Regular Happy Sushi Belly readers might remember I posted a while back about a trip to Victoria, BC. Of course, I had to get my west-coast sushi fix while I was there! One of the places I visited was Itami Sushi in downtown Victoria, very close to The Bay Centre – and our hotel!
Ups and downs
There were some downsides to our experience at Itami – mostly relating to service. We went in just after the “lunch rush” and there weren’t many people in the restaurant eating – and also not very many staff. The hostess seemed to be doing double-duty, and we waited a while for her attention before being seated. Our server was also either forgetful or distracted, offering very poor service. We asked for a fork, which never came – instead we ended up going up to the counter to get one from the chef! Likewise she never came around to check how our meal was, nor offered to refill our water glasses which were empty near the end of our meal, and sitting on the edge of the table to catch her attention. Considering the number of other sushi places nearby, I’d find it hard to give a great review… except…
The food was great!
I ordered tuna sashimi – which was quite good – well cut and a nice mellow, subtle flavour. My companion still doesn’t quite get the appeal of sashimi “all they do is cut some fish, right?” was her comment….
I also ordered the Itami Roll – which is imitation crab and avocado with spicy tuna and bonito flakes on top. Although it’s a goofy looking roll, and I don’t normally like the spicy tuna – this was amazing… I definitely would recommend this roll if you visit Itami.
They didn’t have chopped scallop battleship roll on the menu, so I opted just for Ikura instead. This was ok – nothing too special actually (and a bit small 😦 )
My companion went for a bento box instead – this one with Chicken Katsu and Sesame Chicken. She said that the Katsu was amazing (I tried a bite and the sauce was great) but that the Sesame Chicken was only “ok” since they seemed to be tough and overcooked. It also came with a cube of Agadashi Tofu – which she didn’t like at all as they’d used soft tofu instead of firm tofu (I make it with firm tofu, so that’s what she’s used to…) plus a bit of salad and a bowl of rice with sauce.
On that service…
One of the places near me where I go regularly used to have the same problem with service – I really disliked the hostess who seemed to be racist or something – but the food was pretty good. When the hostess left… I started going back. I’d suspect that if you avoided the absent-minded server, you’d enjoy yourself at Itami. Also, they offer free delivery within 4km – so if you’re looking for delivery in the downtown area, you should give it a try!
708 View St