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“Nice restaurant but over priced” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shogun Japanese Steakhouse

Shogun Japanese Steakhouse
770 Brunswick Street, Prince George, British Columbia V2L 2C2, Canada
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Ranked #12 of 197 Restaurants in Prince George
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations, Takeout
Vernon, Canada
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Nice restaurant but over priced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

We went here for a combination father's day and graduation dinner. Nice setting and the service was fine. $35 for the house special was a little steep. Salad was small and not great. Vegetables were the last item cooked and served. Meat and seafood was either eaten or cold by then. Not rushing back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Quesnel, Canada
1 review
“Etsuko is the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

As a gold member of the Coast Hotel chain, I always look forward to Prince George for the great meals and the service I get from Etsuko at the Shogun; so much so that if she is not working, it is a big disapointment.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince George, Canada
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Prince Gastronome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

When preparing to post my review, I came to realize how unoriginal it is to name a Japanese Restaurant Shogun. It’s like Ferrari naming a car Ferrari…which they did recently…and yes that’s stupid. When I started my search on TripAdvisor, I couldn’t just enter Shogun, neither could I use Shogun Japanese or Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. I had to punch in the entire address before whittling down the options and seeing the proper one show up.
The Coast Inn of the North is blessed with numerous well regarded restaurants both in its belly and within a five minute walk. But despite having reviewed every other place in town, repeatedly in some cases, I’ve only critiqued one of the Coast’s three establishments. My excuse is that Coffee Garden is the only one open for lunch with the other two, Winston’s and Shogun, only open for dinner. The circumstances of this specific dinner are complicated and boring...so here I go: basically, I work at a big retailer undergoing major renovations, and I had been placed in a position of authority during said renovation. I befriended the SWAT team (totally not lying; that’s what they’re called) brought up from Vancouver to organize the reno. So to make a long story really obnoxious, they were staying at the Coast and invited me out to a restaurant they’ve frequented many times by that point.
More accurately, I encouraged the congregation due to not having reviewed Shogun and because I’m suffering from a crush for one of the SWAT team members—a healthy crush like Robin Williams in The Fisher King rather than Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. As readers will remember from previous reviews, I’ve about as much success with the female gender as a male angler fish, so let’s assume I crashed worse than Dale Earnhardt (too soon?) and move onto the actual review.
With the loss of Sakura, and with no one readily available to prove me wrong, Shogun is the only Japanese restaurant remaining in town with manned teppanyaki tables, a dominant characteristic of this establishment. Of course, they also offer staple sushi, but the hot plate is the draw. For anyone needing clarification, teppanyaki translates from Japanese into “potential burn victim” because of the proximity customers are from a cooking surface. Readers are more likely aware of its more western moniker, hibachi grill. If you see a restaurant claiming itself a Japanese Steakhouse, it’s because it features these tables, which purely for trivia nuts is related to another form of cuisine called Mongolian barbecue, which is neither Mongolian nor technically even a barbecue and let’s be honest, sounds a little bit racist.
We were handed menus which instantly dashed my hopes for culinary bliss. These oversized monoliths were more suited to a Denny’s...or for separating rooms in a temple in Guangzhou. These are the ones a pair secret agents hide behind, each holding one side. You can’t fully deploy said menu without it blocking the view of the two people flanking you. I swear I almost took out an eye once. I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons with smaller screens than this. Pictures in menus are probably one of the worst ideas for a high-class restaurant, a sure-fire sign you’re trying to sell your services to a section of the population still entertained by Teletubbies. You’d accuse me of fussing over minutia, but I believe it to be a legitimate concern when an opened menu will block not only your vision but the visions of those around you to the sole reason why you sat at a teppanyaki table in the first place. If Olive Garden doesn’t feel the need to post pictures on their menu, neither should a high-class Japanese Steakhouse. When building a successful culinary establishment, despite the obvious temptation, the one thought which shouldn’t run through your mind is, “What would Applebee’s do?”
The teppanyaki tables utterly dominate the small space reserved for Shogun, with booths the only tables which lack them. I found a seat directly opposite of the chef and eventually ordered one of the many platters offered. They go by many colorful names but are actually just different combinations of five ingredients: beef, chicken, scallops, lobster, and shrimp. I ordered the one with the beef, chicken, and scallops. Promptly, the chef throws down scallops not just for me but for the four patrons around me. This does raise a concern given that scallops are tricky to cook properly. Overcooked, they become tough. How this chef manages to cook them all nearly perfectly does verify his talent. Of course, it wouldn’t be a teppanyaki experience without him dousing each ingredient in alcohol and attempting to burn my eyebrows off.
Yes, lighting something on fire rarely ever contributes to a meal’s flavor. From my experience and from listening to certain experts, only crepes suzette and maybe bananas foster actually benefits from direct ignition. The food on the grill isn’t ablaze for long enough to offer anything to the final dish. And I don’t care. It’s all show, an integral part of the theatrical production of teppanyaki, a huge factor in its cost, and that’s a good thing. Every review I’ve written has discussed service, rating it alongside food and decor. Do I rate one more than the others? Of course, food is the most important, but I’d place service as second over decor, and the stagecraft of teppanyaki falls into this. Our chef is buoyant, witty, and watching him work is akin to the undulations of a lava lamp—borderline hypnotic. This is the same reason why the most enjoyable aspect of sushi, the part so many establishments forget, is the metrical knife-work of the itamae. Part of a sushi-chef’s appeal is the showcase of his skill and his mannerisms at the bar—how he interacts with customers and displays his work. When I call out Suzuran as the best sushi restaurant Prince George has ever had, why I befriended its chef, it’s because of his stagecraft. And this is no different. The value of Shogun is as much in its theatrics as in its food. If the food was crap, I’d take issue, but thankfully, it’s not. Along with the teppanyaki, I also ordered a tuna starter, which was also good. It wasn’t required since the mains were massive.
The experience lasted nearly 30 minutes, with food being served nearly constantly, delivered in bite sized chunks, pre-cut and ready for dipping. Yes, that does sound like an extravagant fondue, and you’d have a point, but once again it would still lack that panache of teppanyaki. At $30+ for each plate, this type of experience isn’t for the weekly traveller, and it’s not one taken by a lonely man with no friends to call upon. You take in Shogun when in need of celebration, when friends gather and cheer in unison at the performance offered. I can’t see why anyone would go to Shogun and not partake in the teppanyaki. Sushi can be acquired cheaper at a half-dozen places around town, but I’d like to return and see if it’s any better than the competition. But on the basis of its signature offering, Shogun stands as the best Japanese restaurant in town and one worthy of visit.

