Junsei River

Junsei River Japanese Restaurant on UrbanspoonA spacious and open restaurant on the very popular street of Robson. I know it’s a Japanese-cuisine restaurant, and we were all there for sushi, but I was craving for some pho.  Yes, an odd combination, and you wouldn’t normally know they have Vietnamese food unless you noticed some of the photos of Vietnamese dishes on the wall.

idearabbit-junseiriver idearabbit-junseiriver2 idearabbit-junseiriver3 idearabbit-junseiriver4

idearabbit-junseiriver6I ordered the Beef Ball Pho $8.95. It was decent size, with good noodles, but I didn’t like the broth too much. The colour was darker, too salty, the ‘umami’ (flavour) was weak and overall not that good. However, my friend did take a sip of the broth and he seemed to like it.

If having pho at a supposedly Japanese restaurant wasn’t weird enough, we had Chinese plastic chopsticks…:P


The portion was good, but since I was still a bit hungry, I ordered Negitoro roll $2.95. The roll wasn’t done that well since the bottom of the pieces weren’t filled, but taste was satisfactory.

idearabbit-junseiriver9Two people ordered the square Green Matcha Ice cream $3.95. I had a small bite. It was not bitter, and not authentic – in fact, I can make better matcha ice cream with high quality matcha powder and vanilla ice cream. However, the creaminess was really good.

idearabbit-junseiriver5My friend ordered the Sushi Combo E $10.95 with Salmon Teriyaki, Tuna roll, Assorted Sashimi (5 pieces), salad, and fruit. He said the miso soup was weak…and rice wasn’t that great.

idearabbit-junseiriver7Sheepie ordered the Assorted Sushi $10.50 (seven kinds of nigiri sushi and a Tuna roll). It seemed ok, though being served on plastic plates make it seem cheap.

The menu is quite extensive, and as mentioned earlier, they do have a separate Vietnamese menu, though you would have to ask for that one specifically. They also have a lunch menu with some good deals, though I didn’t see many people from our 10-ish group members order them.The restaurant was kept fairly clean, though lacked character, but the service was alright.

Would we come back? Despite the great location, I am not sure if it is on my list for to-go sushi restaurants.

Return for Dinner

So I returned again to give it another shot. It was 6pm on a Thursday, but there was only 1 or 2 other tables other than us, with perhaps 2 take outs during our dinner. The seats of the booths we were sitting at was a bit stained. They no longer had photos to Vietnamese dishes, so I wonder if they got rid of the menu, or just the photos were take down from the wall.

With the restaurant being so slow and having 2 servers on the floor, you’d think you’d get better service. But my friend just got up to fetch more water. She also had a cup of tea, but neither of the servers ever came to fill it up. Also, my pet peeve with cold water in plastic cups at restaurants…lol…

We both ordered a bento box.

idearabbit-junseiriver21I had Box #2 $9.95 which had Chicken or Beef Yakisoba (I ordered chicken), 5 pieces of assorted tempura, 6 pieces of California roll, green salad and a fruit (a slice of apple in this case). The price is good, but the quality isn’t. The Calis tasted a bit off, so I was a bit worried for my sensitive tummy, but no disasters to speak of later on. The tempura weren’t overly fresh…The server forgot to bring us the miso soups until we were half way through our meal. Better late then never, and to be honest, I didn’t even realize that the bento boxes came with miso soup, so I didn’t take it as bad service…

idearabbit-junseiriver20My friend ordered Box #6 with Salmon Teriyaki, BBW Scallop & Bacon, Termpura roll (5 pieces), Gyoza (3 pieces) and a Green Salad with Fruit (slice of apple to be more precise)

I ended up getting and paying the wrong bill (my friend’s bill instead), though there wasn’t much of a big difference in the price. I’m not sure how they’ve survived for so long with such few customers. If they don’t turn up the level of quality and start getting more customers, I think they will go on my list of ‘Restaurant Closures’ soon…

 Taste: carrotcarrot    Price for Value: carrotcarrot

Atmosphere:  carrotcarrot   Service:  carrotcarrotcarrot
Location: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot