Location: 317 10 Ave SW
From the first time Val went, she was raving about the steak sauce. She even bought a bottle of it at Christmas for my ex, Braeden (who unfortunately let it go bad without even trying any…what a waste of money). I knew that if she had liked the steak sauce that much, I had to try it. After all, Val and I have similar tastes and if she really like this place, it must be good.
We made reservations here for 6:30, but since I got off work at 3:00 and Val ended up finishing up her meeting thing at 6:00, but the restaurant was a three minute walk for her, we both ended up there super early. We waited for a while before they said that they could seat us. Although neither of us checked our watches or phones for the time, I’m pretty sure they seated us earlier than 6:30. We were seated at the remaining two seats next to a party of five. It took some time, but our orders were taken and our chef appeared. He clearly had a showman’s persona and that level of involvement with a character like that, that close and personal made me a little uncomfortable, but I’m not the kind of person to judge before trying something out. The meals we ordered came with soup, salad, rice, green tea, and a dessert. Being unsure that there’d be enough food (since I’ve never been) and never passing up the opportunity to eat squid, we ordered the ika karaage. The dish was quite small, expensive, and honestly, not that good. I’ve definitely had better. We were first served the soup, which was an egg drop soup. It was nicely flavoured and the temperature was just right, but it wasn’t anything special. It was followed by a salad that also wasn’t that special. The only thing I remember is that it was high acidic, which made me pucker a couple times at how sour it was. All the while, we watched and listened to our chef crack jokes and throw his cooking utensils around. I became especially uncomfortable when I was looking down to finish my salad and the minute I looked up he shoved a gigantic block of softened butter in my face, saying something to the effect of have some vanilla ice cream. My mouth fell open in shock and the only thing I could do was pretend to eat it. It was too late. There was no recovery from that. It did make the people at the table laugh, so I guess not all was lost. Slowly, we started getting served food. Shrimp with yum yum sauce (not really sure what that is…) and a lot of veggies (that I didn’t end up finishing). The highlight of the evening was, of course, the onion volcano (unfortunately I have to upgrade my WordPress account for me to post the video. I tried to post it on Facebook, but Facebook says the file is too small). Both Val and I ordered steaks, which are cut into cubes for us, but the seasoning wasn’t really all that special. That’s where the steak sauce came in. The chef had already put some into the dishes in front of us and on our rice if we wanted, so I had tasted it. I couldn’t really put my finger on what it was exactly in the sauce that I didn’t like, but there was something in it I didn’t like. Val said there was a lot of onion, which I’m going to take her word for because she’s really good at discerning components of sauces and other mixed foodstuffs. After the meat, I was pretty much full (hence I didn’t finish my veggies), but there was still tea and dessert. The green tea was tasteless; it was like drinking coloured hot water. And the green tea ice cream isn’t creamy and matcha-y like I’m used to. There were parts of the ice cream where you could literally crunch on ice crystals, which isn’t really a quality I look for in my ice cream.
Overall, I’d say I wouldn’t come back here again, but I’d say that it’s something that everyone should experience once and decide for themselves if this is something they would like. I know that the birthday girl in the party of five next to us said this was her favourite restaurant and she has come back repeatedly, but I wouldn’t. I just want to enjoy my meal in peace without having someone heckling me every few seconds and cracking jokes that I’m forced to laugh along with. But the experience wasn’t all bad. It was nice how considerate they were of the dietary concerns of the person sitting next to me. She had celiacs and they were constantly checking in with her to make sure everything was okay and if she wanted them to prepare something separate for her in the kitchen so that it was guaranteed to not contain gluten.
Unfortunately, I would have to rate this experience a 1/5. Not because the food was particularly bad or the service was lacking, but because I don’t feel like this dining experience was one that I enjoyed or was comfortable with.