Izumi-Tei is a very small restaurant inside the Izumi-Ya
Japanese Marketplace (my post here on them here) located on Alderbridge. They opened not too long ago but
their presence has generated an enormous buzz in the Richmond community.
Essentially, it is a Japanese buffet and when they first opened (which was honestly just a few weeks ago), their price was $9.99 for lunch or dinner. I unfortunately waited too long to come because they have already raised their prices to $11.99 due to the high demand.
I went with Misu, Trixie, FW, and Lil Sis at 6:30 and there was already a huge line up outside. The waitresses and staff seemed very disorganized and overwhelmed by the large amount of hungry customers. However, they probably never anticipated nor planned for such a huge explosion of customers right from the get go.
The ‘restaurant’ was very small and you have to get everything yourself including food, water, tea, napkins, and utensils.
I started off with a weak looking sunomono. It was alright.
I thought it was kind of cool that they had an Oden section because I love Oden. However, none of my friends liked it so I guess it really depends on your own preference.
A few of their entree offerings include veggie tempura, croquette, clams in butter sauce.
Here you see spring rolls, chicken wings, beef tempura, takoyaki...etc.
They have a very small sushi area with California rolls and maki rolls. A few types of fruit were available but I didn’t go for any of them.
Lastly, they have a condiment section that contained toppings for the takoyaki as well as sauce for tempura.
My two favourite items in the buffet were the clams and takoyaki. I think I just enjoyed the experience of dressing up my own takoyaki. :P
The clams were actually pretty good and everyone at the table enjoyed it.
The croquette and panko fried shrimp were pretty good (especially with their curry sauce) but nothing too special. The two types of fried rice they offered were also okay but one of them was on the dry side. In terms of the Oden, it would have been much better if they offered soup to go along with them. I always thought soup was a component of Oden anyways...
Aren’t the takoyakis beautiful?! :D As you can see, I didn’t hold off on the toppings. HEHE.
Here are a few more pictures of my friends’ dishes.
I didn’t try the beef teriyaki, yakisoba, nor mashed potatoes so I can't comment on whether they were any good.
We ended the meal with their soft serve ice-cream. It was more icy than creamy and definitely lacked the vanilla taste. But, for what it is, and the fact that it is served in a buffet, I don’t expect any more than this.
All in all, I don’t think I’ll come back again. The quality of food was average at best and the nonexistent service really made the dining experience bleh. Oh, and I forgot to mention the time limit. You have exactly one hour to eat and they put the time of when you have to leave on the table. I’d rather pay an extra few dollars and go to Ninkazu for their late night AYCE. And I can get sashimi too.
Service Rating: N/A (pretty much nonexistent)
Food Rating: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5