentic tasting miso soup. Excellent!Like many Japanese restaurants, they close between the lunch and dinner hours, so we left at 3pm when they closed down. If you are thinking of taking a group, reserve early and they have a limit of 10 people. Also, they ask that everyone is on time, as they fill up very quickly with waits on the weekends at lunch.
Another dish at another time:
Shrimp Gyoza $6.95 I thought that this gyoza was going to be ground up gyoza – like how you would have it in the shumai. But to my pleasant surprise, one gyoza had one whole plumpy and juicy shrimp in tacked, with the tail sticking out of the wrap. It was delicious – I highly recommend it if you like shrimp and gyoza!
Tuna Tar Tar was on their special menu board $5?. Visually, it was very nice, however the tower was drowning in salty soy sauce/ponzu. I wanted to drain all the sauce. Then it would have been perfect. But it was hard for me to eat through…
Sheepie and I were both disappointed in our last visit to Applause.
Some notes taken:
- our server wasn’t really friendly. She didn’t smile or anything.
- my sushi came on the wooden board that was all wet… gross…
- sushi rolls were a little bit sloppy
- no flavour in nori (seaweed) or the green onions in my Negitoro
- Sheepie said his fish was bland and rubbery
- watching the chef in front of us make more sloppy rolls wasn’t all that inspiring
- they made a mistake and served my Masago Nigiri on Sheepie’s plate
- no ‘Irasshaimase’ (welcome) or ‘Arigatougozaimashita’ (thank you) shouts
- service was prompt
- restaurant was still kept clean