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Review: Sushi Village, Ottawa

217 Rideau Street, Ottawa – Website

Sushi Village 1

Date of Visit: January, 2016

 

Once upon a time, Ken’s Japanese Restaurant occupied this Rideau Street location and it was also and ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ type establishment. I am not sure if Sushi Village is just a re-make of Ken’s but, if so, they must be doing fairly well as there is another Sushi Village out in Orleans as well. I was disappointed when I saw that Ken’s had closed as I rather liked it, but this new place turned out to be pretty good as well…

 

Sushi Village 2

 

One improvement over the previous establishment is that the new restaurant is much cleaner and more nicely appointed then the predecessor. Seating is mainly in booths (which I prefer less than plain old tables and chairs) but the place is nicely laid out and has a long sushi bar running down one side.

Sushi Village is primarily an all-you-can-eat place which is a great way of ordering if you are a table of more than three or four, but very difficult for fewer (or one, as in my case). I was handed the standard (AYCE) menu and when I tried to explain what I wanted a great deal of confusion ensued. I was passed off to two more servers before one had a moment of revelation and announced that that the restaurant does, in fact, have an ‘a la carte’ style menu, which she then duly produced.

Beyond the menu confusion, I found that the service in Sushi Village was bit disorganized overall, even though the severs were all friendly and polite. I had three or four people tending to me but nonce seemed to communicate with each other so that I kept being asked if I was ready to select my next dish within seconds of placing and order. I was also brought items I hadn’t selected but, to be fair, once I did place an order, it tended to arrive pretty quickly.

My Dishes

Sushi Village 3

Har Gow – These are Chinese delicacy, of course, but I was curious to see how a Japanese restaurant might handle them. When they arrived, they struck me as being quite pretty, but rather unusually formed and I suspected they may be machine made rather than hand-formed. That impression was not diminished by the quality of the wrapper (which was too thick and doughy) but the filling of well-seasoned chunks of shrimp, was very nice. These would never pass muster in a top-end dim-sum place but I still enjoyed them enough to rate them at a 3 out of 5.

 

 

Sushi Village 4
Siu Mai – Again, these are a Chinese specialty but, as it happened, the best Siu Mai I have ever had were also at Japanese restaurant. These particular ones had a very sloppy appearance, and the wrapper was a bit dry in places, but the pork filling was excellent. I enjoyed nicely textured blend of coarse chop and fine mince, and the seasoning had lovely notes of ginger. I gave these a 4 out of 5.

 

 

Sushi Village 5

Enoki Beef Rolls – Unfortunately, these were very mediocre. The beef was a bit dry and they were clearly pan-fried, where grilling might have added some nice flavor. The Teriyaki sauce (a bait of a misnomer if you are not actually grilling) was all but tasteless and really needed something to add some tang. I could only rate this at a 2 out of 5.

 
Sushi Village 6

Shrimp Tempura – I was prepared to be disappointed by this selection, but it turned out to be pretty good. At first, it looked like the shrimp were coated in a very coarsely crumbed panko, but it proved to be a very delicate batter that fried to a curious lacy, snowflake texture. The oil was clearly just a little old but, after so many tempura disappointments, this effort was nicely executed and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

 

 

Overall

The service at Sushi Village was a bit confused and disorganized, but not so much that it spoiled my meal, by any means. Plating was not the best, I have to say but, to be fair, the place is organized towards producing large platters and not small plates for the Kaiseki or higher-end Izakaya experience. The food was decent and reasonably priced and I’d like to go back and see what they do best. Rating: 3 out of 5.

 

 

 

Sushi Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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