Not too long ago Connie and I headed to Sumo in Sunridge Mall on our way to other adventures. It was a ‘crazy sushi day’ because we originally intended to head to Globefish in Kensington, but after parking, found out it was closed. From there we headed to Shibuya, passing Sushi BBQ Inn (which we wouldn’t go to after several terrible experiences), Wasabi (closed), and Shikiji (also closed). However, Shibuya was also closed! In our defense, it was early afternoon on a Sunday, and although we hoped places would be open, we weren’t calling to make sure. Ah.. if only more sushi places had their own websites with their hours clearly posted! (We did call Shibuya, but they didn’t answer the phone…)
So, even though by that point we were starving (well, for sushi that is!) we decided to just toss the urgency aside and head to Sunridge where we knew at least Sumo would be open.
Being less than a week before Xmas would normally deter me from any malls at all, but Sunridge isn’t like Chinook or Market Mall; it’s a lot quieter, but still with the season very busy. Parking was a bit of a hassle, so Connie dropped me off while I went in to get a table.
A number of reviewers on UrbanSpoon have commented about inattentive staff at Sumo, and I’m afraid that my experience wasn’t any different. The hostess wasn’t paying attention, so I waited several minutes for Connie to arrive and then we waited a few more to be seated. Our server didn’t come around right away to get us settled with water or tea (just water thanks!) and once we did order, it seemed to take a while for our food to come out.
Our server also didn’t understand our sashimi order… I wanted a full order of tuna + salmon, (8pc) and Connie wanted a half order of tuna + salmon sashimi (4pc).. it took much conversation to explain what it was we wanted. In the end, she ended up bringing two plates of 6pc… and we just split it ourselves.
We started with Gyoza – or rather, all the food arrived at the same time, but we ate the gyoza first so it wouldn’t cool off. It wasn’t bad, though I’ve definitely had better.
I find when I have salmon and tuna sashimi, that there’s usually one I like better than the other that day. This day, the salmon wasn’t very good at all, flavour-wise; however the cut was fine – none of the chewiness that sometimes happens with poorly cut fish. The tuna on the other hand was very good in both flavour and cut.
I had my favourites – salmon roe and chopped scallops (they were so good, I ordered more for dessert), while Connie had a roll, a scallop, a mackerel, and a spicy hand cone. While the food was good, the service continued to be underwhelming – I was incredibly thirsty and couldn’t catch the attention of our server to get more water, and it also took a long time to place my ‘dessert’ order too. In the past when this has happened I’ve skipped my additional order out of frustration, but this time I was really hungry!
So, my conclusion – Sumo’s food is good, the service not so much. Head there if you’re in the mall already and just need to rest your feet and have a bite to eat, but don’t go there expecting a memorable or extraordinary experience. With better customer service, this could be a much better sushi restaurant.
A long time ago, the glimpse blog recommended lunch at Sumo, though did complain that the fried food is greasy (which I’d agree with), while Food Mama loves the take-out rolls from Sumo. I bet that would be a great way to get around poor customer service, kind of like what I sometimes do with Sushi Hanami.
So, what about you… what do you think about the service v.s. food at Sumo in Sunridge? Let us know in the comments below. Oh, and Connie should be posting HER review of Sumo soon too!
Sumo Grill Japanese Restaurant
2525 36 St NE