Friday, June 8, 2012


Izumi-Tei is a new Japanese buffet restaurant inside the Japanese supermarket called Izumiya located on alderbridge way across from Delicious Cuisine. You can say that buffets are one of my favorite places to go to especially since growing up in Asia, I was so used to the usual buffets that they would have. Comparing Asia's to here in Vancouver's, there is for sure a huge difference in variety, quality and service. Unless of course, it's Sunday brunch at a hotel in downtown, then that's a whole different story. Since I live here in Vancouver now, I'm still on the constant look out for new buffet restaurants that would at least satisfy my taste buds and tummy as well as something that could be similar to how it is back home. So when my friend told me about this new Japanese buffet place that recently opened, I was really curious to check it out.

Going to Izumiya in general is easy and the parking is not as bad as it might be compared to parking for Delicious Cuisine because you can also park around the area of E-spot. When we got there, the place is actually quite small compared to most buffet style restaurants. You can say that this place is like the Japanese version of King Buffet, instead of serving Chinese food, they serve you Japanese food. And for $11.99 a person, I thought that maybe it's just similar to those all you can eat places like Ninkazu or Richmond Sushi.

Upon entering the restaurant, there's a cashier by the door for you to pay first. When we went, there wasn't a long line up so we were able to get a table after we paid. The only catch here is, your only given an hour to eat! they will actually put a note on your table saying when your hour is up, so make every minute count! 1 hour might not be enough time for you to eat or relax even because you kind of feel like they are rushing you to leave. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm eating I don't really like being rushed especially when it comes to eating buffet! At first though, we were a bit pressured with the one hour time limit, but after looking at the food choices and after taking our first bite, our appetites just started to disappear so that one hour limit didn't seem so bad after that.

There are a few things that I don't like about this place: 1) Some of the food items were really oily and it made me feel like I was drinking a bowl of oil (which is pretty disgusting if you ask me). 2) The servers are not efficient in clearing out the plates of the tables so by the time we were on our third round, there were a lot of plates that were piling up on our table. The service in all you can eat places are much better compared to this place. 3) Some of the food items look a bit disgusting to eat especially their tofu. I know they change their menu occasionally but the tofu just looked really disgusting. When I tried getting tofu, I couldn't get it out because it was sticking on the sides of the metal pan and it was really slimy too so it just reminded me of thick looking saliva (my appetite was gone after that).  I think out of all the items, the only ones that were okay-ish for me were the ebi fry, sauteed eggplant, chicken wings and their gomae. The chicken teriyaki was a bit salty for me and some of the chicken were really hard to bite into. Their takoyaki was a bit soggy and their vegetable tempura was drenched in oil (really not appetizing).

Personally, I wouldn't recommend anyone coming to this place. I think going to Ninkazu or Richmond Sushi might have been a better choice for us that day. What bums me out too is that this place charges for around the same price (or even less) as going to Ninkazu ($9.95) or Richmond Sushi ($12.95) for lunch! But I guarantee you though that you could get much more out of your $11.99 somewhere else than going to Izumi-Tei. At least now, I know where not to go for all you can eat.

Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace on Urbanspoon

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