Toyotomi Restaurant- An All-You-Can-Eat Hidden Gem!

Toyotomi is a Chinese-run Japanese restaurant that opened on
Anderson Road (in Richmond) over a year ago. I dined there once before when it
just opened but found their Japanese dishes to be a bit underwhelming. Thus, it
fell off my food radar and I never bothered for a re-visit. Recently, I heard
about this restaurant again and specifically about their Hot Pot/ Sashimi
All-you-can-eat deal. Their
AYCE hot pot
is only
$13.99 and you can have AYCE sashimi (not sushi) if you add an additional $6.00. So…$20 for AYCE hot
pot and sashimi?! I’m there.

The front area contains an elaborate display of different
Japanese beer/wine and other trinkets.

The restaurant is actually quite large and nicely decorated.
I don’t think most people would expect that just from looking from the outside.

You can tell they did not renovate or build the restaurant
with serving “hot pot” in mind because they use portable gas stoves instead of a built in burner.

Most of their soup bases are Japanese, so you won’t find
Satay or something like that here. We opted for the
Bonito Clear soup base for our dinner. It was surprisingly quite
flavourful!

Can you spot what’s interesting here? They show a penalty record
for people who waste food! One table in May was fined an extra $35.00 for
wasting food which is quite a hefty penalty. I actually like this though
because it gives me an incentive to order less as I (like everyone else) have a
tendency to order more than I can actually eat.

We started off with a refreshing Seaweed Salad. By the way, their service was quite prompt which was
nice because I’m used to slow service in AYCE places.

HO-LY COW. That was
all I was thinking when I saw our plate of sashimi (did I mention it was ALL
YOU CAN EAT?!). The presentation was so visually stunning it was impossible not
to take a picture before we dug in. Since when did AYCE places serve
beautifully presented food? Since um, NEVER.
 
So take note kids, come here and let your eyes have a feast.

Look at how large the pieces of fresh Tuna and Salmon
Sashimi were!

This is what the sashimi platter looked like from the back. One
thing I really like about this place is that they give you exactly what you
order. If you wrote down 20 pieces of sashimi, they give you exactly 20 pieces,
no less (which tends to happen in other AYCE restaurants). The bed of ice on
the bottom kept everything cold and fresh.

The Spicy Salmon
Sashimi
was garnished with crispy garlic bits and green onion on top of a
scallop shell. The salmon was fresh and I didn’t find it that spicy so it was
perfect for me. Probably not for heat lovers though.

The Ika Sashimi (raw
squid)
was made into a beautiful rose and sprinkled with crispy garlic. It was
quite slimy but I liked it. 😀

The Beef Sashimi looked
very raw which kind of scared me, but it was delicious. The vinegar taste did
not overwhelm the flavours and freshness of the beef.

The Enoki Mushrooms
were marinated in some type of sauce and was served cold. The
Tako Sashimi (behind) is limited to two
pieces per person. It was so delicious and not tough to chew through at all.

We ordered random appetizers which included Deep Fried Spicy Unagi Cake, Imitation
Scallop, and Chili Seafood Ball
. They tasted alright. Next time, I would
order less of these and save more room for the Sashimi.

More random appetizers: Chicken
Nugget drizzled with ketchup and Deep Fried Chicken Wings.
The wings were
very crispy and quite good to be honest.

Their ‘Chili Fries’ were
just fries with ketchup…=.=. However, they were pretty good fries. LOL I ended up eating all of it.

Their Imitation Scallop is made of Pollock (fish) and it’s
quite tasty.

I really liked the Spicy Unagi Cake because it’s breaded
with panko and I absolutely loveee Panko. 😀 It’s not spicy at all though.

Our hot pot ‘ingredients’ came in a huge plastic scallop
dish on top of a bed of ice. This was MASSIVE.

I particularly liked the Shrimp Wontons, Tiger Prawns, and Tofu Puffs.

Their tiger prawns were actually the real deal. They were
fresh and tasted great after boiling them in the hot pot.

I didn’t try the Mussels
nor the Fish Fillet but I heard
people liked it a lot. Meta Knight especially enjoyed the fish.

This wooden bowl contained Bean Vermicelli and Oysters (for
the hot pot).

The oysters were large, plump, and fresh. Most importantly,
they were very clean. Thumbs up!

So this is what our table looked like…before the meat
came.

The meat. The glorious and wonderful meat. I don’t know if
you can tell from this picture but the wooden plank is almost as long as my arm
span. I found the presentation to be so unique and weirdly dramatic.

I think this plank contained Snow Beef (my favourite!), Sirloin
Beef, Pork Cheek, Beef Cheek, Sliced Lamb, Melaleuca Beef, Beef Throat, and
Snow Pork.
This is what I mean when I say this restaurant does not skimp on
you. You want this much? They’ll give you this much.

