Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant- Vancouver, BC (Canada)

Although my visit to Vancouver was a little too short, I just had to make dinner plans w the Jang family and ladies. We all had such a great time working for Howie (Papa Jang) for 2 years before the restaurant closed down. :( But we have had a few gatherings/dinners since. My last dinner with them before I left for California was All You Can Eat Japanese and so to make it a tradition – we picked all you can eat again.

K.Jang suggested Tomokazu, which I have never heard of before but was up for trying it out. Managed to get a reservation for 9 fairly easily. The restaurant was massive and actually got really crowded at 9.30 for their late night all you can eat.

There were 2 options for all you can eat – Deluxe or Lite.

The main difference between the two menus is the deluxe had more sashimi options and the more “premium” sushi items. The second page is essentially the same for both options.

We ordered:

Alaska Roll, Yam Tempura Roll, Dynamite roll, Soft Shell Crab, California Roll, Avocado Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll

I didn’t remember much about the sushi rolls to be honest. I think we just tried so many but nothing stood out. The alaska rolls were good though.

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Goma-Ae, Ebi Sunomono

The Goma-ae was not bad. They come in the tiniest bowl with minimal peanut-y dressing. Definitely needed more dressing. I didn’t care much for the sunomono.

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Eda-Mame

This was pretty gross. It tasted stale and like a freezer.

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Tuna Tataki, Beef Tataki

I didn’t like either tatakis. The beef tataki was still frozen and the tuna tataki tasted like the fridge. The ponzu sauce was bland and watered down.

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Salmon Sashimi, Tai Sashimi, Hokkigai

The salmon sashimi was of decent quality. Firm and fresh, not a hint of sliminess or mushiness but was missing that sweetness you get from amazing quality salmon. The Tai sashimi didn’t look like the usual red snapper served, it was completely white and tasteless. I didn’t care much for the surf clam.

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Tuna Sashimi, Toro Sashimi

The albacore sashimi was mediocre. A little too mushy for me. The toro was disappointing as well; they came in little cubes and felt like random parts of the tuna (not necessarily the belly).

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Korean Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Salmon Sashimi, Spicy Tuna Sashimi

The korean sashimi was surprisingly tasty. It was made with salmon belly so it was fatty and delicious especially with the sweet salty marinade. The spicy salmon & tuna was not bad – random sized chunks of sashimi in a spicy sauce.

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Ebi Sushi, Masago Sushi, Tobiko Sushi

I didn’t try these.

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Abalone Sushi, Tako (Octopus) Sushi, Mirugai (Geoduck) Sushi

The abalone sushi was crunchy and a tad fishy, not very appetising at all. The tako was chewy and tough as well. I was pretty surprised that the Geoduck sushi was little chopped up bits of Geoduck sitting on top of slimy soggy seaweed. I was not impressed and quite turned off…

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Gyoza

These tasted fine. I appreciate the nice crispy bottom from pan frying. Just tasted like your average frozen gyoza from the supermarket.

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Fried Gyoza

The fried gyoza turned out to be dumpling skin with barely half a teaspoon of mushy unidentifiable filling. It was dough-y and not very good.

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Short Rib

The Korean style short ribs were very good. Tender, fatty and well marinated in a sweet, salty sauce. The grill gave it a nice char and smoky flavour. Very tasty.

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New York Steak

Not very good at all. The beef was tough, tasteless and did not even look good.

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Chicken Teriyaki

I don’t understand why most AUCE likes to serve their chicken teriyaki deep fried. The sauce was ok, but a little on the “light” side. The chicken was marinated well and tasted fine.

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Chicken Karaage

I love ordering wings at AUCE places. Hard to mess up as long as it gets to me hot and crispy. These wings were just that; hot, crispy and well marinated with a nice light batter.

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Shishamo Karaage

I was undecided about how much I liked this. The little fish were filled with roe. It was actually fairly hard to chew and not as crispy as I expected.

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Agedashi Tofu

Taste like how it suppose to be. Got to the table warm with a nice crispy thin shell. The tofu was silky and good.

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Prawn Tempura

I was quite impressed with the shrimp tempura eventhough the batter was a little thicker than usual but it was still crispy and fresh tasting.

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Vegetable Tempura

The vegetable tempura were not bad either. They got to the table piping hot and the tempura batter was fairly crispy. I thought a couple pieces were cut a little thick so they still had a bit too much of a crunch.

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Oyster Motoyaki

I didn’t try this since I am not a huge fan of motoyaki. Li really enjoyed them tho, each little cup comes with a 2-3 small oysters smothered in Japanese mayo and baked.

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Kaki Pon

Not bad. The oysters were fairly fresh, sitting in a almost tasteless watered down ponzu. The lemon gave it citrus and actual flavour.

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Fruit Jello

All 3 different colours tasted like the same thing! meh… a little to hard for my taste but it’s jell-o.

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Mango Pudding

Not very good at all. The taste and texture was pretty much like the jell-o but with artificial mango syrup added to it.

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Total Damage: $272.98 (including tax & tip); ~$31 per person

Personal Rating: 2.75 out of 5 (Pretty average)

The choices in their menu was insanely extensive and quite overwhelming. I think we only tried about 20% of the whole menu (maybe less).The food was pretty average (nothing is so bad that is it inedible) and in the end for what we got to try it was worth the money spent (I guess?).

Service was not bad. I never expect much service at All-You-Can-Eat places. I was quite annoyed by the kitchen though. Everytime we ordered something, they only serve 1/4 of what we ordered. So we were never sure how much food we were getting.

All in all, a good place to pig out on pretty average sushi.

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Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant

1128 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V6H 1G5

(604) 677 0426

Tomokazu Japanese on Urbanspoon

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