VALUE: 8.5

OVERALL: 8.3 out of 10

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince George, BC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Guaranteed 5-star experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

I am shocked to see negative reviews here. I have lived in Prince George all my life and Shogun is an outstanding experience every time we go and we go multiple times a year... for years now. The staff are all long term, friendly, professional, attentive... outstanding. They know us now and never fail to remember our idiosyncrasies. The food is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Ultra fresh, high-quality, prepared to perfection every single time with utter consistency. The atmosphere is very Japanese from the great décor down to the music and the clothing the staff wears. To us it is perfection eating there from the salad with the great dressing and bottomless rice that come with every meal, the amazing assorted tempura we can't help but order every single time even though the Shogun Combo is an amazing, delicious amount of food. The chicken, beef, shrimp and scallops in the combo are outstanding. The sauces delicious. I cannot believe there are negative reviews here. Ignore those picky people and trust me. I have never eaten sushi but know many Prince George people who love it. When we go we see big parties, couples, families, businessmen on their own, friends... everyone loves Shogun. They make it fun for kids with Japanese headbands and special chopsticks. It is a pleasure to do a review of this fine restaurant that has been a Prince George hot spot for decades. I remember going as a child during a school field trip in 1976. Memorable then, memorable now.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul R, Manager at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear MamaJ69

Wow I see you have been a Shogun fan for many years and I thank you . Its true we go that extra step to ensure your experience in Shogun is wonderful, from the great service to the freshest of ingredients.
I thank you again for your kind comments and I look forward to serving you in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince George, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Was another great meal as usual at the Shogun, haven't had a bad meal or time since started going here when I was a young kid.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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