Last but not least, we ended our meal with some Ice Grape and Ice Pineapples. These frozen grapes are exactly what you would find
at the end of your meal at Guu.

Based on these reasons:
  • fantastic deal considering the quality of food you get
  • everything tasted fresh
  • menu is extensive (there is no way you can try everything)
  • you can get drinks for an additional 1-2 bucks more, and get sauces for the hot pot for an additional cost as well

Service Rating: 4/5
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Price: $$-$$$ 

Overall Rating: 5/5 (I added an extra 0.5 to make it 5/5 because of the incredible presentation of food)

Happy Eating!

Toyotomi on Urbanspoon


11 thoughts on “Toyotomi Restaurant- An All-You-Can-Eat Hidden Gem!

  • November 21, 2011 at 8:19 am
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    That looks really yummy! When I went this summer they didn't have nearly as much selection. Was your visit quite recent? And do you recall if all those deep fried items/frozen fruit came with the menu before you added the additional $6 or was it part of the additional $6?

    Reply
  • November 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm
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    Several notes/questions:

    1) You didn't mention it but it might be a mackerel but, based on the presentation, was it "fresh" (as in swimming in the tanks a couple of minutes prior)? Just wonder if it was more on the lines of ikizukuri, a way of serving sushi where the fish might still be "alive"…
    2) As for the salmon and tuna… Actually, I would be raising my eyebrows in both cases. In AYCE places, I usually choose to stay away from tuna sashimi because of the visuals plus texture. That picture didn't help. Likewise, for the salmon, it seems it wasn't cleaned well considering the grayish layer around it.
    3) I tend to avoid anything that imparts a strong flavour/taste to sushi/sashimi and hot sauce/fried garlic is no exception. It could taste great; however, not here. The reason why I avoid it is because it is usually used to mask the fish freshness (or lack of when making "spicy tuna roll" and similar type dishes).
    4) When they said chili fries, it could have been in reference to Heinz Chili sauce, which is a "fancy" version of catsup! 🙂
    5) There ain't such thing as "fresh" tiger shrimp on this side of the world as it is usually frozen. The only thing remotely close to fresh shrimp would be spot prawns.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm
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    @Ceci: Yes I heard that too from my friends who went about half a year ago! I think they definitely revamped their menu and added more selection recently. As for the deep fried items (chicken nuggets, fish balls, spicy unagi cake), they are all included in the $13.99 menu so you do not have to add an additional $6 for it. Even Beef Sashimi is in the regular menu too! What a steal!

    However, the frozen fruit are only available after you add the additional $6. 😛 Hope this helps!

    @KimHo: Thanks for your notes and questions. I definitely do not think the mackerel "alive" when we ate it. It wasn't THAT fresh!lol

    And yes I did notice the grayish layer but it didn't bother me so I was okay with it. Hopefully next time they will clean it a bit better.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm
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    @KimHo
    1)Your being too literal with the word "fresh," maybe she just means the fish had a fresh complexion. I was there recently, the fish were not served alive.
    2)The salmon was clean. The grayish layer is skin which is quite weird when I ate it, but unique none the less.
    3)Were you there recently? I found the spicy tuna and salmon there to be pretty good.
    5)Again, you are being too literal with the word "fresh." But thanks for that incredibly important fact…

    Reply
  • November 22, 2011 at 8:00 am
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    Thank you for your review of your experience at this restaurant. Your comments on your actual experience are very helpful as opposed to KimHo's.

    Does KimHo EVER post anything positive anywhere? Seems he likes to post on various blogs just for the sake of seeing his words in print.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm
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    My friend sent me this link. We're going to be going there Friday 🙂 Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm
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    No problem!! I hope u enjoy this place as much as I do!! 🙂 have fun!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm
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    I have visited the restaurant almost once a month starting from their opening last year and in these three months almost once a week. So you can imagine how much me, my family and friends love the restaurant. Of course, I can't say everything is 100% but comparing with those other All You Can Eat restaurants — this is 99.5%! The .5% is occasionally the eating utensils are not properly cleaned. This problem can just easily be solved by asking for new ones though. Overall, I've been witnessing how the restaurant has been improving and gaining many new customers. There are more people so it's louder than before but the quality has not dropped at all, only improved. This is my absolute first choice for All You Can Eat.

    Reply
  • December 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm
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    I like how all the posters with positive things to say are Anonymous. It's quite obvious you all work for or are related to the restaurant. No need to hide, we all know who you are.

    Reply
  • December 31, 2011 at 11:15 pm
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    Hm.. I don't think that is completely true, because I know someone who commented above and she does not work for or is related to the restaurant. She just preferred to remain anonymous that's all.

    Reply

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