Sushi Sky

Restaurant: Sushi Sky
Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi/Fusion
Last visited: November 1, 09
Location: Vancouver, BC – Downtown/West end
Address: 1661 Bute Street (Just off Davie Street)
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 2.5
Service: started at 3, ended at 1
Ambiance: 1
Overall: 2
Additional comments:

  • Hole in the wall sushi place
  • Japanese owned and operated
  • Extensive menu
  • Lots of creative rolls + pictures
  • Creative rolls around $9
  • Fusion items
  • Homemade sauces
  • Brown rice available
  • Over-priced, more expensive than average
  • Very cheap wasabi, not spicy at all
  • Eat-in/take-out


This post may be super biased. I waited a while to post this experience so I could cool off and write the post as fair as possible without letting the unfortunate experience get in the way of the food. My service started at good, but it went sour very quickly as soon as I took out my camera to take my usual photos of the food. There was no sign that said “no photos”. If there had been or if they had told me that photos were not allowed I would have respected that and put my camera away. The meal ended off with the owner ripping the menu right out of my friend’s hand… she didn’t even give us a chance to explain. It was horrible!

Focusing on strictly the food now…

I was very surprised to see such an extensive menu and so many creative/fusion rolls at this hidden hole in the wall sushi place that seats no more than 10. However, the creative rolls are about $10 each making it very overpriced and between two of us we ended up spending almost $25 each. At a hole in the wall restaurant that’s pricey. I could have had better rolls at a nicer place for the same price. If the rolls were $2 less I would consider coming back to try more things, but after the way we treated… I will never go back again. The wasabi is really poor quality too. I was basically eating paste at the end because it wasn’t spicy at all.

On the table:Japanese Sushi Pizza2/6

  • Deep fried sushi rice patty topped with your choice of tuna or salmon, avocado, mayo and masasgo $11.95
  • Sounds and looks better than in tastes. They serve this at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen and it’s better there.
  • The “pizza crust” was a deep fried sushi rice patty, it was really oily, mushy and bland. They needed to flavour the sushi rice more.
  • They put chopped spicy salmon on top and it got warm from the hot sushi rice. That was very unsettling trying to eat it.
  • It’s just too mushy, they need cucumber or radish on it to give it some texture and to break up the flavours. You need to eat this with a lot of soy sauce and wasabi.
  • Overall the dish is really rich and hearty, I wouldn’t order it again and I definitely wouldn’t want the whole thing to myself. It’s a creative idea, something different, and nice to try.
  • For $8 sure, not for $12.

Bute Roll 3/6

  • A deep fried roll with deep fried scallop, salmon, crabmeat (no rice). It’s drizzled with mayo and a Teriyaki-like sauce. $11.50 for 5 pcs.
  • This was a substantial roll. It’s quite fishy tasting though. I would get sick of eating the whole roll. It’s too hearty even though there’s no rice, and it’s too seafood tasting even though I love seafood. There’s too much deep-fried stuff in it – the salmon, the scallop and then the whole roll.
  • The deep fried scallop really stands out and I was surprised by how much they used in the roll, but for almost $12 they should. I could taste all the ingredients and there was a good balance. However I feel like there was another fish in the roll, but I can’t pin point what it is.

Black Eel Roll2.5/6

  • Unagi tempura, mango, avocado, cucumber $9.95
  • The size of the roll was pretty good. The unagi was on the smaller side and they used a green mango instead of the more expensive yellow ones. It’s harder in texture, almost like an unripe mango except it’s not tart. I prefer the sweeter Philippine mangoes that you usually get in your mango-sushi rolls.
  • They drizzle the roll with this homemade sauce – which was actually a banana sauce. I would have much rather preferred a mango sauce. The banana sauce tasted like fake bananas, a really artificial flavour. They also drizzled a Teriyaki-like sauce on it. I did like the sauces on the roll, but just not the banana one.

House Roll2/6

  • Tuna, salmon, tamago, crab meat, avocado $5.95 (the only decent price)
  • The house roll was ok. I wasn’t a fan of having romaine lettuce in it, the lettuce wasn’t very fresh either. They used brown rice and they didn’t use the rice to make the roll big which is good. I would have preferred more sashimi though, they skimped on that.

