Monday, February 17, 2014

Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant Review

This is probably one of the better Japanese All You Can Eat (AYCE) places around town that I've been to. Originally, my friends and I were downtown planning to eat at another restuarant. When we found out the wait was about an hour and a half we decided to go some where else.
It was about 9:15PM when we arrived at Tomokazu. We paid for our parking before we entered the restaurant. Even though the time was late in the evening, I was surprised how busy the place was. There was a short wait of about 5 minutes before we were seated.
I think the reason why the place is so busy is because they have a late night AYCE menu for almost half price of the regular. However, when we compared the regular to the late night menu, a few things were missing from the late night. At the end we decided to go with the light menu.
The restaurant itself is pretty big, and I would say the servers are all dressed in uniform and this shows that their company actually cares about the presentation of their brand.
hen we were seated, we we so hungry we started ordering stuff right away. My friends ordered Miso soup first (personally I don't recommend ordering anything liquid because it fills you up quicker... I know the mentality of people when they go to AYCE is to eat all they can eat, but drinking liquid decreased the amount one can eat). Then we also ordered a few rolls, sashimi, salads and other small sides.
One thing that make their menu stand out compared to all the other AYCE menus that I've seen around town is that they have an option of having prawn tempura. There doesn't seem to be a limit on how many prawn tempura one can have as well!
 The wait for the food to come was pretty short and when it arrived, I was pretty impressed with some of the stuff. The miso soup was just average (can't really mess up miso soup) but the other stuff was pretty special. The chopped scallop roll was wrapped in the fashion where it looked more like nigiri (like the meat was on top, and rice at the bottom rather having the scallop wrapped inside the rice in a roll).
In addition to having regular sashimi, they also have slices of carrots that come with their sashimi. There are also different kinds of sashimi as well, like the korean style salmon sashimi and a few other kinds of fish.
What I was impressed with most of all is that the spring rolls and samosas did not taste like microwaved ones. I've been to other sushi and AYCE Japanese places where it's clear that the food wasn't freshly prepared, but at Tomokazu, I didn't get that feel.
 Some of the foods I would avoid though, if I was here again would probably be the unagi fried rice and jello. The unagi fried rice didn't taste bad, but it was just too ricey for me. It was mostly rice and almost no unagi, so stuff like that can fill one up really fast. The other thing that I would avoid is the jello. I think the food colouring on the jello is abit too much. After the jello was finished, I could see the colours of the jello stuck at the bottom of the plate. The sight was abit unnerving...
In general, I would say that the price for AYCE here is abit on the high end and the location is not that convenient because only busses can get you here (or you can walk a while from the Canada Line Vancouver City Hall station). In addition, parking is not free. When we were there, my friend only paid for an hour of parking because it was late at night. When we left, he had a ticket for parking because we were there for an hour and 20 mins. I swear someone must be sitting at that tiny parking lot and waiting for someone's parking ticket to expire.

Location: Not too convenient, but it's not too bad either
Price: abit on the high end/ but better quality

Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant 友和日本料理 on Urbanspoon

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