Restaurant: Kyoto Sushi
Last visited: July 13, 2011
Location: Surrey, BC (Surrey Newton)
Address: 13651 72 Ave
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Service: 2 (really depends on who you get)
- Voted “Best of Surrey”
- Japanese owned/operated
- Extensive menu
- Lunch/dinner combos
- Cheap party trays
- Serves limited bubble tea
- Budget friendly/cheap eats
- Delivery available
- Small parking lot
- Accepts Visa/MC/Interac
- Mon-Sat: 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm
- Sun & holidays: 12pm-9pm
**Recommendations: n/a, but the Takoyaki was good
It’s been voted as “Best of Surrey” and “Best Japanese in Surrey” since 2002 to 2006 and I just didn’t get it. I didn’t even come in with those expectations and only noticed it when I saw their menu. Sure I didn’t try a huge selection of food, and maybe I ordered the wrong things, but I don’t really see it getting much better. I actually don’t even see it being “Best in Surrey”, so I can’t even say it’s good for the area because it does get better than this.
Yes, it is Japanese owned and operated, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good and authentic. Personally I would rather go to Tawara Japanese Restaurant, Ta-Ke Sushi, Tokachi Sushi, or Akasaka Japanese Restaurant if I wanted to stay in Surrey for Japanese food.
The place looked clean and comfortable and the lunch time crowd wasn’t big at all so it was easy to get a seat. I must say that the service is hit and miss. The young server that helped us most of the time was a sweetheart, but the owner wasn’t very friendly at all. She told, not asked, us to move tables after seating us at one and gave no explanation as to why. It took the other server to kindly explain that someone just made a reservation for that table, but within that hour, no other group ever came. I think boss lady does most of the kitchen stuff though, so there’s a ying and yang in hospitality.
There is a lot of good food in Surrey, but Japanese is not exactly an area it excels in. I could see this being popular for people that live and work in the area, as it’s walking distance to many small businesses, but “BEST IN SURREY”? Really? I won’t compare it to Vancouver standards, but the experience was quite underwhelming.
The prices are very affordable, but they skimped on some ingredients and quality, so I have to say “you get what you pay for” rather than “it’s a bang for your buck”. A few things I ordered didn’t even match the menu description, but it’s not a place I would really bother bringing up the issue with, or really coming back for in general.
On the table:
- 18 pieces $19.99
- This was a pretty sad sashimi platter and overpriced for what it was.
- It’s the “Deluxe Sashimi” too, which is their highest priced platter, which should mean it comes with the highest quality and freshest sashimi of the day, but it wasn’t.
- The sashimi wasn’t that exotic and there wasn’t even any tuna, toro, or Wild Sockeye Salmon on it. Those are almost standard for any sashimi platter, and they are on the menu.
- Besides the selection of sashimi, the freshness also wasn’t there. Some of the fish tasted treated with lemon, and the mackerel seemed cooked or at least made ceviche. Major no no.
- The shredded daikon salad also tasted fishy, like it was strictly meant as garnish and not to be eaten.
- The wasabi was strong and perhaps the best part.
- Tako (Octopus) Sashimi – 2/6
- It was two relatively large strips in the centre and they were a bit dry and seemed treated with lemon first.
- Salmon Sashimi – 2.5/6
- The salmon sashimi was so average and the cut was a bit rough.
- It was pretty thick slices, but to have 6 pieces of salmon sashimi and none being Wild Sockeye Salmon on a Deluxe Sashimi platter was so disappointing.
- It’s not the worst salmon sashimi I’ve had, and it was okay, but I’m not about to recommend ordering salmon sashimi a la carte.
- Surf Clam – 2.5/6
- I don’t mind if surf clam is on a sashimi platter, but the quality tasted like the frozen kind.
- Mackerel Sashimi – 1/6
- This was pickled, which is essentially a method of “cooking” raw fish with lemon.
- Mackerel doesn’t keep long as sashimi so after a few days a restaurant would be forced to pickle it.
- It was very tangy and the meat was firm with lots of lemon flavour.
- This was extremely disappointing to have on a Deluxe Sashimi platter.
- Tai Sashimi (Sea Bream) – 2/6
- This was the most exotic the fish got and it was sliced so thin it was almost transparent.
- It had a lemony flavour and not just because it was touching the lemon slice. It should be fresh enough to not require any lemon.
- Ebi (Shrimp) – 2/6
- The shrimp was cooked and again it’s not particularly something I want to see on a Deluxe Sashimi platter.
- Prawn Sashimi – 1/6
- There were two raw prawns with the heads and those were warm and tasted quite fishy with a fishy after taste. I didn’t feel confident eating them, but I was fine afterward.
- 5 pieces $3.99
- This was not bad, and they’re new to the menu.
- They make them in house and they take a bit longer, but that’s a good sign and they’re served hot.
- Takoyaki is a Japanese fast food snack and it’s pretty much a lightly battered and fried, or grilled, octopus ball or dumpling.
- It was their own version and they drizzled it with some very tangy mayo based sesame vinaigrette (?), topped it with fresh red bell pepper, parsley and bonito flakes.
- The sauce was more sharp with vinegar and I couldn’t taste the nuttiness of sesame, but I think that’s what it was.
- Traditionally it’s supposed to be topped with nori instead of parsley, but this was their own version so I don’t mind.
- They had a thin batter and were quite fluffy, creamy and moist with a small piece of octopus that was a bit overcooked and chewy.
- The fluffy part is just a Japanese pancake batter and it’s almost like mashed potatoes, but it’s a flour batter with no potato.
- The ginger flavour was a bit mild, but I liked the tang of the sauce and sweet crunch of fresh bell pepper which was a nice twist to the traditional recipe.
- I prefer my takoyaki a bit more savoury with a different sauce, but these were still pretty good.
- Real crab, chopped scallop, tobiko, cucumber, mayo & spicy sauce $4.49
- It was edible, but the crab was fake, the scallops was almost MIA, and it was avocado instead of cucumber.
- It was almost all artificial crab meat and the scallop was maybe the size of a 12 year old girl’s pinky nail in each peice.
- The “crab” was very creamy and heavily dressed with lots of mayo and it was very overwhelming. The filling was almost wet.
- The seaweed got a bit chewy and the spicy sauce and mayo was just the most standard spicy mayo you can think of. It was spicy, but it was quite mild, but still there.
- The price is cheap, but it’s a pretty small roll. At least the rice was flavoured, although at times dry.
- The worst part is that I purposely ordered this instead of the House Roll because they told me the House Roll used kani (fake crab)… but so did this one! It clearly stated “real crab” on the menu too.
- The server even took it back the first time without me saying anything to confirm that it was in fact the Kyoto Roll. That just made me think she knew it wasn’t too and i just didn’t have an honest experience.