[geotag]Sushi Sky on Urbanspoon


  • Ben says:

    I am half-tempted to go and attempt to take pictures too. Wonder if they will rip the menu out of my hands too. That sounded kind of rude and as you said, if they had just said so, us bloggers would have been OK with it. It is the owner's inability to know how to handle bloggers. I had never experienced this before. The worse I can recall was when the server remarked to me (in Atlanta) that "here people eat the food, not take pictures". I asked if that is OK with him/them and he said "suit yourself".

  • Mijune says:

    Thanks for understanding my situation Ben. I was quite offended and shocked. Yes, we did have the menus taken away and she kept pouring our tea even though our glasses were full to see what we were doing. I was really being watched like a criminal. I tried explaining but she didn't want to listen…so disappointing.

  • Daniel S. says:

    You would think restaurant owners would be happy with someone taking pics of the food. I firmly believe in the phrase "any publicity is good publicity", especially if a business is hurting or needs more exposure.
    I've never had this happen to me and I've whipped out my camera (a DSLR in some cases) at just about every restaurant I've been to in the past 4-5 months or so. Sometimes, the staff will notice and will be intrigued by what I'm doing and ask questions about my site. This has sometimes led to a mysteriously free appetizer or dessert (which I note in my reviews). In a few cases, the chef came out to talk with us.

    Nonetheless, I hope this act of rudeness doesn't happen to you again; it certainly makes for an uncomfortable dining experience. Looks like you won't be returning here anytime soon.

  • universitystudy88 says:

    Thank you for having a wonderful blog. Thank goodness, not all restaurants are liked this.

  • Mijune says:

    Thanks for the support and sharing your experiences everyone!

    Food blogging/social media has become such a powerful outlet and I'm glad this story has sparked a discussion.

    This restaurant will probably face more incidents like this (whether it be a tourist or blogger taking photos) and I hope they will learn to handle it more professionally.

  • nicole says:

    Wow. Quite the interesting review Mijune! Good on you for trying to cool down but honestly, if I were you, my review would still be biased because what you went through is all a part of your experience, subjective or not. I can't believe they practically ripped the menus out of your hands! That is incredibly rude. I would've ripped them back out of the waitresses hands and hit her in the face with them hahahaha, but that's just me. ANY WAY…

    The food sounds mediocre and totally not worth it at the price you were paying. If anything, they should've paid you to eat their food! I definitely won't be trying this place EVER, unless I'm bored and I feel like chasing down a waitress while swatting her really hard with a stack of menus 😀

  • Mijune says:

    LOL Nicole you're hilarious!

    They didn't practically rip the menus from us…they DID!! She literally was on my shoulder watching me type in the review on my phone and when she saw the words she took away all out menus and literally ripped the menu from my friend's hands AS SHE WAS READING IT!

    I did make it a point to take a take-out menu on my way out though…I'm getting all heated again!

  • nicole says:

    haha glad I could make you laugh!

    OK THAT'S IT, I am so going there just to hit a waitress with a menu now hahaha. What is wrong with these people?!

  • Goose says:

    Why expect any restaurant to post a sign to tell you NOT to take photos? A SIGN?!! If I saw a restaurant with a sign saying ‘No Photos’, I would be out of there so fast! I’d think that they’re trying to hide something.

    I always ask if I can take photos ,or I say something like ‘This looks so good, I have to take a photo to show my friends. They’d be really impressed!” That always results in a pleased look on the server’s face. How could they say ‘No’?

    Part of your complaint is that you weren’t allowed to take photos, yet you posted 7 here! If you had such a bad time, why post yummy-looking photos that might convince people to go to the restaurant regardless of what you’ve posted here?

    The couple who own and run the restaurant are absolutely lovely people. Sushi Sky is literally around the corner from where I live, and I’ve been there many, many times without a problem. The food is great, and the service is great. I’m sure the owner was upset with what she did to you and your friend, because I know her as being very conscientious and gracious. Perhaps she was having a really bad day as we all do from time to time (not at all an excuse, but it could be the reason). Certainly, such behaviour is not typical for any restaurant owner or worker; it’s even unheard of. And as you can now see, 90% of people who rated it like the place.
    Go back, even if not to eat. I bet if you tell her who you are, you’ll get an apology. Or at least an opportunity to explain what you were doing.

  • Mijune says:

    @Goose – that’s a very fair comment and I appreciate you leaving it. Thank you for taking the time. It’s been a couple years now so I’d be willing to go back for sure! I love to support local businesses and hope I can support this one again. Cheers!… you’re a good customer.

  • Ryan says:

    Hey Mijune, reading the posts on Yelp it seems Sushi Sky has been under new ownership since 2012. Happy eating!

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