Restaurant: Kiso Island Sushi
Last visited: April 29, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Main Street/Mount Pleasant)
Address: 2718 Main Street
Price Range: $10 0r less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Cheap sushi
- Vietnamese owned/operated
- Daily$6.95 lunch specials
- Cheap eats/budget friendly
- VERY mediocre/poor quality
- Parking at rear
- Happy hour
- After 4pm – 20% off dine in
- After 4pm – 10% off take out
- Take out/Dine in
- Accepts Visa/MC/Interac
- Mon-Fri 11am-11pm
- Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm
Oh god I want to cry! This was such a dissatisfying experience that I almost don’t want to write about it because it means reliving it. It wasn’t even the worst restaurant by any means, but it was just so blah and sometimes blech.
I don’t know if it was that, or if I’ve just been spoiled by a series of excellent Japanese restaurants in the last few months that I can’t go back to anything else. It could partially be that, but this place has its faults even despite my recent positive experiences. It was almost like another Hakone Sushi experience, where I would rather have Samurai or T&T Supermarket sushi instead. The sashimi for sure I would rather have at either of those places before this one.
Kiso Island Sushi was another shot in the dark decision and another example of why I hate making random restaurant choices. It’s only once in a blue moon it ever works in my favour, and the perfect example of that was my visit to hidden gem Tokachi Japanese restaurant. Wow! What a hidden gem, but not the case here. Here I felt like I needed a lunch #2.
It’s a Vietnamese owned and operated Japanese restaurant and that’s not the issue I have. It’s just the poor quality and poor execution of many of their items and the sashimi wasn’t even fresh. I didn’t feel so good afterward and neither did my fellow diner.
The place has traffic and I think it’s been around for maybe about a year. However the massive 10% off banner and a quick look at the prices points out the obvious, it’s still standing because it offers cheap sushi. Even if so, I’d still prefer Samurai! The service was also nice, and I feel kind of bad for ripping them apart, but they have to know… I mean they must know already… there’s just no way they don’t. I guess I can’t complain too much since it was cheap, but I still wasn’t satisfied at all.
On the table:
- This was the only thing that I kind of enjoyed. For a goma-ae there was nothing particularly outstanding about it, but at least it was good.
- The sesame sauce was smooth and it was a tad on the sweet side rather than a nutty side, but it was okay.
- There were only toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top, but not in the actual sauce.
- 7 pieces $8.50
- The pieces were massive and almost bigger than Samurai pieces, but it looked like someone took a hacking at them. The cutting was sloppy and it didn’t taste very fresh either.
- The quality of the salmon and tuna were just really poor and I think this is what made me feel sick after.
- To see amazing quality salmon and tuna sashimi see Tokachi Japanese – Salmon and Tuna Sashimi.
- Crab, avocado, cucumber, mango and tobiko $5.95 (?)
- This was a very mediocre mango roll.
- I give them credit for being quite generous with the fresh mango, and the tobiko was a nice touch.
- The rice however is bland, but the crab meat was plentiful and the avocado was ripe. The “crab” kind of tasted “grocery store” quality though.
- I’m just really not a fan of the tuna sashimi here and I found this spicy tuna roll even a bit less than medicore.
- It was a mild-medium spicy and the sauce was a tad sweet with some Japanese chili seasoning mixed in.
- I like the tuna to be marinated in the spicy sauce and not just having the sauce poured over top too.
- The rice was bland and the seaweed was chewy.
- Soft shell crab and avocado $4.95
- This is probably one of the cheapest soft shell crab rolls I’ve come across.
- It was quite large, but poorly assembled, although I guess worth the price if you don’t care too much… just don’t let this be your idea of how good a soft shell crab roll can get.
- The tempura soft shell crab was crunchy, but it was looking really brown and almost black. It tasted okay though, but the texture of the meat was a bit mushy.
- The qulaity of the crab wasn’t the greatest or it could have just been poorly executed.
- Again the rice was bland and the seaweed chewy, but not in a good way.
- Chicken Teriyaki on rice, California roll (6 pieces), Prawn and vegetable tempura, salad, fruits and miso soup $8.95
- It was a good deal I guess, but it didn’t taste that good, although it would satisfy a hunger pain.
- The chicken teriyaki was similar to what you would have at an average all you can eat sushi place. Nothing particularly different.
- The vegetable and prawn tempura were actually done quite well. They were crispy, not too greasy and the vegetables were tender.
- The California roll was assembled really sloppy and it was better than Save-On Foods sushi, but it was falling apart as I picked them up.
- The rice is bland and the crab used is one of the lowest quality of artificial crab… if that makes sense.
It came with a Miso soup, which was also standard… okay time for lunch #2. Unfortunately I just didn’t feel like this was a “give them another chance” kind of place. It was what it was and I’m not the market for it.