Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant: Cheap but Questionable

Thursday, May 02, 2013
The four of us were starving after spending the past 5 or so hours walking around the Stanley Park Seawall so without much thought, we entered the first all you can eat sushi restaurant we saw on Denman Street. We were greeted immediately upon entering the restaurant and although the service was pretty decent, the food on the other hand was questionable.

We arrived just in time for the dinner menu which was surprisingly cheap especially for a restaurant on Denman. We decided on the $15.95 option which limited us to 10 pieces of sashimi each; an additional $5 would've gave us unlimited, but we didn't feel that was necessary today.

For sashimi, there were the options of atlantic and sockeye salmon, tuna, hokkigai, tai and beef tataki, but given our 40 piece limit, we decided to pass on the tuna sashimi. The salmon sashimi was pretty good, and the same goes for the hakkigai and tai. The beef tataki on the other hand was sliced thicker than what I normally expected and it didn't have enough flavor.

We ordered a variety of sushi rolls and they were not the best to say the least. The rice was
awfully dry and felt really bland.

I ordered one piece of every nigiri sushi with the exception of the salmon and tuna and like the sushi rolls, the rice was dry and bland.

The rice problems goes for the sushi cones as well. I felt there could've been more scallops in the cones as well. It was one small bite of scallops and the rest were all rice...

The chicken terriyaki was alright but the beef terriyaki was lacking in sauce. No complaints with the agedashi and spicy tofu and the same goes for the deep fried scallops, tonkatsu and ika karrage. I didn't try the yam tempura but the cod tempura was pretty good. It was crispy but didn't feel oily. The oysters in the oyster motoyaki were pretty big and coupling it with mushrooms was a nice touch however,  the baked mayo sauce was rather chunky which I was not a fan of. (Sorry, missed a lot of pics =P)

For dessert, the mango pudding was a old time favorite but it was cool to see the deep fried banana on the menu. The mango pudding was pretty good. Not too sweet but not bland either. I've had deep fried bananas before and am personally not a fan of it. As expected, the middle was squishy like a banana should be.

I've been to my fair share of ayce restaurants and it's a given that quality is not going to be the number one priority. Although the food wasn't terrible, it certainly did not leave a good impression for me. Although the price tag for the dinner menu was attractive especially for a restaurant in the west end, it's not enough for me to make a return in the near future.

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