Matt and I went to Zipang Sushi during one of the 30C heat wave days in Vancouver (which feels like forever ago now!). I've never been to Zipang before, but I had heard great things about it, so was excited to give it a try. The restaurant itself is cute, a combination of tables and booths, and large framed poster art (maybe magazine covers) hanging on the walls. It’s super casual, you can just pop in should you be in the sushi mood. It was already full when we got there, and we were seated by the window, which was a bit hot with the 30C sun beaming in. Service was good, cute staff, and they were pretty attentive, up until the time when all our food had arrived, after that, we were left on our own, pretty thirsty for water on a sweaty day.

I like testing out sushi restaurants by ordering some of my standard favorites: spinach gomae, salmon sashmini and yam tempura; we threw in some negitoro rolls as well. The spinach gomae at $3.75 was pretty watery, the sauce was dripping off the spinach, and thus consequently, splashed and stained my shirt. It wasn't even close to a mediocre gomae, liquid consistency and lacking flavour, I would never order it here again. The six piece salmon sashimi at $8.50 was okaaaaaaay, nothing amazing, the texture could have been better...although I’m not sure if that’s a quality of fish or quality of cut factor. For $2.95, the negitoro roll was good, pretty standard. Yam tempura is always good, it’s really hard to mess up, and I love my deep fried; for $6.95, it was the best thing we ordered.

I wouldn’t really come back here, it was just okay. The prices were standard, but overall, the food was below standard. Too bad, I had heard good things….maybe I ordered the wrong menu items?

Zipang Sushi
3710 Main Street
Zipang Sushi on Urbanspoon


Gyromite said... @ September 19, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Damn. I still feel different. I think Zipang is above standard and is one of my favourite basic sushi spot.

Next time you pick


Anonymous said... @ September 19, 2009 at 11:24 PM

i'd try a place more than once before i dismiss it. especially if it does have a good reputation.
comparing to only the best in vancouver is not a fair, unbiased critique.
i have to admit i can name a handful of better spots, but i can think of a whole shit load of TRULY bad spots that are worthy of a bad review.

there's no mention of food presentation which is very different and noteworthy. and the staff is very very sweet. and the food is actually pretty good.

it's not their fault that the sun shone hot that day, and asking for a glass of water always works.

kate said... @ September 20, 2009 at 1:04 AM

I have to say that I'm all about the Zipang.
Try the miso eggplant, takoyaki, crazy roll (soo good!)green bean gomaae.
Give it another try, so worth it!
Toshi's is also delicious!

D said... @ September 20, 2009 at 1:15 AM

Agreed, everywhere is worth more than one visit. I wasn't comparing to the best sushi places; I've been to other sushi spots, equally priced, with better quality than Zipang (Yamato, Kadoya, Toshi). But no, I haven`t been everywhere. I agree that there are probably a lot of shitty places, and maybe I'm picky or particular...but when you order somewhat standard menu items, they are going to be a hit or miss. And these items tend not to change from visit to visit, so once you order it once, it will be a good indicator as to how it'll also be the next time. I may have a better experience should I go back here and try different items, but based on what I had, that was my experience.

As for presentation; it was good, fresh and clean, but did not stand out that much more than that for me. Again, it could have been the items I ordered (perhaps the special roll presentation shines). As for the water, it happens with all busy places, I get it...just something I would assume higher cognitance of on a hot, hot day.

D said... @ September 20, 2009 at 1:19 AM

And I will make another visit...there are a lot of fans. Plus, I don't want to sound like the sushi nazi..!

Anonymous said... @ September 21, 2009 at 7:29 AM

i don't get why this place suddenly blew up. i've lived across the street from it since it opened.
it really is nothing special.
i don't go to a restaurant for presentation - i go for tasty food.

toshi's is down the street, and is so superior in every way. and now that zipang has a line up just as long, there's no reason not to go to toshi's.

Gyromite said... @ September 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Toshis over Zipang. Hmm, its a close one. Pretty even, if you ask me. I think Zipang might have the edge on sushi and Toshi might have the edge on cooked food.

I love the box roll at Toshis though.

Lydia said... @ September 21, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Zipang and Toshi are equally awesome, and equally superior sushi joints, you haters!

TheSavath said... @ September 22, 2009 at 2:41 PM

I don't even know where to begin. Zipang is one of my fav spots in the city for sure. I'll be honest I don't mess with salmon sashimi mostly cuz of the lack of good salmon out there, but they have some rolls that are amazing and some other things that are worth a try.

Very good okonomiyaki, the Zipang salad, the eggplant, sashimi salad, great sunomono, I've heard their noodle dishes are super good too...

I like most of the reco's, but with some things Matt and I disagree. Its possible that Japanese is one of them or it might just be that you guys had a bad day at the restaurant. Also you should know that those art prints on the wall are for sale and they change up.

Gyromite said... @ September 22, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Yo, I m going on record. I like this spot. Zipang is one of my fav local cheap sushi spots. This was not my post, so people who know me stop calling me and people who don't me write your comments to D aka the sushi nazi (the one who wrote this post).


BedHog said... @ September 28, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I too feel strongly enough about this restaurant to comment.

Zipang is great.

Their standard sushi is great (note the wild sockeye) and their more inventive dishes are great (see: Nasu Dengaku aka Miso Eggplant, Saba Bien Roll (mackarel), and yes the cold Japanese pasta (amazingly refreshing on a hot day).

Try it again.

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