Today our super fab guest blogger is Adrian! A recent grad of the BCIT Marketing class and with a culinary background, he shares our lunch together at a place he took me to not too long ago.
Adrian’s Rating: 3.5/5; Yelp rating: 3/5
A local food blogger/dear friend of mine invited me out to lunch some time ago. We were undecided on where we wanted to go but ultimately decided on Japanese food. Since I had to pick a place, I thought I had to pick a place that would impress her. After reading happy Yelper’s reviews, I decided on Tokyo Joe’s Sushi Factory because we’ve both heard of it but have never tried it.
The space is quaint and it gives off a casual yet intimate feel. The decor in the room almost reminded me of Great One, an asian supermarket just a few minutes away. Anyway, as soon as we walked in, we were greeted three times by the warm and courteous staff. I was quite happy we decided to go after the lunch rush because the place did seem like it would fill up fast during lunch. We were seated right away and I ended up getting the SSSR Roll (shrimp and smoked salmon), the Crazy Roll (spicy tuna and prawn tempura) and the Okonomo Yaki, which is a “seafood pancake” according to them. My friend ended up getting the DX Spicy Combo.
The SSSR Roll was nice and fresh. I couldn’t really taste the shrimp though (possibly from such a small amount). I don’t know if the smoked salmon added any flavor to the dish, but it did add a nice texture to it.
The Crazy Roll was crazy indeed (for a $6 roll that only had 5 slices). Even if I only got 5 slices, I had to portion each slice in half due to its sheer size. This dish worked well for me; I especially love the spicy mayo because it was just the right amount of spice (some people would call this being a wuss but I prefer the term sensitive to spice, thank you).
The last dish I had was the Okonomo Yaki, which really for lack of a better term, a pancake made out of seafood. It wasn’t sweet though, it was very savory. I felt this dish was the most overpriced out of all the ones I had considering there was only one pancake cut into quarters and it didn’t even fill the entire plate (the other half was just vegetables). Anyway, my favorite part about this dish is the sauce, which says a lot about what I think of the dish. To me, this dish resembles a fritata; it tasted like an egg dish with a mixture of seafood (I couldn’t even taste what kind) and possibly some vegetables. It was just average.
My friend had the DX spicy combo which included a spicy tuna roll, a negitoro roll, and some tuna sashimi mixed in a spicy mayo sauce. She seemed to like her dish, although I don’t quite know her full thoughts on it as we were too busy catching up. I did try the tuna sashimi and I really liked it. The tuna tasted very fresh.
In terms of value, I feel that it’s on par with Japanese places I’ve dined at before. The only exception is the $8 seafood pancake; that I do feel ripped off. Should be no more than $5.50 max.
A feature that I thoroughly enjoyed was the “help yourself to tea and water” station before the bathroom area. I don’t think I’ve seen this before at a Japanese restaurant. I know the concept isn’t new but I always seem to want to drink water whenever I’m having Japanese, and water is never around so I did like this. The bathroom was small and a little dirty, but I could tell they were maintaining it, just not on a regular basis. There is also ample parking at the back of the place and even in Ackroyd Plaza.
Would I come back? Maybe. It didn’t really wow me like I thought it would but I didn’t hate it either. Hope my friend was impressed though!