Over last weekend, Connie and I were in the mood for our favorite treat before heading to an art show. Sushi it was!
I felt like going for all-you-can-eat (AYCE), and there aren’t too many places in Calgary where you can find really good all-you-can-eat it seems, so although the art show was just north of downtown, we decided to go to Sushi Tokyo in the Dragon City Mall in Chinatown.
I know a lot of people have hit-and-miss luck with Sushi Tokyo. One friend commented that she found the staff lacking in attentiveness, another found the selection lacking and in the past I found the portion size for all-you-can-eat to be pretty skimpy. On the other hand, I’ve generally had good luck there, and find the prices pretty good, the quality pretty good, and the location really nice. In previous occasions Connie and I have found that their alcohol selection is pretty bad as well, (and the staff’s knowledge on how to mix drinks lacking as well) however we rarely have good luck at sushi places when we want a drink as well.
This time around we had tempura, gyoza, and then of course sushi. None of the AYCE places seem to include sashimi on their menus, but luckily Sushi Tokyo had my favourite battleship-style sushi on the menu.
Yam Tempura: Good – the coating wasn’t too oily, and the pieces were a good size.
Gyoza: Good – one side was very crisp but not tough, while the other two sides were soft but not chewy. The filling was well-flavoured as well. The only change I’d make to give this an ‘excellent’ rating would be the sauce. The sauce was dribbled on the plate with the dumplings, rather than being served separately. The sauce also wasn’t as tangy as I like it.
Sushi: Good – this time around the AYCE portions were good, and the quality was good. My one complaint was that the scallop in the special scallop roll seemed to be cooked – although the taste was excellent, it had a different texture from what I’m used to and prefer. I also had massago, tuna, and salmon, and we shared a spicy tuna roll and a salmon roll. (Or was it the other way around; spicy salmon and a tuna roll?)
Atmosphere: Below average – while the restaurant is all right, it’s definitely showing signs of wear. The walls are scuffed, the chairs are worn, and the restrooms really are in need of renovation. However, the staff was attentive, and although we came into the restaurant while it was fairly empty, it was about half-full when we left. They used to give back the money you spent parking in the downstairs parkade, but they don’t appear to do that anymore. (Maybe you have to ask?) Still, on the weekend parking is reasonable and it’s nice to not have to walk if it’s cold outside.
Cost: The AYCE for lunch was $19.99 which was a bit high for lunch, but still I think cheaper than the other places I’ve gone for AYCE. A year or so ago while I was there I placed a menu order, and the waitress totaled up my order and let me know that it would be cheaper for me (though only by a few dollars) for me to order AYCE. I appreciated that thoughtfulness.
On the negative side of things – they automatically added a 10% tip. ahem. I really hate this practice period. Typically I only see it on groups of 9 or more (there were only two of us), and then it’s almost always written on the menu or somewhere highly visible. I find this a cheap tactic, and although the service was good, I think it’s a lousy way of doing business. When this happens, I generally only include the 10% tip (well, rounded up for a whole dollar amount) where as I might have given 15% otherwise.
Want another review of Sushi Tokyo? Check out Russ’s blog post from 2009!
So, have you tried the all-you-can-eat at Sushi Tokyo? What are your favorite places to go in Calgary for all you can eat sushi? Comment below!