Review: Toyama All-You-Can-Eat

by gigi on July 16, 2009

Jenkins and I were in the mood for all-you-can-eat sushi one evening but were too lazy to leave downtown. Luckily for us, Toyama Japanese Restaurant had recently opened at Seymour and Robson right in downtown. I knew a few people who had tried the all-you-can-eat there and they told me that it was pretty good so Jenkins and I decided to pay Toyama a visit.

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We were there on a weekday evening so the restaurant was only about half full. Our server gave us a sheet to mark down what we wanted to eat so Jenkins and I quickly got down to work. I made sure that we ordered only a few things so our table would not be too crowded with too many items.

First came the gomaae. We asked for 3-4 orders of gomaae so that we could get our daily servings of vegetables but all the orders came in one large dish. I appreciated this because it meant our table real estate could be freed up for some of the dishes that would be coming later. :) There was just enough sesame dressing to coat the spinach and did not overwhelm it at all.

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We also ordered some green salad. I really like the miso carrot dressing that comes on these salads at all-you-can-eat places and the version at Toyama had a nice balance of vinegar and miso.

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The chicken teriyaki was a bit small but the outside was nice and crispy. As is the case with chicken teriyaki at most all-you-can-eat places, it was drenched in teriyaki sauce.

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The salmon teriyaki was pretty underwhelming, as you can see in the picture below. It was very small, overcooked, and drenched in the same teriyaki sauce as the chicken.

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The spicy grilled squid was another unimpressive item. It did not look grilled to me at all and its spicy sauce was very mild, to say the least.

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The grilled beef tongue had a nice flavour to it but the pieces we were served was a bit sinewy and too chewy for my taste.

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We were impressed that we were able to order prawn tempura separately from the veggie options. However, we were not so impressed with the large amount of batter that coated each piece of tempura.

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The oyster motoyaki looked a bit orange but tasted on par with most oyster motoyakis I had had at other all-you-can-eat places. It was a bit small but since it was such a rich item, the small size was just right for me.

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I was much more impressed with the raw oysters which came in a slightly spicy ponzu sauce. The sauce went quite well with the oysters and the hint of chilies gave it a nice little kick.

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The agedashi tofu had a thin layer of batter and not too much sauce so I was able to let it cool a bit without it getting too mushy.

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The thing I liked the most about Toyami was their wide selection of sashimi. Jenkins and I ordered a bit of everything, including saba, tuna, tuna tataki, toro, salmon, octopus, and spicy salmon. Everything was quite fresh and portions were generous as well. I would have ordered more but it was just two of us that evening so I did not want to over order.

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Jenkins ordered a yakitori chicken skewer and even though it looked a bit suspect, it was actually juicier than it looked.

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The salmon belly was small and like its teriyaki counterpart, it was overcooked.

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There was also an extensive selection of nigiri sushi but since Jenkins and I did not want to fill up too much, we only ordered a few, including shark fin, lobster, ebi, tamago, toro, and hamachi.

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The chopped scallop cones had a lot of filling and the seaweed was nice and crunchy. I love eating cones so it’s always a bit difficult for me to order only a couple when I’m at an all-you-can-eat. :)

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We did not order very many rolls, which turned out to be a good decision because there was quite a bit of rice in the rolls.

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By all-you-can-eat sushi standards, Toyami was not bad. I’d put it on par with places like Ninkazu and Tomokazu due to its large menu and wide selection of items. Service was also pretty good and our plates were cleared off our table shortly after we had finished each item. If you’re in downtown and are in the mood for all-you-can-eat sushi, this is a good option for you.

Details:
757 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Tel: 604-688-3256

Summary:
Food: [rating:3]
Service: [rating:2.5]
Price: $$

Toyama on Urbanspoon

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