If you are an Asian, especially Japanese, This is not the place for you.
My girlfriend and I flew to Banff from USA to spend Christmas and had a dinner at the Ticino (415 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB, T1L 1B5 ) on Dec 26, 2012. The restaurant looked good, food was just ok, but the price was overrated compared to its quality. I didn't like their fondue. Service was below my expectation.
However, they already included 15% tip even before I added it, so I asked a waiter why he already added the tip. He said because it was busy season, some people may have forgotten their tip, so his boss added it. It was ok, because anyway I was going to add 15% tip for their substandard service. But I couldn't hide my unpleasant feeling, so I asked the owner why he arbitrarily added a tip. If there was a notice, I would understand it (for instance, 15% service charge would be added for more than 2 people, or for busy season, the tip is already included), but I couldn't find any notice before and even after I saw the check.
When the owner said the reason, I couldn't believe what I heard. He said because I am a Japanese and Japanese don't know the tip culture, he added the tip by himself. Wow, first of all, I am not a Japanese although I am an Asian, and second, I have lived in USA for 10 years. Even if I may not know Canadian's complicated culture, at least I clearly know I have a right to decide my tip for service unless the percentage was already stated. He never asked me where I was from, but he just assumed I would be a Japanese and added a tip arbitrarily.
I asked him again if he added a tip because I am an Asian. He said yes again and kept talking because some Japanese didn't tip and I am an Asian, he added the tip. I told him I am not a Japanese and came from USA. I know the culture. He never said sorry. I asked again "So did you add a tip arbitrarily because I am an Asian?" He tapped on my shoulder and said "Yes, but don't take it personally, Japanese don't know a tip, so I added the tip, but we like Japanese". My girlfriend wanted to stop the endless conversation, so I couldn't continue it. When I opened a door to leave the restaurant, he finally said to me "Follow rules when you visit a foreign country."
Ok, I am writing this review since I didn't take it "personally". I am doing this for my people whom the restaurant owner belittled. I am sure the 'Japanese people' didn't leave a tip because of Ticino's service and discrimination.
Finally, if you are non-Asians, you may want to try this restaurant. They would be kind to you (still pricey though). However, if you are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or any other Asians, try it and feel humiliated. This includes Asian-Canadians. Try the Ticino and feel discriminated in your own country.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.